A Funeral For Normal: Will You Mourn Over What God Has Rejected & Anoint What God Has Refused?

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Second Kings, and not only continues in it, but also concludes it—this Old Testament book that describes the days of the divided nation of Israel into the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Israel. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-two through twenty-five of this Old Testament book. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will not only find another righteous king who sat upon the throne of David in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, but you will find the last and final righteous king that would sit upon that throne before the entire kingdom would be invaded by the Babylonian army. As you read the words which are written and recorded within these chapters you will encounter the narrative of a king who would sit upon the throne of David whose story would be prophesied long before he would even be a thought within his mother’s heart. Perhaps one of the most astounding realities surrounding Josiah is that his narrative and his story was prophesied of generations and centuries before he would even be born. Long before Josiah would reign as king over the nation and kingdom of Judah upon the throne of his father David there would be a prophetic word that would speak directly to his time—and not only his time, but also what he would do during the days of his being upon the earth. I find it absolutely remarkable and astonishing to think about and consider the narrative and life of Josiah, and not only how he was the last and final righteous king in a lineage of men after God’s own heart, but the narrative and story of his life would be presented through a prophetic word that would be released long before he would ever be conceived by his parents. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality, for in order to truly understand the narrative of Josiah it is imperative that we first turn and direct our attention to the prophetic word that was released concerning him. What’s more, is that I would dare say that in order to truly understand the prophetic significance of Josiah and his reign over the southern kingdom of Judah from the throne of his father David in the city of the Great King, it’s not only necessary to consider the prophetic word that was released concerning him, but it is also necessary to think about and consider the prophetic word that was spoken unto Saul through the prophet Samuel, as well as the word which was spoken unto Samuel when he was in the presence of Jesse the Beth-lehemite and each of his sons. Moreover, I am convinced that it is also necessary to think about and consider the words which were written in the books of First and Second Kings concerning the various kings that would sit upon the throne of their father David in the city of Jerusalem. Consider first and foremost the prophetic word that would be released into the earth concerning Josiah—a prophetic word that would be spoken almost at the very beginning of what he would ultimately destroy, cast down and break down during his days:

“And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee. And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which the LORD hath spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, cried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him. The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD. And the king answered and said unto the man of God. Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hands may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. And the king said unto the man of God, Come him with me, and referee thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me have thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place: for so it was charged me by the word of the LORD, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el” (1 Kings 13:1-10).

If you are truly going to understand the narrative that surrounds the life of Josiah the son of Manasseh and the tremendous significance surrounding his reign in the southern kingdom of Judah, it is necessary to first encounter and meet him through the prophetic word which the LORD released concerning him. It would be tremendously easy to think about and consider the words which were written concerning Josiah and to begin with that which is found in the twenty-second chapter of the book of Second Kings, and yet I am convinced that we dare not and ought not begin to understand the narrative of Josiah in the natural, but rather in the prophetic. It would be very easy to seek to understand the narrative of Josiah in the natural and the physical realm, and while his actions did in fact take place in the realm of what we can see, what we can hear, and what we can experience with our senses, what actually took place was something beyond the natural and in the realm of the spiritual, in the realm of the supernatural, and in the realm of the prophetic. IN order for us to understand the nature of the life of Josiah and how absolutely and incredibly significant he would be in the divine plan of God we must first meet him in the prophetic and understand that what he would carry out in the natural was first ordained in the prophetic. The actions which we would read about concerning Josiah king of Israel would not necessarily be in direct response to hearing the words of the law which were read in his ears alone, but it would also be directly linked to the prophetic word that was spoken concerning him. What we must realize is that while it would be the words which he would hear found and contained in the book of the law of Moses which was found in the Temple of the LORD, there would be something much deeper and something much greater that would be at work within his life, and the events that would take place—namely, that he would act prophetically in the midst of his generation. Although Josiah might have believed that his actions were in direct response to what he had heard in the book of the Law of Moses, there was something much greater and something much bigger than he could have even though or imagined. MEET ME IN THE PROPHETIC! The more you read and the more you consider the narrative of Josiah the son of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah and ultimately the son of David, the more you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that his life would be rooted and grounded in the prophetic before it would ever be rooted and grounded in the natural. It’s important that we get and understand this absolutely incredible reality, for it is this reality that will help us to truly understand the narrative and story of Josiah’s life, and the events which took place during the days of his reign.

