Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of First Kings which describes the days of the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, and the kings and prophets who were present therein. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twelve through fifteen of this Old Testament book. REPAIRING THE BREACH IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD! THE CONTRAST BETWEEN DOING THAT WHICH IS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD AND DOING WHAT IS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD! DOING WHAT IS RIGHT IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, YET ALLOWING THE HIGH PLACES TO REMAIN! DOING WHAT IS EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD AND CONTINUING IN THE SINS OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS! ALLOWING THE SINS OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS TO REMAIN! REFUSING TO DEAL WITH AND CONFRONT THE SINS OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS! As you begin reading the words which are written and recorded within these four chapters you will begin to notice more and more kings sitting upon the throne in the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as new kings who would emerge upon the throne of David in the city of Jerusalem. The more you delve into, and the more you dive deeper into the book of Second Kings the more you will encounter and come face to face with the politics and conspiracy surrounding the thrones in Israel and Judah, but also in the sin(s) that surrounded the thrones. What’s quite interesting and astonishing to read and consider when coming to these chapters is that future kings which would sit upon the throne of Israel would walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and when you read about the kings that would sit upon the throne of Judah—although many of them would do that which was right in the sight of the LORD God, they would not destroy the high places. This is actually quite interesting, for with the exception of Jehu who was anointed to be king over Israel, there wasn’t a king who sat on either the throne in Judah, nor which sat on the throne in Judah which destroyed the sins of previous generations. THE DANGER OF REFUSING TO DESTROY THE SINS OF PAST GENERATIONS! As I sit here and consider the words which are written and recorded within these chapters I can’t help but get the strong and undeniable sense that perhaps the single greatest danger which the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel, and the kings of the southern kingdom of Judah faced was choosing whether or not they would deal with the sins of previous generations. It is important for us to note that this doesn’t merely apply to the sins which Jeroboam son of Nebat had set up in the midst of the land, nor even the idolatry which Solomon king of Israel had set up, but also the sins which their fathers walked in. As you read the words which are written and found within these chapters you will find and discover that dealing with the sins of previous generations was not only personal and familial in nature, but it was also national in nature. Consider if you will the words which are found in the eleventh chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings describing the sins of Solomon, as well as the words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the same Old Testament book which describe the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat:
“But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded. Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statues, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant. Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son. Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen” (1 Kings 11:1-13).
“Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: if this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Beth-el, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Beth-el the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-el the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense” (1 Kings 12:25-33).
It is entirely and altogether unclear exactly how the idolatry of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Solomon the son of David would play on the national stage, but as you continue to read the words which are found within the books of First and Second Kings you will find that the kings which would sit upon the throne in the days and generations ahead would continue in the sins of the previous generations. There were kings in the southern kingdom of Judah which did that which was right in the sight of the living God, yet refused to deal with the sins of previous generations. There were kings which would sit upon the throne of David in the southern kingdom of Judah and would do that which was right in the sight and presence of the living God, and yet they would not deal with the sins of previous generations. This is important for us to recognize and understand, for it reveals something truly and absolutely remarkable when you think about it, for there are those among us in this generation who might do that which is right in the sight of the living God, and yet they aren’t willing to deal with the sins of previous generations—regardless of whether those sins are national in nature, or whether or not they are familial and personal and nature. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about and consider when reading the words which are found in these Old Testament books it’s that there are those who not only choose to walk in the sins of their parents, but there also those who choose to walk in the sins of the nation. Perhaps one of the single greatest realities that is found and contained within these chapters is the inherent danger and temptation in choosing to not only walk in the sins of your parents, which undoubtedly would have had an effect and impact on you, but also the sins of the nation which would most certainly have an impact and effect on you. There is not a doubt in my mind that there are countless among us today who have to come face to face with the tremendous reality and decision whether or not they will choose to walk in the sins which their parents committed, or whether they will choose to destroy the sins of their parents and the influence it has had in their lives. Oh this isn’t to say that the sins of their parents didn’t have an impact on them as they grew up, but that they must make the conscious and deliberate decision whether or not they will continue to walking in those sins and those transgressions. There are those among us who have had to make the decision—not only whether or not they will continue to be impacted and affected by the sins of their fathers, and the sins of their parents, but whether or not they will walk in those sins. I am absolutely and completely convinced that one of the greatest decisions men and women—even children, teenagers and young adults—will have to make is whether or not they will choose to continue to walk in the sins of their parents, or whether they will choose to reject those sins and live their lives in a completely different way.
What I find to be so absolutely captivating and convicting when I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture, it’s that this issue of walking in the sins of the fathers, as well as walking in the sins of previous generations was not only found in the northern kingdom of Israel, but it was also found in the southern kingdom of Judah. The more you read the words which are found and contained within these chapters the more you will encounter and come face to face with the fact that in the northern kingdom of Israel the kings which sat upon the throne would need to make a decision whether or not they would walk in the sins of their fathers, and whether or not they would walk in the sins of the generation(s) before them. The sad and tragic reality is that each subsequent king which would sit upon the throne in the northern kingdom of Israel would at the very least continue to walk in the sins which Jeroboam did make the people of Israel to sin and transgress against the LORD with, and at the very most to add additional means of idolatry and iniquity before the LORD. You cannot read the narrative of the kings which would reign upon the throne in the northern kingdom of Israel and not encounter and come face to face with each subsequent king that would reign upon the throne in the mist of the land choosing to deliberately and intentionally walk in the sins of Jeroboam. It’s actually quite astounding to think about the fact that the sins of Jeroboam—the two golden calves which he had set up in Dan and Beth-el—would not only have direct implications within his generation, but it would also have implications in future generations. What’s more, is that the sins which Jeroboam the son of Nebat would institute and implement in the northern kingdom of Israel would have a direct impact and influence upon the kings which would sit upon the throne. There would be king after king and son after son that would not only choose to continue to walk in the sins of their fathers, but would also choose to walk in the sins of Jeroboam who would cause the entire nation and northern kingdom of Israel to sin before and against the LORD. In fact, there were three specific houses which the word of the LORD would be proclaimed against between the books of First Kings and Second Kings, as the living God would choose to destroy the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the house of Baasha, and the house of Ahab. One might argue that the LORD would even cut off the house of Jehu, for the LORD would only allow the house of Jehu to reign upon the throne in Israel unto the fourth generation. If there is one prophetic truth I can’t help but encounter and come face to face when reading the words which are found within these chapters, it’s that if we don’t destroy the sins of our fathers and the sins of the nation within our lives, it is very possible the LORD can and will destroy our own house within and in the midst of the land.
WHAT YOU CHOOSE NOT TO DESTROY CAN AND WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO YOUR OWN DESTRUCTION! WHAT YOU CHOOSE NOT TO DESTROY WITHIN YOUR LIFE CAN AND WILL BRING ABOUT YOUR DESTRUCTION! As I sit here this evening and consider the words which are written in these Old Testament books I can’t help but see that what Jeroboam the son of Nebat would set up in the nation of Israel would ultimately result in his house being cut off from the earth, yet when you consider the houses of Baasha and Ahab—it wasn’t merely because of what that which they chose to walk in from previous generations that would result in their houses being cut off, but it would also be because of what they would add to that iniquity and transgression. If you read the narrative of these three houses you will find that the house of Jeroboam would be cut off because it was he who not only led that generation of the children of Israel into sin, but it would also be the sin he introduced in the land that would reverberate in future generations. The sins which Jeroboam son of Nebat had set up in his generation would remain in the land throughout future generations and would cause both king and people alike to walk in as they would cleave to those sins. It’s absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for the sin(s) which originated in one generation would continue on in future generations, and with each future generations the decision would need to be made whether or not they would walk in those sins, or whether they would destroy and cut them off. Oh it’s important for us to recognize that what we choose not to destroy and not to cut off can and may very well result and lead to our being destroyed and our being cut off. When you read the narrative concerning the kings which would rule and reign upon the throne in the midst of the northern kingdom of Israel you will find that each king that would sit upon the throne would do that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, for they would walk in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat. With that being said, however, the LORD would deliberately and intentionally choose to cut off the houses of Jeroboam, Baasha and Ahab from the midst of the northern kingdom of Israel. The LORD would determine that the houses of these three kings would and could not remain in the midst of the land, and needed to be cut off from the face of the earth as quickly as possible. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely tremendous reality, for it must be carefully considered in the midst of our generation as we must choose whether or not we will cut off and destroy those sins of our fathers, and even the sins of previous generations, which include national sins. Consider if you will the words which were written concerning the houses of Ahab and Baasha—not only that which described the days of their reign, but also the prophetic word that would be released concerning each of these houses:
“And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, twenty and four years. And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 15:32-34).
“Then the word of the LORD came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and has made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam the son of NEbat. Him that doeth of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that doeth of his in the fields shall the fowls of the air eat” (1 Kings 16:1-4).
“And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Eth-Baal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a giver; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him” (1 Kings 16:29-33).
“And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, IN the palace where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, hast thou found me, O mine enemy. And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that doeth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat. But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel” (1 Kings 21:17-26).
With those words being spoken concerning the wickedness of the houses of Baasha and Ahab, as well as the prophetic words which were spoken against each house, it’s also important to read and consider the words which were written concerning the house of Jeroboam when he instructed his wife to feign herself as someone else when their son fell sick and was on the verge of death. It would be while Jeroboam’s wife was on her way to this man of God that the word of the LORD would come to him and prepare him to the arrival of Jeroboam’s wife, and even deliver a prophetic word which she would deliver unto her husband. It’s interesting to note that this prophetic word would come unto the wife of Jeroboam son of Nebat when he not only sent his wife unto this man of God, but also instructed her to disguise herself and pretend to be someone else. Consider if you will the prophetic word which was spoken by this man of God to the wife of Jeroboam son of Nebat concerning his house and the destruction the living God would bring upon it befginning to read with the sixth verse of the fourth chapter:
“And it was so, when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou they self to be another? For I am sent to thee with heavy tidings. Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel, and rent the kingdom away form the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes; but hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back: therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the doges eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam. Moreover the LORD shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day: but what? Even now. For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORd to anger. And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin” (1 Kings 14:6-16).
It is quite clear from the words which are written and recorded within this passage of Scripture that the living God had purposed and determined to utterly and completely destroy the house of Jeroboam from the earth because of the sins which he had committed. What’s more, is that it would not only be because of the sins which he himself had committed, but also the sins which he would cause the people of Israel to commit. If there is one thing we must learn and recognize concerning the sins of Jeroboam, it’s that those sins would not only have direct implications on that generation as he would lead that generation of the children of Israel into sin before and against the living God, but those sins would continue to remain in the land for generations to come—even until the coming of the day of Josiah king of Judah who would enter into the land of Israel and would destroy the sins of Jeroboam which he had set up in the midst of the land. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this absolutely captivating and astonishing reality, for by doing so we understand the tremendous significance that surrounds future generations deliberately choosing to walk in the sins of the fathers, as well as in the sins of past generations. Perhaps one of the greatest tragedies that surrounded the throne in the northern kingdom of Israel was that they would continue to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, while one of the greatest tragedies surrounding the throne of the southern kingdom of Judah is that the kings which would reign upon that throne—even if they did that which was right in the sight of the LORD—would not destroy the high places which were present in the midst of the land. The kings which would reign upon the throne of David in the southern kingdom of Judah and would do that which was right in the sight of the LORD would fail to destroy that which had been set up in previous generations, and that which their fathers had committed. In fact, if you turn and direct your attention to the words which are written and recorded in the fourteenth chapter of the book of First Kings you will find a powerful description concerning Rehoboam son of Solomon, and the generation which existed during the days and time of his reign. Upon reading these words you will find that during the days of Rehoboam the son of Solomon the people of Judah would take the sins which Solomon son of David and king of Israel had committed, and would further add to and compound those sins. Consider if you will the words which are written and found within the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book of First Kings beginning to read with and from the twenty-first verse of the chapter:
“And Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORED did chose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother’s name was Naaman and Ammonitess. And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel” (1 Kings 14:21-24).
In order to understand the narrative that is written and recorded within the books of First and Second Kings, it’s important for us to recognize that as it pertained to the southern kingdom of Israel, they would be led into idolatry, iniquity and immorality as a direct result of the sins which Solomon had set up and established in the latter years of his life. In fact, when you come to the final chapters of the book of Second Kings which were written concerning the days of Josiah king of Judah you will find a description of “the mount of corruption,” which Solomon the son of David had established opposite the hill of Jerusalem. It’s important for us to consider and recognize this, for the sins which Solomon had set up during his generation would continue to directly impact future kings that would sit upon the throne of David, as well as future generations of the southern kingdom of Judah. Isn’t it absolutely remarkable and astounding to think about the fact that in the southern kingdom of Judah and in the city of Jerusalem specifically—both the Temple of the LORD and the mount of Corruption would essentially grow side by side among the people of God. Solomon—the son of David who had built the Temple of God which was meant to house the glory and presence of the LORD, and to be the place of His great name, would also set up a separate mountain of corruption that would be place of idolatrous worship of false and strange gods. How absolutely astounding it is to think about the fact that from the days of Solomon on—both the Temple of the living God, as well as the high places of the false gods of the surrounding nations would grow up side by side in the midst of the land. It’s almost as if the people of the southern kingdom of Judah would have to choose between two opinions and between two different methods and means of worship. Would they choose to continue worshipping the living God at His holy sanctuary and at His holy altar, or would they choose to worship the false gods of the nations round about them, thus provoking the LORD to anger and jealousy? What I find to be challenging is when you think about the fact that from the time of Solomon the son of David and king of Israel until and unto the time of Josiah king of Judah both the Temple of the living God, as well as the mount of Corruption would be in existence within the land. This is absolutely crucial for us to understand, for there is not a doubt in my mind that the mount of corruption which Solomon had set up in the midst of the land opposite the hill of Jerusalem would be a tremendous stumbling block for future generations that would dwell and live within the land. For generations to come the children of Israel in the southern kingdom of Judah would have to choose between the Temple of the living God, or the false and strange gods and their high places and altars on the mount of Corruption. What’s more, is the children of the northern kingdom of Israel would need to make their own decision whether or not they would worship the golden calves which Jeroboam son of Nebat had set up within the land, or would make the journey down to Jerusalem to worship the true and living God at His holy sanctuary and at His holy Temple.
THE GREATEST CANAL IN THE WORLD! THE GREATEST WINDOW IN THE WORLD! As I am sitting here today I can’t help but think about the fact that if you take the time to think about this world and everything that is in it, the greatest canal is not made up of any body of water, nor is regulated by a series of dams that can restrict of permit the flow of water. If you think about perhaps one of the most well known canals of the world—the Panama Canal—you must recognize and understand that there is another canal that is of far more importance than any canal that is made up of any body of water. Despite the significance the Panama Canal has in this world, there is another canal that is even greater and is of far greater importance. This canal is one that many would not even think is greater than the canal we see in the earthly and natural realm, and yet it is perhaps the most deadly canal in existence. You might be wondering what canal I am speaking of, and the truth of the matter is that the canal I am speaking of is the ear canal. I fully realize and recognize you might be wondering why and how on earth I could make the statement that the greatest canal in the world is not one made up of water, but rather is that of the ear, and yet we must understand that there is a different flood that can directly impact and affect this canal—namely, a flood of the filth, the corruption, the wickedness, the idolatry, the iniquity and the immorality of this world. The canal that I am speaking of the ear canal, and it is the single greatest canal in the entire world for what is permitted and allowed to pass through this canal has the potential to pollute, corrupt, and defile any man or woman. Make no mistake about it, for what you choose to allow to enter into this canal can and will directly have an impact on you—not only upon your mind and your thoughts, but also upon your heart and soul and your emotions. We would be incredibly remiss and naïve to think about and consider the fact that this canal isn’t of the greatest importance, for there is a great need to monitor and regulate that which we allow to flow and that which we allow to pass through and pass into it. It is absolutely possible that if we aren’t careful concerning what we allow to flow through and pass into this canal it can and will flow into places within the depths of our being, and can indeed and can in fact defile us. It is with this in mind that I am absolutely convinced that we need to carefully guard what we allow ourselves to hear and what we allow to enter into our ears, for what we allow to enter in and pass through does in fact have the absolutely undeniable potential to influence us in ways we could never even dream or imagine. If we aren’t careful with what we allow ourselves to hear and listen to we can find ourselves allowing things to pass through that are absolute abominations in the sight and presence of the living God.
