Cleaning House

Judah’s King Josiah ordered the Temple, long neglected and run-down, to be repaired.  In the process, the High Priest Hilkiah found the Book of the Law, also badly neglected and ignored.  Scribe Shaphan read from the book aloud to the king.  “When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. . . . “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the Lord that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us. ”  (2 Kings 22:11,13)

Josiah was anguished, having become suddenly aware of the personal and corporate sin that had become so routine in Judah.  In response, he instituted repentant, thorough cleansing of the means and implements of blasphemous worship from the land.

Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. . . .

He broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with human bones.

Furthermore, the altar that was at Bethel and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah.”                         2 Kings 23:4, 14, 15

Kirk Cameron’s character Caleb in the movie Fireproof dealt with his enslavement to online pornography in a radical way, smashing his computer.  (see 2 min. video)  In my own battle, I have chosen to subscribe to the filtering and accountability services of Covenant Eyes (Covenant Eyes.com).  All internet sites I visit get evaluated as to harmfulness, and a report is sent to the accountability partners I choose.  I talk with these men regularly.  I have made at least four mail or phone contacts with publishers of Victoria’s Secret catalogs and of Sports Illustrated to stop these from coming unsolicited to my house.  Some people avoid certain social situations in which they fear they might be tempted to yearn for more things, wealth, influence, or prestige.  Many wisely avoid shopping as recreation.  A pastor I know chose to quit playing on their church softball team, because, in his competitiveness, he found himself inadvertently offending his opponents.

Sometimes our repentance and hate for sin must be followed up with radical cleansing, including destroying the easy pathways back to those destructive habits.  (see blog Burn Your Bridges to Sin)

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.                2 Timothy 2:21

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.                                2 Corinthians 7:1

 

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