I can’t help but be captivated by that phrase “Meet me in the prophetic,” for it is that phrase that can ultimately help us to understand the narrative and story of Josiah the last and final righteous king of the southern kingdom of Judah. What makes the prophetic word that was released and spoken concerning his life so absolutely remarkable and so absolutely astounding is when you think about and consider the fact that the prophetic word that would be spoken concerning him would not only foretell of a king that would emerge from the line of David that would carry out and fulfill a prophetic word of the LORD, but the prophetic word would speak pretty much to the end of the southern kingdom of Judah before the days of devastation and destruction would take place. I firmly believe that there is a prophetic significance that surrounded the days of Josiah, and the days in which we are living in now, as there was a prophetic word which was released concerning Josiah that would speak of the days which would ultimately lead to the destruction and devastation of Jerusalem. Josiah’s actions would and could never be considered as contributing to the events surrounding the destruction and devastation of the southern kingdom of Judah, the destruction of the walls and gates of the city of Jerusalem, and even the destruction of the Temple and house of the LORD. What I find to be so absolutely captivating is when you think about and consider the fact that the prophetic word that was released very early on during the days of a divided Israel would be one that would speak concerning the days and time of the end. The words which this man of God that would come forth from Judah had spoken unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat would in fact prophesy concerning one that would emerge within and upon the earth from the line of David that would desecrate the altar which Jeroboam the son of Nebat had set up, and yet those words would be directly linked to the days which would lead up to the ultimate destruction and devastation of the southern kingdom of Judah, as well as the city of Jerusalem. The prophetic word that was released concerning Josiah centuries and generations before he was ever conceived within his mother’s womb would be a word that would speak to the days of the end of the southern kingdom of Judah, and how directly linked to the destruction of the days of Judah would be the altar which Jeroboam son of Nebat had set up in Beth-el. Moreover, it’s quite interesting to think about and consider that much like the nation and kingdom of Israel would itself be fractured and would split into two different kingdoms, so also would the altar which Jeroboam son of Nebat had set up be fractured and split as a prophetic sign to both kingdoms.

If we are to truly understand the narrative of Josiah the son of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, and ultimately the son of David, we must meet him in the prophetic, for it is in the prophetic where we not only see a direct connection to David who was known as a man after God’s own heart, but it is also in the prophetic where we see a direct connection to the altar of idolatry which Jeroboam son of Nebat would set up in Beth-el. It’s important for us to see and recognize this, for the events which Josiah king of Judah would engage in during his generation would extend beyond his present narrative, and beyond what he would think and believe within his heart and spirit. The events which would take place during the days of Josiah king of Judah would not only be intrinsically linked to the words which were written and recorded in the book of the Law of Moses, but they would also be intrinsically linked to the prophetic word that was spoken centuries before he would even come into existence. Moreover, the events of his generation would be directly linked to the lineage of David, for the house of David would be connected to this prophetic word. I do not believe it was any coincidence or happenstance that this man of God who came forth from Judah according to the word of the LORD directly linked and connected the house and line of David to what would take place before and upon this altar, for as I have previously written—I do not believe for a single moment that when the living God sought out a man after His own heart, He was looking for a single man. I firmly believe that when the LORD God of Israel declared unto Saul through the prophet Samuel that he was looking for a man after His own heart, He wasn’t merely looking for one single man who would be after His own heart, but He would be looking for a lineage and line of men who would be after the heart of God. The prophetic word which the prophet Samuel would speak unto Saul would not only speak of a single man who would be after the heart of God, but a man who would be after God’s own heart, and who from that man would emerge a line of men within the earth that would also be after the heart of God. The prophetic word which was released concerning Josiah would indeed and would in fact have direct implications for the future of the southern kingdom of Judah, the throne of David, the Temple of the LORD, and for the city of Jerusalem. The narrative we find surrounding Josiah king of Judah must be understood in context of a word which was spoken long before the man of God would come forth from Judah and prophesy concerning his days and generation, for we must turn and direct our attention back even further to the days of the prophet Samuel. It would be the days of the prophet Samuel that would release a prophetic word that would not only speak to a single man who would be after God’s own heart, but would also speak to a lineage and line of men who would be after God’s own heart. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in the thirteenth chapter of the book of First Samuel, as well as the words which are written in the sixteenth chapter of the same Old Testament book:

“And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the turnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which He commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now they kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee” (1 Samuel 13:8-14).

“And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehmite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? IF Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Beth-lehem. And the elders of town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peacably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesses and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Elian, and said, Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature: because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinidab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORED chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, NEiother hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jess, The LORD hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah” (1 Samuel 16:1-13).

In the thirteenth chapter of the book of First Samuel we find the prophetic word that was released into the earth that the living God was looking for a man after His own heart. In the sixteenth chapter of the same Old Testament book we find the LORD speaking and revealing unto Samuel that he ought not to look on the outward appearance, for the LORD God looks not on the outward appearance, but looks upon the heart. When Saul the first king of Israel was chosen and anointed he was chosen based on his outward appearance and based on his being head and shoulders above all others, and yet when it came to the LORD’s choosing and anointing of this new king, it would not be based on external or outward appearance, but it would be based on the heart that was found within the man. What we must recognize and understand concerning this narrative is that the prophetic word revealed that the LORD would seek after and search out a man after His own heart, and when the time came to anoint that man, the LORD had to correct Samuel’s thinking. THE LORD ANOINTS BASED ON HEART, NOT APPEARANCE! When the time came to anoint the next king of Israel, the prophet Samuel was not to anoint based on external appearance, but was to anoint based on the heart that was found within the one that was to be anointed. Please don’t miss this, for could you imagine what would and could have happened had Samuel not been in alignment with the word of the LORD, and was not a man who heard the voice of the LORD speaking unto him? What would and could have happened had Samuel showed up to Bethlehem with a horn of oil, had seen Jesse’s eldest son, and had anointed him based solely on his appearance. It is quite possible that there might have been a Saul version 2.0 that would have sat upon the throne in the midst of the land, and yet it was the divine grace and mercy of the LORD that prohibited and prevented Samuel from hastily anointing the wrong man based on external appearances. Oh how many times do we anoint men and women based on external and outward appearances, and yet all the while the living God hath refused and rejected them? It’s interesting to note that when the LORD was preparing to anoint that one that would be the next king over Israel—not only had He rejected Saul from being king, but He had also refused Jesse’s eldest son. THE LORD REJECTED AND REFUSED IN ORDER THAT HE MIGHT ANOINT WHAT HE APPROVES! Oh how absolutely and incredibly important it is for us to recognize and understand that which the LORD has rejected, as well as that which the LORD has refused, for only when we truly understand what the LORD has rejected and refused can we truly step into, experience and encounter what the LORD hath chosen. How many times do we allow ourselves to get stuck in that which the LORD hath rejected, and how many times do we allow ourselves to get caught up and stuck in what the LORD hath refused, and the whole time the LORD wants to bring us into what He has chosen?

I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely captivated by the words which are written and recorded in these two passages of Scripture in the book of First Samuel, for in the thirteenth and sixteenth chapter we discover that the LORD rejected Saul from being king, thus indicating the LORD rejected what was in the past. In the sixteenth chapter we find and discover that the living God had refused Jesse’s eldest seven sons, thus refusing that which was in the present and that which could potentially be absolutely dangerous and catastrophic. It’s worth noting that the living God rejected what had previously been chosen, and even what had previously been anointed, and had refused that which was in the presence to prevent and prohibit it from being anointed. This reality is absolutely and utterly necessary for us to pay close attention to, for there are countless times within our lives when we allow ourselves to get caught up in what the LORD has refused and what the LORD has rejected, and in the process of allowing ourselves to get caught up in those realities—even mourning and weeping over what we know the LORD has rejected—and the LORD has had to bring us out of the place in order that He might reveal unto us what He has chosen and what He wants to anoint. It is possible for us to get so caught up in what the LORD hath rejected and what the LORD hath refused, and in the process of doing so we completely and utterly miss out on what the LORD has chosen, and what the LORD wants to anoint within our lives. Samuel could have been trapped on two different fronts, for he could have been trapped in the past and what the LORD hath refused, and he could have been trapped in the present in what the LORD hath refused. Oh it is absolutely necessary that we possess a great level and measure of discernment within our hearts and lives—particularly and during these days and times—for we must understand and recognize that which the LORD has rejected, and that which the LORD has refused in order that we might step into and walk in what the LORD hath anointed and chosen within our lives. There is not a doubt in my mind that during these days and times in which we are living, the Spirit of the living God is calling and seeking to bring us out of our mourning over that which the living God has rejected, as well as that which the living God has refused in order that we might confidently step into that which the LORD hath anointed. I am absolutely and completely convinced that during these days and during this time the Spirit of the LORD is not only revealing and confronting us with what He has rejected—perhaps what He has rejected the whole time—in order that He might bring us into the place where He might anoint what needs to arise and emerge in the midst of our lives, as well as in the midst of the land. There is a a fundamental need for us to come face to face with that which the Spirit of the living God hath rejected during these days, for only when we come face to face with what the Spirit of the LORD hath rejected can we then encounter and come face to face with that which the Spirit of the LORD wants to anoint and bring us into.

