There’s a story in the Bible about an 8 year old boy who becomes King. His name was Josiah. He was a young lad who, “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.” (2 Kings 22:2).
Years later, Josiah gave instructions for there to be a remodel of the temple and upon the remodel, Hilikiah the High Priest, found the Book of the Law. They had lost it. In the temple.
The High Priest…in the temple… finds the Book of the Law.
How is this possible? This is the equivalent of me, as a pastor, telling everyone that I had found the Bible in church.
Question – if the temple, or people, haven’t been living according to the Book of the Law, what were they living according to? Well we don’t have to wonder, the Bible tells us that within the temple walls were vessels made to idols such as Baal and Asherah (2 Kings 23:4).
You read that right, in church, idols had been erected to gods other than the Lord and no one thought twice about it because they did not know it was wrong. Well,upon hearing the Book of the Law read, Josiah, who is 26 at this point, rips his clothes and orders a deep clean of the temple.
The temple, which had been desecrated by demonic, false gods, at the hands of the people, was going to soon be consecrated to the Lord God. From ripping his clothes to crying before the Lord (2 Kings 22:19) God heard Josiah’s cry on behalf of the people.
What we shouldn’t miss, however, is that Josiah did just start new with an apology. He got rid of the mess. He dealt with the demonic statues. He tossed them out. Actually, he had them taken out to a field and burned! (2 Kings 23:4).
Cleaning out isn’t just something to do in our hearts, but something to do in our homes. I’m not talking about spring cleaning, I’m talking about things in our homes that are unholy, things that do not lead us deeper into the life of God. Sometimes the physical, literal act of tossing something out, doesn’t erase what happened, but it does send a signal, “you shall not have me.”
Even things can weigh us down, cause anxiety, and well up memories that hit to the core. It can be healthy to burn some things, to clean house, to declare, “not just my heart, but my home, Oh Lord, is yours.”
I wonder if the Lord is bringing anything to mind in your home right now that needs to be tossed out? A trophy? An alluring magazine? A tempting book? Be not deceived, fellow saint, things can entangle us and lead us in the way of death.
I pray the Spirit would work in your heart that you might be able to “clean house” of anything not of God. For when we do this, once again we disarm the enemy, we say “no” to the world, and we cease being obedient to the flesh.
Luke is Pastor of Discipleship to the community of saints, in Christ, at Nashville UMC.