Taking this a step further, I can’t help but think about one of the most important parts of our bodies, and one that your wouldn’t even think plays a significant part in our lives, and yet you probably utilize it multiple times during the day. That particular part of the body I am referring to are the eyelids, for if you think about and consider the eyelids you will quickly realize what a critical and vital part they play—not only in the physical and natural realm, but also in the spiritual and unseen realm. If you think about it in the natural and physical realm you must consider the fact that the eyelids play an integral and important part within our lives, for it is our eyelids that can guard and protect our eyes from irritants and that which can cause damage to them. Think about how many times you have closed your eyes—in all reality simply shutting your eyelids—in order to keep dust, or dirt, or even water from coming in contact with your eyes. Think about how many times during the day who have closed your eyelids—whether consciously or subconsciously—in order to guard and protect your eyes from that which could cause damage to them. There is absolutely no denying the fact that our eyelids play an integral part in the natural and physical sense of our lives, for it is our eyelids which help us to guard and protect our eyes from that which has the ability to damage them. What is true in the natural and physical realm is also equally as true in the spiritual and supernatural realm, for just as our eyelids can in fact guard our eyes from that which can damage them physically, they can also guard our eyes from that which can pollute, defile and corrupt our hearts and our minds. There was an old song that used to warn concerning our being eyes being careful what they see and our ears being careful what they hear, and I can’t help but think about how absolutely true those words are. I sit here today and I can’t help but think about the absolutely captivating reality that our eyelids play such a crucial and integral part within our lives, for how many times would it have been necessary to shut and close your eyelids in order that you might keep your eyes from looking upon and beholding something that would otherwise defile, corrupt and pollute you. With that being said, it’s important to recognize and understand that our eyelids are absolutely integral in that they are one of the first lines of defense within our lives, and yet what we do with them can have a direct impact on what we do with our hands, and what we do with our feet. If we choose to be cautious with how we use these guardians of the eyes we would also be cautious with how we use our hands and our feet, for to the degree and measure we use these guardians of the eyes to safeguard and protect our hearts and minds, we also choose to keep our hands and feet from evil, and to even use our two feet in order to walk away from that which would destroy, defile, corrupt and pollute us. It is said the eyes are the windows to the soul, and if the eyes are the windows to the soul than I would say that the eyelids are like the curtains and blinds which we can use to keep that which is outside and on the other side from entering in and potentially defiling, corrupting and polluting us.
REFUSING TO DESTROY AND CUT OFF THE SINS OF THE PAST! REFUSING TO DESTROY AND CUT OFF THE SINS OF THE FATHERS! REFUSING TO CUT OFF AND DESTROY THE SINS OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS! REFUSING TO DESTROY THE SINS OF JEROBOAM! REFUSING TO DESTROY THE SINS OF SOLOMON! REFUSING TO DESTROY THE IMAGES AND REFUSING TO DESTROY THE HIGH PLACES! The more I read and consider the words which are written and recorded in these passages of Scripture the more I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the tremendous tragedy that surrounded both the throne in the northern kingdom of Israel, as well as the throne in the southern kingdom of Judah, as both thrones would find themselves in place where they would need to make a deliberate and conscious decision concerning actions they would take. While the nation of Israel had been divided into two distinct and separate kingdoms, it’s worth noting that each portion of the land of Israel had their own sin which was introduced by a king which sat upon the throne. As has already been discussed the northern kingdom of Israel had the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat which set up two golden calves within the land—one as far as Dan, and the other in Beth-el. Moreover, Jeroboam the son of Nebat would also set up an altar in Beth-el where the people of the northern kingdom of Israel could come and worship before “the gods which brought them up out of the land of Egypt.” Even more than this, we find that Jeroboam developed an entire religious system that was present in the midst of the nation, as he would set up and establish a feast that would be absolutely identical in nature to the feast that was held in the southern kingdom of Judah and in the city of Jerusalem. As if this weren’t enough, we also find Jeroboam setting up and establishing anyone who was willing as priests in this newfound religious system that was present in the midst of the land. If anyone wanted they could come unto the king and be appointed and ordained as priests before these two golden calves and before this altar. This particular reality would also be manifested in the southern kingdom of Judah as the people in Judah and Benjamin would not be confronted with the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, but they would be confronted with the sins of Solomon and the mount of Corruption he had set up and established on the hill opposite Jerusalem. Moreover, Scripture also reveals how during the days of Rehoboam the people would set up groves, and high places, and shrines, and countless devices and manners of worship in the midst of the land. It would be during the early days of a divided kingdom that not only would the people of God be divided, but also we find each kingdom and each portion of the land of Israel dealing with their own sin, their own iniquity, their own idolatry and their own transgression.