I believe there is a strong temptation during these days to continue mourning over what the LORD has rejected in our lives, within our churches, within our homes, within our families, and even within our culture, our society and our nation. There are a number of men and women who are mourning over what once was and what the LORD hath rejected, and the LORD is speaking unto us during these days to cease from our weeping, to cease from our mourning, and to cease from our anguish over what once was, and what the LORD hath rejected by, through and in His sovereignty. I would dare say that what we are presently experiencing and what we are presently walking through is a powerful demonstration of the LORD rejecting what once was, and what we perhaps even though was normal in order that He might bring us into something entirely and altogether new—something which He Himself has anointed and chosen for Himself. Oh we might be tempted to fear what once was, and that if we step into, anoint, and walk in that which the living God is going to do and wants to do, that which has been rejected might come for us to kill and destroy us. During these days and during these times the single greatest message the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD can speak to us is that we cease our mourning, we cease our weeping, and we cease our crying over that which once was, and that which was and has been rejected by the living God. There are countless men and women who are in a tremendous place of sorrow, despair, depression, anguish, weeping and mourning because the LORD has rejected what once was—perhaps that which they valued and coveted within their hearts and lives. There are men and women who have watched as the LORD has rejected that which was considered normal in our culture and society, and there are men and women who are mourning and weeping over this as it has been rejected by the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD. Perhaps the single greatest question we must ask ourselves during this time is what has the LORD rejected within our lives? What have we been weeping and mourning over is actually that which the Spirit of the LORD has rejected within our lives, within our marriages, within our homes, and within our families? I am convinced that there is a great and tremendous need within our hearts and lives to discern that which the LORD has rejected during these days, and that we would allow ourselves to move on from that which the LORD hath rejected in order that we might step and enter into that which He desires to bring us into. It is only when we transition and move ourselves from the place of weeping and mourning over what the LORD has rejected in order that we might begin to walk in the path of that which the LORD hath chosen and anointed in His sovereignty, in His wisdom, and in His providence. It is only when we reach the point and place where we cease mourning over that which the Sovereign LORD hath rejected within this culture, within this society, and within this nation that we are truly able to begin walking into that which the living God hath chosen and anointed to lead and take us into the next phase of our lives.

With that being said, it’s interesting to note that not only was Samuel instructed to cease weeping over that which the living God had rejected, but Samuel was also informed that the LORD had refused the seven eldest of Jesse’s sons. This is absolutely and incredibly important during these times, for while we are transitioning from what the LORD hath rejected, we must guard ourselves against the temptation to allowing ourselves to walk in, to choose, and to anoint that which the LORD had refused. I am convinced there is not only a temptation to get stuck in and mourn over that which the living God hath rejected, but there is also a great need for discernment within our hearts and lives as we prepare to understand that which the LORD has refused. There is a temptation to transition and move ourselves from what the LORD hath rejected and into that which the living God hath refused, and such an action would and could have dire consequences and implications. It is absolutely necessary that we guard ourselves from the temptation to transition from what has been rejected to what is being refused, for only when we are able to transition from what has been rejected, and move past what has been refused can we truly enter into that which has been anointed and chosen by the Spirit of the Sovereign LORD. Within this passage of Scripture we encounter three distinct realities—namely, the reality of what the LORD had rejected, the reality of what the LORD had refused, and the reality of what the LORD chosen. The absolute and only way we can truly step and enter into that which the living God has chosen and to experience His anointing upon that which He has chosen is if we move past that which He has rejected, and if we resist the temptation to step and enter into what He has refused. One of the greatest dangers during these times is to accept that which the living God has rejected, and yet settle for what God has refused thinking it’s what God has chosen. Oh, Samuel could have done a great disservice to the nation of Israel, and to the people of God if he did not hear from the Spirit of the living God during those days and during those times, for he could have allowed himself to anoint that which the living and eternal God had refused. The same temptation faces us during these days, as while we are moving on from that which the living God has rejected, we are presented with different options for what we think the LORD has chosen, and yet they have actually been refused by the LORD. In Samuel’s process of moving past and moving from that which the LORD had rejected, he came face to face with what the LORD had refused in order that he might ultimately be brought to the place where he would encounter what the LORD had chosen for Himself. It was only after Samuel had seen and come face to face with everything the LORD had refused that he would come face to face with what the LORD had chosen in order that He might anoint what the LORD had chosen for Himself and for His name. Oh, please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this absolutely tremendous reality, for it has direct implications and applications to our generation and to the times in which we are presently living.

There is a strong and powerful temptation to move on from what the LORD has rejected and refused, and even to have a funeral for what He has rejected, and yet in the process of moving on from what He has rejected we allow ourselves to get caught up in pursuing what He has refused. I am convinced that it is not enough to simply move beyond what the LORD hath rejected from the past, but we must also discern that which the LORD has refused and to allow ourselves not to get caught up in it. During these times we are coming face to face with that which the living God hath refused, and those things which we perceived as “normal” the whole time, and yet we are learning and discovering that they have been rejected and refused by the living God. What if the living God has rejected professional sports? What if the living God has rejected bars? What if the living God has rejected bowling alleys? What if the living God has rejected pool halls? What if the living God has rejected shopping malls? What if the living God has rejected movie theaters? What if the living God has rejected stadiums, arenas, and the like? What if the living God has rejected all those things which we perceived as being normal, and those things which we thought absolutely nothing of? What if the living God is rejecting that which we not only though was normal, but also what we thought was essential, and He did so in order that He might bring us into that which He has called, chosen and ordained for us? What if this virus is being used to shut down all those things we deemed as necessary, normal and essential in order that we might encounter the reality of what the LORD hath rejected? What if most—if not all—of those things which have been shut down and closed the living God has rejected? I am about to step out on a limb here, but what if there are many churches that have been scattered within and throughout this nation which the LORD hath rejected and refused? What if there are ministries and originations which the living God hath refused during these days and during these times? What if there are churches, ministries, organizations and the like which we have thought and perceived as having been essential and necessary, and yet the living God has rejected it? Despite the fact that at one point in time they might very well have been chosen and anointed by the LORD, they have morphed and transformed into something the LORD has rejected with every fiber of His being? Oh, I would dare say there are churches right now that should be thankful and grateful their doors have been shut because the LORD has rejected the way they have been moving and running in order that He might bring them into what He has ordained and chosen in order that His anointing might be upon it.

