Cleaning out the junk in your room or house is such a mix of emotions. On the one hand, you hate letting things go that at one time had some value to you. On the other, it feels so good to clean out and have a fresh start.
There was a king named Josiah who cleaned house for God and the whole nation once. He decided to follow God after generations had ignored Him. The priests were ordered to clean up the temple, and they discovered a book that no one had ever seen before. It was the Bible. Yep, that’s right, no one had seen it or heard of it. THAT’S how far off the track the “children of God” had gotten. Once they started reading it, and understanding what God wanted, they panicked. Josiah decided to really clean things up, and went on a rampage. You can read all about it in 2 Kings 22 and 23. It’s pretty fascinating.
The amount of junk that was in the temple, that was used to worship fake gods, is appalling. I was amazed as I read everything that the kings had put in this holy house of God. It was almost incomprehensible that they could get so far offtrack that they would cram that much trash into such a sacred building. I mean, after all, this is where God was supposed to meet with the people. But they turned it into a religious storage barn, cramming in it stuff to worship any god that they happened to hear about.
So, Josiah comes along and cleans house. He has to tear down monuments his father, grandfather, great grandfather, and more had built. He had to destroy places where people worshiped everyday. He had to destroy people’s misplaced hopes and dreams, and places they found comfort in. It was all fake religion, and he had to destroy it. So, he did. Piece by piece, angry person by hurt person, he dismantled the mess that had been made, and returned things to a state of purity and focus. It cost him greatly, but the reward was even greater.
I fully realize that you and I are not king of a country. We don’t have to clean out a temple. Or do we? Scriptures tell us that we are now the temple of the Lord. He doesn’t live in a building anymore, He lives within each of us who follow Him. So, what junk is in the temple that needs thrown out? How are you and I worshipping false gods of hopelessness, and messing up the relationship we have with God? What habits do we run to for comfort that are not centered on God? What images/videos/movies/websites/books/TV shows/etc. are we setting up to focus on that lead us, step by step, piece by piece away from God? What god of power/money/authority/control have we set up a pole to bow down before and worship? Which people in your life have become a little-g god to you? What needs cleaned out in the temple today?
Yes, it may cost you. Almost certainly, someone won’t like it. It will take focus and effort. We will have to replace what we remove with the right things of prayer, Bible study, community, service, worship, etc. You can’t just toss out the bad and leave the room empty. You have to refill the space with what was supposed to be there to begin with.
So, seriously, what is it for you? What idol needs to fall?
Oh, by the way, Josiah was 8 when he became king. He was 12 when he began cleaning house. If he could pull it off, I’m pretty sure you and I can. Just thought you’d like to know.