Sitting here this morning I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with and by the reality that there is a great need within our hearts and lives to not only confront, but also to deal with the sins of previous generations. There is a great and powerful need within our hearts and lives to make a deliberate and conscious decision whether or not we are going to walk in the sins of our fathers, or whether or not we are going to tear down, destroy, and utterly decimate the sins which our fathers committed. I can’t help but be reminded of Gideon who was instructed by the angel of the LORD to tear down the image of Baal which his father worshipped, as well as the altar that was before it. Before Gideon could truly walk in that which the living God had called and ordained for him he first needed to tear down, break down, destroy, and crush the altar and image of Baal. What’s more intriguing about this is that the angel of the LORD didn’t instruct Gideon to tear down his image of Baal and his altar of Baal, but rather the image and altar of Baal which belonged to his father. I can’t help but see a profound significance in this reality as during these days and during this generation there is a clarion call whether or not we are going to break away from the sins of our fathers, and from the sins of previous generations. I am absolutely convinced that even during the present crisis and moment we are living in during history we are being confronted with the idols, the images and false gods which our fathers and previous generations have set up and established within this nation, as we are coming face to face with those things we have allowed to remain as idols, images and false gods in our midst. In all reality, I can’t help but hear within my spirit the cry of the Holy Spirit during these days is that we are being brought into a moment where we need to choose whether or not we are going to continue in the sins of our fathers, and whether or not we are going to continue in the sins of previous generations, or whether or not we are going to utterly destroy, cast down, and completely break away from them. For Saul who was anointed as the first king of Israel we find that his command was to utterly destroy Amalek from the face of the earth, as the LORD had a controversy with Amalek from the time the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt and were preparing to make their way unto the mountain of God in the wilderness where He would reveal and manifest Himself in their presence. For Saul it was the command to utterly destroy that which the living God had a controversy with, and for the children of Israel during and after the days of Joshua it was the command to utterly destroy, tear down, break down, and completely break away from the idols, the images, the false gods, the altars, the shrines, and all the idolatrous practices of the inhabitants of the land which were present in the land before them. I would dare say that it’s necessary for us to consider and understand this, for it helps to further illustrate what we find in these particular chapters of the books of First and Second Kings. Consider if you will the words which are written—not only in the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Samuel, but also the second and third chapters of the Old Testament book of Judges:
“Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over His people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Talaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spare Agag, and best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the failings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly. Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, IT repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night. And when Samuel rose early to met Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal. And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD. And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath saith to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? And the LORd sent thee on a journey, and said, Go, and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken that’s the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as intuit and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king” (1 Samuel 15:1-23).
“And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochum, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; and ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a. Snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD…And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so. And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way. And the ange of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will hot henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: that through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not. Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua” (Judges 2:1-6, 10-23).
It is quite clear from the words which are written and found within both of these passages that both the children of Israel, as well as Saul king of Israel were given the chance and opportunity to deal with, confront and handle something that needed to be done in order that they might truly walk in everything the living God had for them. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand concerning this concept of tearing down, breaking down, casting down, destroying, and the like, it’s that what we are doing is actually breaking away from that which has held men and women captive for years. There is not a doubt in my mind that during these days and during this time we are not only being confronted with the sins of our fathers—both in the biological and paternal sense, as well as in a national sense. I am absolutely convinced that during this time we are being forced to deal with and confront head on those things which have been allowed to remain in existence for far too long, and those things which should have been destroyed a long time ago, and yet we deliberately and intentionally chose to allow to remain. Saul was commanded and instructed to utterly destroy Amalek and to leave nothing alive, and yet he spared Agag the king, and the best of the sheep and oxen. The children of Israel were instructed to utterly destroy, break down and tear down all the idols, images, altars, shrines and false gods in the midst of the land, and yet they chose to allow them to remain within the land. As a direct result of the failure to comply and obey the word and command of the LORD, the children of Israel would find themselves being exposed to enemies and adversaries which were round about them. Because the children of Israel chose not to fulfill and carry out that which was commanded them according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through His servant Moses, as well as through Joshua, they would find themselves being at odds with the living God, as His would not only be heavy upon them, but His hand would also be against them. It is important for us to recognize and concierge this, for it brings us face to face with the a tremendous responsibility we have been given during these days and during this time. If there is one thing we must learn and recognize during this time, it’s that we have been given an opportunity to deal with the sins of our fathers. During this time—perhaps more than any other time in our history we are being brought to a complete and utter standstill and halt, and yet the underlying question is simply: What are you going to do with the halt? What are you going to do with the stop? What are you going to do with the pause?