As the nations of the earth slowly emerge from this lockdown, and as economies begin to open up again, and even as churches begin to open up again, there is going to be the tendency to want to anoint that which we perceive as having been chosen by the living God. There is going to be the temptation—and in all reality there already is the temptation—to anoint that which is before us during these days as we think and believe it has been chosen by the living God. Oh, it is so absolutely necessary that in our process of moving on from that which the living God hath rejected that we recognize and understand what He has chosen. We dare not, we cannot, we must anoint that which the LORD has refused, for to do so would be a complete and utter detriment to what the LORD wants to accomplish? There is a great temptation during these days to get caught up and stuck in that which the LORD has refused, and even to anoint that which He has refused, and in so doing we miss out on what the LORD has truly and indeed chosen. During these days and during these times there is a great need to not only recognize and understand what the LORD has refused, but also to understand what the LORD has chosen. It’s not enough to simply know what the LORD hath refused, for we must also understand that which the living God has chosen. In our pursuit to try and come out on the other side of this crisis there will be a strong and powerful temptation—perhaps multiple temptations across multiple fronts—to settle for that which the living God hath refused, and yet to do so would be to miss out on what the LORD desires to bring us into. Oh that we would rise up during these days and not only move on from that which the living God hath rejected, but also that we might move beyond that which the LORD hath refused. There is a tremendous danger when we attempt to move on from what the LORD hath rejected and to enter and step into that which the LORD hath refused, for in so doing we might very well position ourselves to be in an even greater danger than we were before. It is of the utmost importance during these times that we truly recognize and understand that which the LORD has chosen for us, for it only when we understand what the LORD has chosen in direct proportion to what the LORD has rejected that we are able to step into the anointing of the LORD. It’s interesting to note that Samuel had the horn of oil the whole time, and at any point in time he could have poured that oil on one of Jesse’s other sons, and yet had he poured the anointing oil on any of Jesse’s other sons, he would have anointed that which the LORD had refused. It is absolutely necessary that we understand that the path from what the LORD has rejected to what the LORD hath chosen will always lead through the temptation of what the LORD hath refused, and we can and will be tempted to remain in that place of what the LORD hath refused. It is possible that in our attempt to move on from what the LORD had rejected to what the LORD hath chosen, we allow ourselves to get caught up in what the LORD hath rejected and what the LORD has in fact neither chosen, nor ordained and appointed for and unto Himself.

It is absolutely and incredibly easy to in the process of moving on from what the living God hath rejected to set up and establish something He has refused, and not only set up something He hath refused, but also to anoint something He has refused. One of the greatest dangers and challenges we face during these days is to move on from what the LORD has rejected, and to even recognize that the LORD has rejected it, and yet we allow ourselves to get caught up and consumed in what the LORD has refused. There is a tremendous danger during these days to get hung up in looking on externals and on what is before our natural eyes that we allow ourselves to set up that which the LORD has refused. In our attempt to move on from what the LORD has rejected during these days, and in order for us to somehow move past what was once perceived as essential, as necessary and as normal, and in an attempt to somehow set up and establish a new normal, we allow our eyes to get fixated on that which the LORD hath refused, and we think and believe that we can anoint what the LORD hath refused. What’s more, is that we can be so caught up in wanting to move past what the LORD has rejected that we have absolutely zero discernment concerning what the LORD hath refused, and we allow ourselves to step into and set up that which the LORD hath refused in His wisdom, in His knowledge and understanding. Lest you think and consider that I am somehow off hinge and off kilter with these words, I would like to invite you into the words which we find in the seventh chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah concerning that which the LORD hath rejected—namely, the house of Shiloh. Moreover, I invite you to consider what it looks like when and as the world mourns over what was once considered essential, what was once considered normal, and what was once considered necessary. This particular reality is found within the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ concerning Babylon the Great. Consider if you will each of these passages as you will not only encounter the LORD’s rejecting of what once was, but you will also encounter the world mourning over what was once considered essential, what was once considered normal, and what was once considered necessary:

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at the gates to worship the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The Temple of the LORD, The Temple of the LORD, The Temple of the LORD, are these. For it throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; if ye appress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their drought, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. Do they provoke me to anger? Saith the LORD: Do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? Therefore thus saith the LORD God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched” (Jeremiah 7:1-20).

