In Judah, around 622 B.C. during the reign of King Josiah, the book of the law was discovered in the temple. When the king’s court secretary, Shaphan read the law to Josiah, he tore his clothes. He knew God’s anger was stirred against them because their ancestors had disobeyed God’s instructions. So he sent Hilkiah the high priest (who found the scripture) with some of his court officials to “Go and inquire of the LORD for me, the people, and all Judah about the instruction in this book”(2 Kings 22:13a). So five men went to the prophetess Huldah in order to hear from the Lord. She told them of God’s plans for them. But why couldn’t Hilkiah the high priest explain the message it contained to King Josiah? Why did he have to go to Huldah? If my answer is correct it is pretty disturbing.
In chapter 23 verse 4 we read:
Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the doorkeepers to bring out of the LORD’s temple all the articles made for Baal, Asherah, and the whole heavenly host. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel.
I don’t believe the high priest was capable of discerning God’s will for two reasons. First, he ministered without the written law. The scripture he discovered in the temple it would seem was the only copy in existence. Second, God’s temple was polluted with articles consecrated to idol worship therefore hislife was polluted. That the king had to order the temple to be cleaned must have highly embarrassed the priests who were charged with its upkeep.
Dad shared the story with me of Clark a man he was spiritually training. Clark’s wife left him when he was caught in an affair. She told him if he signed over the house to her he would never have to make alimony payments. So that’s what he did. But after leaving her and his children, they would have no contact with him—even returning his letters unopened. His ex-wife lied to the children and told them their dad had never paid child support. Consequently, Clark became embittered and could not forgive her for destroying his relationship with his kids. He was angry with them as well for they deprived him from spending time with his grandchildren. Through Dad’s coaching, Clark came to the point where he recognized his unforgiving spirit was holding him back from wholeheartedly following God. He was missing God’s blessing. Once he confessed and released his bitter spirit to the Lord he was freed of the blockages that kept him from spiritually growing and experiencing His leading.
I recall times in my own life when I could not discern God’s will. Often the problem was caused by unconfessed sin or the need to eliminate a harmful habit or practice. If we want to hear from the Lord we must take inventory of our temple and be sure there is no sin that is blocking us. Blockages are not always easy to see. It may take courage to eliminate what we have grown accustomed to allowing. However, it is in our willingness and action to obey God that we find out how much He wants to teach us!
From a defective spiritual life nothing better can be expected than a defective prayer life. It is vain for us, with our defective spiritual life, to endeavor to pray more or better. It is an impossibility.—Andrew Murray inThe Believer’s Prayer Life
©2013 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)