For the first time ever, I am attempting to read the Bible from beginning to end this year. I might be a little behind, but my goal is to finish by the end of 2019. I am reading the One Year Chronological Bible so at this point, I have read through much of the Old Testament. Many times over the past months I have read about the people constructing and then praising “asherah poles”. To this day I still can’t fully comprehend why people might stand around a carved pole of some material and worship it. It seems kind of silly that they think an object could change their life. Only when I put it into today’s context do I understand that what people put their time and energy into, becomes worship. In my house and in my life I have an asherah pole. No, you will not come to my house and see some crazy sculpture in my yard. But, you will see me sitting in a chair in my house with my phone in my hand. I am not proud to put this out there, but my phone has become my asherah pole. I spend too many minutes looking at it, living through what I see other people doing. Thinking that it is motivating me and giving me ideas. But guess what? I never put those ideas into motion, because I run out of time from spending too much time worshipping my phone. We barely have our TV on anymore, and normally that would be a great thing, but it is only because we have replaced the TV with a phone. How can we truly devote ourselves to serving God when we might be distracted by all that is going on with our phone in our hand?
2 Kings 23 is about King Josiah and his life. Josiah was the King of Judah from approximately 640 to 609 B.C. He is known as one of the world’s youngest kings, beginning his reign at age 8 after his father King Amon died. Josiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 22:2). When he was just 18 years old, Josiah raised money to repair the temple. During the repairs the Book of the Law was found. Josiah tore his clothes as a sign of mourning and repentance after reading all that the book contained.
King Josiah then called for a time of national repentance. Many reforms followed this time. The temple was cleaned from all objects of pagan worship. All idolatrous places and asherah poles were demolished.
The king removed the Asherah pole from the Lord’s Temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. Then he ground the ashes of the pole to dust and threw the dust over the graves of the people. 2 Kings 23:6
He got rid of priests who were leading people astray from the one true God. Josiah moved further out of the city, ridding all areas and land of all pagan shrines and altars.
Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols, an every other kind of detestable practice, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the Lord’s Temple. Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has bever been a king like him since. 2 Kings 23:24 &25
Josiah’s zeal pleased God. God desires us all to have a desire to rid every trace of sin in our life. We have replaced asherah poles with phones, altars with food, and we worship our time more than we worship God.
Josiah was the first and only King to please God and keep continuous devotion to Him. What is it in your life that you may be worshipping a little too much? I challenge you to rid that time consuming thing from your life. See what God can replace it with.