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen is fallen, and is become the habit ion of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she reward you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the LORD God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: the merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ALS, alas, that great city, that was clothed in find linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, Wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angels took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee. And no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; and the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorcerers were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth” (Revelation 18:1-24).

Both of these passages bring us face to face with the absolutely remarkable and astounding reality that it is possible for the LORD to reject that which He once chose, and that which He even at one point in time consecrated, sanctified and anointed. What’s more, is that the passage in the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ brings us face to face with the tremendous and astounding reality that the world can indeed look on, weep and mourn over what was once considered beautiful, what was once considered essential, what was once considered normal, what was once considered necessary, and in one hour everything can change. It’s absolutely remarkable to think about the fact that in literally a month and a half the entire landscape of the world has been changed and transformed, and yet in the eighteenth chapter of the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ we come face to face with the entire world weeping and mourning over what once was. I can’t help but read the words which are found within this narrative in the eighteenth chapter and consider the tremendous distress, the tremendous amount of sorrow, and even the tremendous amount of anger, bitterness, frustration, resentment, and the like which have been exhibited over the complete and utter shutdown of cities, states, and nations within and throughout the world. There is this cataclysmic resistance to the call to move from what the living God has rejected, and men and women can’t handle needing to let go of what the LORD hath rejected. During these current days and times we are in fact coming face to face with the reality that the living God has rejected what was once considered normal, essential, and necessary, and is now calling us into something new which was chosen by the living God. I continue to hear with my heart and spirit that during these days we have a great need to be men and women of discernment, men and women of strength and fortitude, and men and women of wisdom and knowledge to truly recognize and understand—not only what the LORD hath rejected, but also what the LORD has refused. The more I think about Samuel’s assignment in Bethlehem, the more I can’t help but hear within my spirit that we are being called into Bethlehem ourselves during this time, and in the process of coming to Bethlehem we are not only called to move past what the LORD has rejected, but we are also called to say no to what the LORD has refused. We must not only recognize and understand what the LORD has rejected within and from the past, but we must also move on from what the LORD has refused—both in the presence, as well as potentially in the future. One of the last things we want to do is to anoint something, step into something, and enter into something the LORD has not only refused, but also which the LORD has not chosen for and unto Himself. There is a great and powerful call and cry within the spiritual realm at this time and during these days for us to quit and cease our mourning over what once was and what the LORD has rejected, as well as to move past and to say no to what the LORD has refused. We dare not, we cannot and must not step into, enter into, and even anoint that which the LORD has refused simply because of external appearances based on what looks appealing, what looks good, what is pleasing to the eye, and what appeals to our senses. We invite ourselves to walk into and through a dark and dangerous time period when we anoint that which the LORD has refused because we chose to ignore His voice and His instruction.

With that being said, it is absolutely necessary and important for us to consider the narrative and life of Josiah and to see in Josiah a powerful picture and glimpse of what was manifested in small pieces and portions within and during the days of the kings which reigned upon the throne of David in the southern kingdom of Judah. There were kings who did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and who walked in the ways of David their father, and there were kings who would even dare confront the idolatry, the iniquity and immorality during their days and generation. If you look back over the days and generations of the kings which would sit upon the throne of David in the midst of the land you will find that there were a number of kings which did what was right in the sight of the LORD, however, most of those kings refused to deal with and confront the idols and idolatry that was present in the land. There were kings that would do what was right in the sight of the LORD, and yet they would be unwilling to actually undertake the assignment and responsibility of confronting the sin that was present in the nation. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that as a man the king which sat upon the throne of David could do what was right in the sight of the LORD, but as a king they could also choose not to directly deal with the sin, the iniquity, the idolatry and immorality that confronted and polluted the land. As you study the narrative of the kings which sat upon the throne of David you will find that there were men who did what was right in the sight of the living God, but there were kings who would choose not to address the idolatry and wickedness that was so pervasive in the midst of the land. There would be a glimpse of this willingness to confront the idolatry and wickedness within the land during the days of Asa, for Asa would himself confront the idolatry that was in the land, yet only to a certain degree and measure. It wouldn’t be until Hezekiah king of Judah where idolatry would truly be confronted, and when the immorality and iniquity of a nation would be destroyed, cast down and broken. Through Hezekiah we see a powerful picture of a man who would do right in the sight of the LORD and who would be a man after God’s own heart, as well as a king that would lead the people in purity, obedience, faithfulness, obedience and trust in the living God. Concerning Hezekiah we encounter and come face to face with the reality of a man who would do what was right in the sight of the LORD, and who would walk in the ways of David his father, and who would be a picture of what the LORD desired to establish within and through the lineage and house of David.

