Happy are those who do not follow
the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is
in the law of the Lord,
and on that law they
meditate day and night.
(adapted from Psalm 1:1-2)
2 Kings 22:3-23:30
Eighteen years into Josiah's reign, he sent auditors to oversee the funds collected from the people and directed that the money be spent repairing the temple. In examining the temple, they found the book of the law. As I read this, I had two thoughts. First, I wondered if the US would ever get around to repairing the bridges. Second, why had I not noticed that they didn't have a Bible to look at all this time. I'm adding a third--what does it take for us to notice that we haven't been looking at a Bible for a long, long time. Now, a fourth thought, shouldn't we figure out how to fund the necessary repair to our infrastructure? Wouldn't that fit into caring for others?
Back to Josiah. He realized that Judah had been ignoring the will of the Lord for a long time; so much, that they deserved the troubles they had had. They consulted the prophetess Huldah who warned them that they had provoked the anger of the Lord, but that because Josiah had been penitent, disaster would not be immediate.
Josiah directed a public reading of the law then directed that the law be carried out. The temple was cleared of the inappropriate (and some really inappropriate things were going on in there.) He also directed that the alternative worship sites be destroyed.
They kept passover for the first time since the days of the judges.
God had warned them against having a king. Let us consider who is in charge of our lives, our decisions.
Christians today consider themselves as being in a quite different religion from Jews. This speech of Paul reminds us that he didn't think that way.
Imagine living in an arid land. Little rain. Little vegetation. Imagine what a tree would signify.
This first psalm, the opening of this wisdom book, has at its center the image of trees. Fruitful--their leaves do not wither, in all they do they prosper.
A tree in an arid land can prosper only if it is planted near a water source.
The teaching of the Lord provides what is necessary for us to grow, to prosper, to bear fruit. Ignoring that teaching is what the wicked do, the ones who become like chaff, driven by the wind.
The wealth of the rich is their strong city;
in their imagination it is like a high wall.
Before destruction one's heart is haughty,
but humility goes before honor.
Prayer for Today: O Lord, give us the courage to tell of your deeds, your care, your will for us. Remind us of your teaching and help us to follow your will. Amen.