Daily Archives: July 3, 2010

Wallpaper, Plumb Lines, and God

Shortly after my wife and I got married, we decided to wallpaper our kitchen. Now, if your marriage can survive a wallpaper project, you can survive almost anything.

We survived…but barely.

The challenge with applying wallpaper to a wall is that it’s much easier to apply crooked than straight. And if it applied crooked, it becomes much more accentuated over time.

After a few attempts at “eyeballing” the straight lines, Kelley and I decided to get a plumb line to ensure our lines were straight.

And that made all the difference.

Plumb lines come in handy with constructing fences, walls, and walks of life.

Please join me as we explore this further.

TODAY’S READING

2 Kings 22:3-25:30
Acts 21:37-23:10
Psalm 1:1-2:12
Proverbs 18:13

INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS

2 Kings 22:3-25:30. To give you a little historical context, the date of today’s reading is around 629/628 B.C. The Book of the Law which motivated King Josiah to action was probably Deuteronomy.

Second Kings 23:25 concludes Josiah’s reign with these words:

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

Josiah’s reign (as well as Manasseh and Amon’s) goes to show us the role our political leaders play in the spiritual climate of a country.

Despite King Jehoahaz’s short reign (3 months), he quickly established himself as an evil king. This was the prophesied beginning of the end for Judah.

You’ll notice King Nebuchadnezzar’s name mentioned. He also plays a prominent role in the book of Daniel. By the end of our reading, Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed.

And so concludes 2 Kings.

Acts 21:37-23:10. Reading Paul share his story once again is almost humorous. His experience with God affected him so deeply that he couldn’t resist any opportunity to share!

The ensuing riot—and beating Paul received—laid the groundwork for Paul to be transported to Rome, at Rome’s expense.

If you’ve found A Daily Bible Conversation helpful, share it with your friends! Forward your daily email or send them a link to the website: http://www.bibleconversation.com.

THE WORD MADE FRESH

Most amazing to me in the account of King Josiah’s renovation of the Temple is the fact that the Book of the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy) was found after being lost for approximately 75 years. Think about it—that’s like going to church without the benefit of having a Bible. Scholars speculate that the evil reigns of Manasseh and Amon caused this.

So why hold the people accountable for obeying God’s commands when they didn’t have a copy of the Book? The New Bible Commentary explains:

It would have been no defense to argue that the book had not been obeyed because it had been lost; the book had become lost in the first place because it had ceased to be important, presumably in the reign of Manasseh.

To my astonishment, Josiah ordered the priests and doorkeepers to remove the articles made for Baal and Asherah from the temple. He also closed down the quarters of the male prostitutes (who played a role in fertility rites), which were also located in the temple.

Until this point, Josiah—who had already begun spiritual reform in Judah and served as king for 18 years—assumed it was normal to include these foreign gods and practices in worship!

The rest of the chapter describes the extent Josiah went to extricate the influences of the foreign gods.

This is why we need the word of God as our plumb line.

Over time, following God without the plumb line of his word results in further and further deviation from the truth.

Interestingly enough, our reading in Psalm 1 reinforces our need for the word of God:

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season

and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.

We’ve engaged in this daily Bible conversation now for about six months. Whether or not you feel it has made a difference in your life, believe me it has. You are growing stronger in your relationship with God and more aware of the plumb line he has set before us.

As alternative lifestyles and values change, I encourage you to continually return to the plumb line to position yourself in your walk with God.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What spoke to you in today’s reading?
  2. Have you gone through seasons when the “Book of the Law” was lost? If so, describe your life.
  3. How has God used the “Book of the Law” to make a difference in your life?
  4. How does knowing that Jesus is the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14) affect your understanding of God’s word?

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www.bibleconversation.com

Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.

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