While it is in fact true that we see in Hezekiah a powerful picture of a man who did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and a man whose heart was perfect toward the LORD all of his days, we also see this reality manifested in the life of Josiah the king of Judah. It would be two generations after Hezekiah when another king would emerge on to the scene—one whose days and narrative would have prophetic implications, and one who’s narrative would be directly in line with what the LORD had spoken generations and centuries earlier. It would be during the days of Josiah king of Judah that a prophetic word which was released generations earlier would find its fulfillment, and it would be during the days of Josiah when we would see a further manifestation and picture of a man who would do what was right in the sight of the LORD, and of a man who would walk in the ways of David his father. What we learn about Josiah is not only that he would walk in the prophetic calling and destiny that was spoken over his life, and not only that he would walk in the ways of David his father, but also that he would respond to the words which were found in the book of the Law of Moses. The narrative that surrounds the life of Josiah is one that is steeped in prophetic significance, as Josiah would not only respond to the words which he heard from the book of the Law of Moses, but also the prophetic word that was spoken centuries and generations earlier. When thinking about and considering the narrative of Josiah who would be the final righteous king who sat upon the throne of David, it’s important to recognize that he would not only be another king that would do right in the sight of the living God, but he would also directly confront the idolatry, the iniquity and the immorality which took place during his generation. Josiah wouldn’t merely do that which right in the sight of the LORD, but he would in all reality launch a personal campaign within and throughout the land to completely and utterly cleanse the land—not only the southern kingdom of Judah, but also the northern kingdom of Israel. Josiah would fulfill the prophetic word that was spoken concerning his life—a prophetic word that would be spoken at the very beginning of the divided kingdom of Israel, and which would speak to the days leading up to judgment. If there is one thing we must learn concerning the actions of Josiah, it’s that although he would indeed launch a personal campaign for cleansing, for holiness, for purity and for obedience in the midst of the land, his actions would not prevent the judgment of the LORD. Josiah would indeed call that generation back to the LORD God of Israel, however, his actions would not avert and prevent the judgment of the LORD. Through Josiah I am convinced that we are witnessing and beholding a powerful picture of a final cleansing that can and will take place in the days and generation leading up to the final judgment of the LORD. There is not a doubt in my mind that Josiah king of Judah would indeed be a man after God’s own heart, and one who would bring about a complete and thorough cleansing in the midst of the land, and yet Josiah would also call the nation back to the heart of God through the celebration of Passover—an act which would be done during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah as well. If we are to truly understand the days and times of Josiah king of Judah, it is absolutely necessary that we not only recognize it in terms of the cleansing he would bring to the land, but also the national call to worship of the living God through the celebration of the Passover.

REPAIRING THE HOUSE! HEARING THE WORD OF THE LORD! REPENTING BEFORE THE LORD IN HUMILITY AND TENDERNESS! CLEANSING THE LAND THROUGH CONFRONTING IDOLATRY AND IMMORALITY! CALLING THE NATION BACK TO THE HEART OF WORSHIP BEFORE AND IN THE SIGHT OF THE LIVING GOD. If there is one thing that so amazes me about the narrative of Josiah, it’s that even though he would launch a powerful campaign for holiness, righteousness, obedience and faithfulness in the land, and even though he would bring about a cleansing of the land from all its idolatry and iniquity, it would not be enough to avert the judgment of the living God. In fact, if you consider the words which Huldah the prophetess spoke unto those whom Josiah sent unto her you will find some incredibly powerful words spoken by her according to the word of the LORD. As you read the words which this prophetess of the LORD spoke unto those whom Josiah had sent unto her you will find that she would indeed acknowledge the condition of Josiah’s heart to the words which he heard written in the book of the law, and yet even with the turning of his heart to the LORD, and even with his responding to the words which were written in the book of the Law with humility, with sincerity, with tenderness, with repentance, and with brokenness, the LORD’s judgment would still not be averted. The sins of his fathers, and the sins of his own father were too gross before and against the living God that He would not and could not overlook and not judge the nation and people for them. This is absolutely necessary and imperative for our understanding of the life of Josiah—and not only for the life of Josiah, but also for our own generation, for I am convinced that this nation is being brought into a Josiah moment. There is not a doubt in my mind that the narrative of Josiah represents a powerful renewal, a powerful awakening, a powerful turning to the LORD in the final days leading up to the judgment, and although these actions would and could not avert nor prevent the judgment of the LORD, they would touch an entire generation—even an entire nation—during days and times of tremendous renewal. There is not a doubt in my mind that the prophetic word which the man of God which came forth from Judah and prophesied against the altar, and which prophesied concerning Josiah king of Israel born of the line of David was a word that would speak concerning the days of the end of the southern kingdom of Judah—the days which would ultimately and inevitably lead to judgment, devastation and destruction. Consider if you will the words which the prophetess Huldah spoke unto those whom Josiah had sent unto her during those days beginning to read with the fifteenth verse of the twenty-second chapter:

“And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a decoration and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy gave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again” (2 Kings 22:15-20).