I sit here this morning and I can’t help but get the strong sense that there are countless men and women who are experiencing this pause, this stop and this standstill, and they can’t wait for the reset button to be pushed. There are countless men and women who recognize and understand that they have been brought to a place of complete and utter pause and rest, and yet there are many who are simply waiting for the reset button to be pushed so we can start all over—perhaps even the way we have always done. There is not a doubt in my mind that perhaps one of the biggest lessons we can learn during this time is what we are going to do with the pause, and what we are going to do with the reset. The children of Israel, as well as the land of Israel were brought into a pause moment, and in a time of standstill and stop when not only was the land allowed to lie empty, barren and fallow, but so also were they living as captives in a strange and foreign land. When the northern kingdom of Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians, and when the southern kingdom of Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians there was an incredible period of pause, of rest, and of stop which had taken place as the land was permitted to lie fallow—something it hadn’t done for four-hundred and ninety years. The children of Israel were in captivity for seventy years, which was one year for every sabbath and Shemitah year they hadn’t observed curing their time in the midst of the land. It is important for us to consider and recognize this—particularly and especially during this time—for I believe with everything inside me that we are being brought into a fallow moment when things are lying fallow, and when things are allowed to rest. What if I told you that perhaps one of the biggest realities of this time is the clarion call to pause, the clarion call to rest, and the clarion call to stop? The more I walk through this current crisis we are presently facing, and the more I walk through this process of isolation and self-quarantine, the more I am brought face to face with the absolutely incredible reality that we ourselves might be brought into a “Selah” moment—a moment of pause, a moment of rest, a moment of stop, and even a moment of standstill. If I am being truthful with you who are reading this, I would dare say that we have been long overdue for this type of standstill. I am becoming more and more convinced that it is in this moment of pause, and it’s in this moment of stop and rest that we must resist the urge to reset, and to move quickly beyond and out of this. There are countless men and women who are taking to the streets to protest the isolation and quarantine and social distancing measures and who feel as though they are somehow being violated, and the truth of the matter is that I fear there are a number who are missing the point altogether, and who are trying to quickly move beyond this period of pause and period of stop. In all reality, I would dare say there have been a number of individuals, a number of families, a number of companies, a number of churches, and the like which have been long overdue for this period of rest and pause. What’s more, is that I feel very strongly that it’s in this period of pause and rest where are forced to confront those things which were the root and underlying cause in the first place.
I read these chapters which are written and recorded in the book of First and Second Kings, I can’t help but hear a strong and powerful warning within my heart and spirit concerning the need to tear down, the need to cast down, and the need to destroy that which has been in existence for far too long. The tragedy surrounding the thrones of Israel and Judah was that with each successive king who sat upon the throne there was the decision whether or not they would walk in the sins of the father and in the sins of the previous generation, or whether or not they would break away from them. The interesting reality is that it actually made no difference whether or not it was a king who sat upon the throne of the northern kingdom of Israel that did evil in the sight of the LORD, or a king which sat upon the throne of David in the southern kingdom of Judah, for any king which sat upon the throne would be faced and confronted with this decision. Perhaps the most interesting and intriguing thing about the southern kingdom of Judah is this almost divided sense of loyalty and fidelity in the hearts of many of the kings—with the most notable exception of Josiah who went throughout the southern kingdom of Judah, as well as the northern kingdom of Israel and tore down, broke down, destroyed, cast down, and utterly demolished the sins of the fathers, as well as the sins of past generations. For the southern kingdom of Judah specifically we find that there were those kings who of course did evil in the sight of the LORD, however, what we find concerning a good number of the kings who sat upon the throne of David is that they did what was right in the sight of the LORD. Despite, however, the fact that they would do what was right in the sight of the LORD, they would still need to choose and decide whether or not they would do what was right in the sight of the LORD and tear down the high places and destroy idolatry from the land, or whether or not they would do right in the sight of the LORD and allow the high places to remain. If there is one thing the narrative of the kings of Judah presents us with it’s that it is possible to do that which is right in the sight of the LORD and yet choose to allow high places to remain. The throne of David from the time of Rehoboam on would be this dichotomy between doing what is right in the sight of the LORD and allowing the high places to remain, or doing right in the sight of the LORD and tearing the high places down. In all reality, there was only one king who would do what was right in the sight of the LORD and tear down the high places and destroy the sins of past generations. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if we aren’t being brought into a Josiah moment—a moment of rest, a moment of pause, a moment of selah, and a moment of standstill in order that we might deal with, confront, destroy, tear down and break down that which has led us into sin for years. There is a truly strong and overwhelming sense within my heart that during this time and during these days we are being called into a moment where like Josiah who heard the words of the Law which was given unto Moses and was convicted by it chose to act upon the warnings within those words, we must choose whether or not we will act and respond in kind. We must deliberately and consciously choose whether or not we are willing to confront and deal with sins of past generations, sins of our fathers, sins and those things which quite honestly we have been dealing with for years.
