Honoring God’s Word
Today’s guest post is from Friar Dixon, Discipleship Pastor at Ashley Ridge Church. In addition to leading the student, groups and outreach ministries at Ashley Ridge, Friar is also raising two boys with his wife Natalie and continuing to master his foosball skills. Check out what he has to say about the wide-eye’d wonder of King Josiah –
One of my favorite kings from Israel’s past was Josiah, the boy King. Josiah took over the kingdom at 8 years old and stayed in that position until his death, 31 years later. Unlike many of his predecessors, Josiah actually did what God wanted. The Bible doesn’t give us any insight into the reasons why Josiah chose to be faithful to God (unlike the preceding kings), but I have my suspicions.
The story of Josiah can be summed up like this: Josiah was the Son of King Amnon, and Grandson of King Manasseh. His father and his grandfather both “did evil in the eyes of the Lord.” Josiah is made king after the people kill his father. He was only eight years old. Eighteen years into his reign, Josiah is trying to put the house of the Lord in repair and order when the high priest brings Josiah a book. The book is the Holy Scripture, the law. Because so many kings before Josiah had ignored the word of God, Josiah, as well as many of the people, did not even know this word from God existed. Josiah was horrified that he had unknowingly not followed the law completely and so Josiah started on a quest to rid the peoples hearts and the land from idolatrous practices. While God’s wrath was ready to be poured out onto the Hebrews in what we now know as the exile, God allowed Josiah to reign and die with his kingdom still in tact.
Josiah seemed to be a pretty great king, but what has always stood out to me was the honor and respect that Josiah gave to the law and instruction found in God’s word. Josiah had never heard it before and when he did, he truly had wide-eyed wonder. It was a wonder with God’s word that changed who Josiah was, and how he ruled.
This has always been my hope for the Bible, that I would view it with such reverence that it would continually form the way I live, but also form the way I function as a husband and a father. Like Josiah did with his kingdom, I want to put God and his instruction at the center of my life and family. I desire to see God’s word with such wide-eyed wonder each day, that I really do believe what it says, and let it inform the way I live. After a lifetime of changing and stretching and growing through following God’s word, I hope to one day die with the ability for it to be written that Friar “… did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father, not turning aside to the right or to the left.”