What I find to be so absolutely astonishing and remarkable concerning the words which the prophetess Huldah spoke unto Josiah the king of Judah during these days is that his response to the words which he heard in the book of the Law of Moses would not prevent the judgment which the LORD had purposed concerning Jerusalem and the land of Judah, however, it would delay it for that generation. I can’t help but get the strong sense that we are being brought to a place and a moment during these days and during this crisis when the LORD desires to restore and highlight His holy Word, and desires to bring men and women face to face with the word of the LORD, and how we choose to respond to the words which we hear can and will determine the timeframe of the judgment of the LORD. There is absolutely no mistaking the reality that the living God is going to bring judgment upon this nation, and is going to bring judgment upon the whole earth, for Scripture—and specifically the prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ—reveals it to be true. With that being said, I feel compelled to declare to you who are reading the words which are written and found within this passage and which read the narrative of Josiah king of Judah that how we respond to the words which we hear from the Word of God and from the book of the Law can and will determine when the judgment of the LORD can and will fall and when it will be manifested in the midst of this nation and in the midst of the earth. What we must recognize and understand is that it is impossible to prevent the judgment of the LORD upon this nation and upon the inhabitants of the earth, but it is possible to delay the judgment—at least for a generation. Josiah’s response to the words which he heard written in the book of the law of Moses would not prevent the judgment of the LORD from coming upon the land, for the LORD would in fact still bring His judgment upon the land. What Josiah’s actions would in fact do was delay the judgment of the LORD during his days and during the time of that generation. Josiah would respond to the words which he heard written in the book of the law by rending his clothes, by humbling himself, and by turning his heart to the living God. Josiah would engage in a powerful campaign for holiness, and yet before he would do that he would go up to the house of the LORD with all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. Josiah would bring all the men of Judah, and al 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. Moreover, Josiah 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 the covenant which were written in the book which was found in the house of the LORD. It would be from this place of covenant that Josiah would the launch into a powerful sense of cleansing in the midst of the land—and not only cleansing the land, but also calling the people to return to the LORD through worship, and through celebrating the Passover. In fact, Scripture would make it perfectly and abundantly clear that there would not be a Passover that was celebrated from the days of the judges which judges Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor in the days of the kings of Judah.

As I bring this writing to a close, I can’t help but encounter and come face to face with the absolutely astounding reality that we are being brought into a moment similar to that of Josiah, and that during these days and times when the doors and pews of our churches are closed, there are countless churches which have switched to an online and virtual format. The question I can’t help but wondering and consider is whether or not it is possible during these days and during this time for the Spirit of the LORD to engage people in this virtual realm and in the virtual world of online as He draws men and women to a particular YouTube channel on their Smart TV, or draws their attention to some Facebook Live broadcast on their smartphone or tablet, or even calls and draws their attention to the website of some church that is truly preaching the gospel of Jesus the Christ during these days, and in the process of this speaks to their heart and draws them unto Himself. It’s interesting and worth noting that the words which Josiah heard were not words of prosperity, words of blessing, words which tickled the senses, and words which made one feel good, but rather the words which Josiah heard were undoubtedly the words which are written and recorded in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy concerning the curses which the LORD would release against the land and against His people if they turned their hearts and their backs on Him, and if they walked in and followed the practices of the nations and peoples round about them in the earth. It’s imperative that we recognize and hear this, for I am convinced that this is not a time when men and even women of God need to be coddling men and women and catering to their emotions. I do not believe that this is a time when we need to speak concerning “your best life now,” for how can you preach concerning “your best life now” during a time such as this when many have lost their jobs, many are struggling to pay their bills and rent. How can you preach concerning “your best life now” when a silent enemy and adversary is infecting countless thousands and millions of people, and has killed more within this nation than the whole Vietnam War? IN all reality, I am convinced that during these days and during these times it is absolutely necessary for us to encounter and come face to face with the LORD’s words which are written and recorded in the book of the Law, and that we would encounter His call to repentance and His call to humility. If there has ever been a time not to play games with the Word of God and not to preach messages that coddle and cater to the hearts and minds of men and women, it’s now. It is my prayer that during these days we come face to face with the God of the Word and the Word of God, and that in direct response to it we would be brought into a place and moment of decision—and not only a place of decision, but also a place of covenant, a place of worship, and a place of turning our hearts completely and totally to the LORD. It is my prayer that what was spoken of Josiah would be spoken concerning countless within this generation—perhaps even those who previously had not turned their hearts, nor their attention, nor their gaze, nor their affections unto the LORD. I leave you with the words which were written concerning Josiah king of Judah beginning to read with and from the twenty-first verse of the twenty-third chapter:

“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. Surely 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 so nations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, 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” (2 Kings 23:21-25).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s