I sit here today and I can’t help but feel as though this time we are in right now is a time when perhaps more than ever we are being forced to take a step back and truly deal with things we have perhaps chosen to ignore for far too long. I can’t help but get the strong sense that this time is forcing men and women into a place of isolation, solitude, seclusion, pause, rest, and a serious standstill within their lives in order that they might be forced to examine themselves and those things in their lives which they have needed to destroy and should have destroyed a long time ago. The high places which were set up in the southern kingdom of Judah should never have been permitted to remain in existence within the land as long as they were, and by the time Josiah came to the scene to destroy, tear them down, break them down, and cast them down it was already too late, and the LORD had already purposed to remove them from the land. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if we haven’t wasted a lot of time—perhaps too much time—allowing things to remain in our nation, in our homes, in our churches, in our marriages, in our lives, and the like, and should have destroyed them years ago. Kings such as Jehoshaphat, Asa, Hezekiah, Uzziah, and others which sat upon the throne of David should have torn down and destroyed the high places which were in the land. Thank God for Josiah who emerged on to the scene like a wrecking ball and would do what previous generations and what previous kings should have done, yet by the time he emerged on to the scene he wouldn’t be able to avert what the living God had already purposed and determined for the land. The question I can’t help but wonder when I look upon this nation is that I do believe we are going to see a mighty and tremendous move of the Spirit of the living God, however, I wonder if it is not one final act of mercy, one final act of compassion, one final act of grace before the time of judgment is truly upon us. Josiah went throughout the entire land and destroyed what should have been destroyed years earlier, and by the time he actually cleansed the land it was too late to avert the judgment which the LORD had purposed. Perhaps what we might understand from this particular narrative is that the actions which Josiah is that his actions didn’t necessary avert the judgment of God, but rather cleansed the land for the rest it was about to enjoy over the next seventy years. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if Josiah’s actions during the days of his reign wasn’t actually getting the land itself ready for a period when it would not only be cleansed, but also when it would lie fallow and would experience the rest it had been without for nearly a half a millennium. As I bring this writing to a close I leave you with the words which describe the actions of Josiah, as his actions are what I believe are the moment and time we have been brought to during these days and during this particular time. In history:
“And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the LROD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the Temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Beth-el. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove. And he brought all the priests out of the cites of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, From Geba to Beer-Sheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city. NEverhtless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleaded bread among their brethren. And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire. And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahab, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth, the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men. Moreover the altar that was at Beth-el, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he brake down, and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder, and burned the grove. And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words. Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Beth-el. And he said, Let him alone; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet that came out of Samaria. And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cites of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the LORD to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Beth-el. And he slew all the priests of the high places that were there upon the altars, and burned men’s bones upon them, and returned to Jerusalem. And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the Passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant. ASurely there was not Holden such a Passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this Passover was Holden to the LORD in Jerusalem. Moreover the workers with familiar spirits, and the wizards ,and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put way, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of His great wrath, wherewith His anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal. And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, my name shall be there” (2 Kings 23:1-27).