When A Revelation Leads To A Reformation

For those of you looking for a piece on Martin Luther and the last book in the Bible, this is not that kind of article.

2 Chronicles 34 outlines an impressive chapter in the life of the nation of Judah. The new king Josiah lives up to the standard of David, one of the few kings to live up to it. It started well at an early age and stage after stage he continued to pursue God wholeheartedly.

One of the most impressive aspects of his reign was what happened when the book was revealed to him. The book read and the findings lead to him renewing an even greater zeal of national reformation to bring God’s people back to proper wholehearted devotion to God as He instructed.

While I don’t dismiss out of hand the possibility of a national fervour for the things of God, something of great importance for the church of the Living God is to realise from time to time, how we need to have the Word revealed to us again to make the necessary changes. Oh for the heart like Josiah to get rid of all the competing gods so as to establish the worship of the one true God as supreme over all.

2 Chronicles 34 – It’s a chapter worth considering …

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Talk About A Reformation

My mentor mentioned the fact that this coming October would see the 500th anniversary of a significant moment in the Christian religion.

For the first 18 years of my life, despite being brought up in a church environment, I had absolutely no idea what the Reformation was about. It was never talked about in any great detail in the church circles I navigated. It was only in leaving my home to go to university that my exposure to the wider Christian world got me in contact with this rather pivotal time in the faith.

I am certainly not defining myself as an expert on the subject, but I do find it intriguing especially the repercussions it had for studying scripture, considering salvation, being church and the numerous divisions that came from that moment.

Considering different elements of the Reformation got me thinking about whether one is needed in this day and age. While many go looking for revival, which in itself can be a commentary on Christian culture in that area, the matter of reformation is not always considered, yet that’s a pity because it might just be as useful a conversation to live out.

Of course, then there’s the question of what I mean by a reformation now and what it would look like. Thinking about those things in the light of a project I might have mentioned and some very exciting developments taking place in my life, makes the question all the more relevant.

All that to say, don’t be surprised if talk about a reformation crops up again on this blog. Meanwhile have a think yourself about the issue.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

The Kings II 23 – Covenant Commitment 

The degree to which Josiah committed himself to the word that he heard was incredible. Remarkable to the extent that he stood out among the kings of Israel and Judah.

What’s of great interest is that Josiah was already a godly king before he heard the book of the covenant read to him. He had already sought to do what was pleasing to God. Yet now in the light of the Word of God, there was a zeal to be about making the necessary changes in the kingdom. Those changes said a lot about the extent to which idolatry was ingrained in the life of the nation. Not only is there a wide range of idols mentioned, but the history of them – idols from Manasseh, Ahaz and going as far back as Jeroboam and even Solomon the last king of the United Tribes of Israel. It is as if no matter how much the likes of Jehoshaphat and Hezekiah had lived for the Lord the people always looked to keep on keeping on with their desire to follow their neighbours.

Josiah’s passion for God was evident in this expression of covenant commitment. Demolishing, destroying, defiling and denouncing anything detestable to God. Such is the thorough manner with which he cleans the country of ungodly worship, no stone is left unturned. Every aspect of worship life is scrutinised to see if it fits with what God requires.

It’s not just the elimination of the ungodly, but the celebration of the godly that marks the reign of Josiah. Here is a man who sets up the celebration of the Passover to be memorable establishing for the people what it means to be recipients of the amazing mercies of God that delivered them from slavery.

All of this reformation and devotion to God is all the more remarkable when it transpires that even this degree of repentance does not avert the judgment of God on Judah. Not only that but the reign of Josiah is the last of a godly king in Judah before the judgment. After him the kings that follow revert to evil.

That does not in the larger picture make Josiah’s efforts worthless. Josiah’s zeal for the Lord would be a template that the next King of the Jews would also express. A passion for God that is to be desired and expressed by all those who have been delivered from slavery to sin and are recipients of the Words of Life.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden