“Understanding God’s Word is fairly simple. Applying it to your life, well, that’s a whole other animal.”~TB
In theory, love sacrifice, patience, long-suffering, and perseverance are lovely and beautiful concepts. When you speak them to one another, those words provide a false sense of accomplishment. In today’s society, people sing sweet nothings, as if spraying perfume on a stinky body, in an attempt to hide the foul smell. Words without deeds are empty. Many of you have filled your hearts and minds with empty rhetoric. Friends, listen carefully: as idiot people, we have subjugated those words, turning them into nouns when they really are verbs!
Love, sacrifice, patience, long-suffering, and perseverance requires DOING! You can’t just say the words and poof life is wonderful. You have to love when it’s hard. You have to be patient in tough times. You have to be long-suffering when the odds aren’t in your favor. You have to persevere when failure comes your way. Anyone can be an armchair quarterback. It takes humility in understanding that God can only help you with this verbs. You cannot overcome your sinful nature on your own.
Are you applying the verbs or do you stink under the perfume of fake words?
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1Beside the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept as we thought of Jerusalem.
2We put away our harps, hanging them on the branches of poplar trees.
3For our captors demanded a song from us. Our tormentors insisted on a joyful hymn: “Sing us one of those songs of Jerusalem!”
4But how can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a pagan land?
5If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget how to play the harp.
6May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I fail to remember you, if I don’t make Jerusalem my greatest joy.
7O LORD, remember what the Edomites did on the day the armies of Babylon captured Jerusalem. “Destroy it!” they yelled. “Level it to the ground!”
8O Babylon, you will be destroyed. Happy is the one who pays you back for what you have done to us.
9Happy is the one who takes your babies and smashes them against the rocks!
“Set your mind on God to experience His Truth” ~TB
Your mind is a gift or a curse– depending on how you use it. You can choose to fill it with God’s wisdom, live an obedient life, and be kind to your neighbors. Or, you can fill it with filth, walk around mindlessly, preferring destruction over peace. Sure, those seem drastically different, but the Truth is living in or out of God’s Will Isdrastically different. Do not be fooled by the external lives of others. Only God can truly examine one’s heart. Work on your mind and don’t fall prey to the fake minds around you.
When you set your mind, thoughts, and actions of God you rely on His strength and wisdom and not your own. The impossible becomes possible because you understand that you need Him in everything that you are and everything that you do. Allowing God to steer your mind sets you up for the peace and joy He graciously offers. It is a gift like no other and humans are unable to recreate such things. When you set your mind on the things of the flesh, you welcome confusion, stupor, and chaos. Friends, the human mind is incapable of such a Holy Mindset. Rely on Him.
Is your mind set on God or do you have a fleshly mindset?
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1Praise the LORD ! Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
2Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD ? Who can ever praise him enough?
3There is joy for those who deal justly with others and always do what is right.
4Remember me, LORD, when you show favor to your people; come near and rescue me.
5Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones. Let me rejoice in the joy of your people; let me praise you with those who are your heritage.
6Like our ancestors, we have sinned. We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!
7Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD ’s miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.
8Even so, he saved them— to defend the honor of his name and to demonstrate his mighty power.
9He commanded the Red Sea to dry up. He led Israel across the sea as if it were a desert.
10So he rescued them from their enemies and redeemed them from their foes.
11Then the water returned and covered their enemies; not one of them survived.
12Then his people believed his promises. Then they sang his praise.
13Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!
14In the wilderness their desires ran wild, testing God’s patience in that dry wasteland.
15So he gave them what they asked for, but he sent a plague along with it.
16The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and envious of Aaron, the LORD ’s holy priest.
17Because of this, the earth opened up; it swallowed Dathan and buried Abiram and the other rebels.
18Fire fell upon their followers; a flame consumed the wicked.
19The people made a calf at Mount Sinai ; they bowed before an image made of gold.
20They traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass-eating bull.
21They forgot God, their savior, who had done such great things in Egypt—
22such wonderful things in the land of Ham, such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.
23So he declared he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the LORD and the people. He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.
24The people refused to enter the pleasant land, for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.
25Instead, they grumbled in their tents and refused to obey the LORD .
26Therefore, he solemnly swore that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27that he would scatter their descendants among the nations, exiling them to distant lands.
28Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor; they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!
29They angered the LORD with all these things, so a plague broke out among them.
30But Phinehas had the courage to intervene, and the plague was stopped.
31So he has been regarded as a righteous man ever since that time.
32At Meribah, too, they angered the LORD, causing Moses serious trouble.
33They made Moses angry, and he spoke foolishly.
34Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the LORD had commanded them.
35Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs.
36They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.
37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons.
38They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder.
39They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in the LORD ’s sight.
40That is why the LORD ’s anger burned against his people, and he abhorred his own special possession.
41He handed them over to pagan nations, and they were ruled by those who hated them.
42Their enemies crushed them and brought them under their cruel power.
43Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.
44Even so, he pitied them in their distress and listened to their cries.
45He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love.
46He even caused their captors to treat them with kindness.
47Save us, O LORD our God! Gather us back from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.
48Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who lives from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD !
“We have to go through the refiner’s fire not to prove to God that we’re worthy, but to help us understand the truth in all of its glory”~TB
We endure testing and trials because it strengthens our reliance on God and the Truth that He is the end all be all. When you live the truth, you begin to recognize the signs of warfare, relying on the Word to still your heart to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Friends, look around you, darkness is real and you have to use the Biblical tools to guard your hearts, minds, and bodies. Make no mistake, if you are asleep at the wheel, you allow someone else to drive your fate.
There is a difference between clinging to salvation and being used by Christ. In the early stages of the walk, we are timid and fearful, only because we have yet to fully embrace God’s truth in all of its glory. As you become battle-tested, you recognize your role with the understanding that He is working through you. You will know if you pass the test when you are able to stand firm against evil in the midst of battle. Peace will come upon you in the trenches when you truly comprehend that God is with you wherever you go, especially when you are in the eye of the storm.
Are you battle-tested or are you AWOL on the sidelines?
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1God is honored in Judah; his name is great in Israel. 2Jerusalem is where he lives; Mount Zion is his home. 3There he has broken the fiery arrows of the enemy, the shields and swords and weapons of war. Interlude4You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains. 5Our boldest enemies have been plundered. They lie before us in the sleep of death. No warrior could lift a hand against us. 6At the blast of your breath, O God of Jacob, their horses and chariots lay still. 7No wonder you are greatly feared! Who can stand before you when your anger explodes? 8From heaven you sentenced your enemies; the earth trembled and stood silent before you. 9You stand up to judge those who do evil, O God, and to rescue the oppressed of the earth. Interlude 10Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon. 11Make vows to the LORD your God, and keep them. Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One. 12For he breaks the pride of princes, and the kings of the earth fear him.
“Stop getting mad at each new challenge, as if you don’t have a solution that fits.”~ Jon Barnes
Wasted energy on being upset will not help you learn, grow, and think on the good things God has planned for you.The opposite occurs, with your anger stealing all of your hopes, dreams, love, and energy to do good work.Many of us lose out on time, success, and love because we chose to live with a negative cloud over our heads and in our hearts.For many, it rains everywhere they go!
Occupy your mind, body, heart, spirit, and soul with prayers to God when you are happy, sad, mad, confessed, and unsure of what actions to take.Talk to God whenever you like.This step of prayer is the key to unlock the mysteries of faith in action.The work you do will bring great results that will blow your mind and keep God smiling upon your life.Your problems will escalate when you stop talking and praying to God.
By faith we give, love, help, serve, learn, live, and grow into the wonderful people God would have us to become.This light from God connects to us, flows through us, and reconnects to all of the people you come in contact with.What people do with this light becomes their choice to make and you cannot be mad at their choices.
Are you using your energy to get the work done or are you always critical, upset, and mad at the world and God?
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For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah.
1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise! 2 For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth. 3 He subdues the nations before us, putting our enemies beneath our feet. 4 He chose the Promised Land as our inheritance, the proud possession of Jacob’s descendants, whom he loves. Interlude
5 God has ascended with a mighty shout. The Lord has ascended with trumpets blaring. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King over all the earth. Praise him with a psalm. 8 God reigns above the nations, sitting on his holy throne. 9 The rulers of the world have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham. For all the kings of the earth belong to God. He is highly honored everywhere.
“Let Christ remove sin from your life by boring a tunnel through your stoney heart and replacing it with a new heart of love, thanksgiving, forgiveness, and repentance.”~ Jon Barnes
Let God bare the challenge of changing and improving who you are with reading each chapter from the Bible each day.Challenge yourself by being humble and obedient to God with obeisant movements, showing great respect, work ethic, and an honest regard for your faith in Christ.
Bear in mind most people will never bow to the will of God or His lifestyle conditions, as they head straight to hell, living in their choices of disobedience.There will be plenty of room and heat for the many to melt away their misguided minds into regret, gnashing of teeth, and agony for eternity.You will not get a second chance after you die.
As you repeat the “Lord’s Prayer”, allow God to teach you how to become a better person.Recover your lost self and become who you really are from the heart.Everyone else will notice a big difference in your lifestyle and will admire your better choice selections.
Do you really want to change from your old wicked ways or are you headed for the incinerator?
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For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.
1God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
10He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
“Challenges are positive steps that are out of order for you to organize, rearrange, and find suitable solutions to new questions and answers.” ~Jon Barnes
You are ordered to organize your thoughts by following the commandments of love from your heart, which is given to you by God.Only God can give you true love that will last and overcome challenges in life.This love will rearrange your steps into the positive direction designed by God with purpose.Follow God’s love examples.
In God’s Universal Organization, He is Lord of all things from the most expansive existence to the smallest things imaginable.Everything has a step, placement, and value, as nothing is ever wasted, unnoticed, or unaccounted for.God is clearly in control.By studying God’s blueprints of organizational and creative patterns, you can find solutions to your problems, purpose to your life, and love to receive, connect, and share with others.
It is Christ who teaches us to rearrange, rewire and repair our wicked hearts to follow Him as a disciple, student, and child of God.We are all on the playground learning how to get along, share, and care for one another.In this love, we can see what true Christian look and act like.Your challenge is how you implement God’s Ways and love into your life to find suitable solutions to new and old questions.
Do you really want to know and live by God’s Laws, Truth, and Justice or would you rather live in hell now and for eternity?
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1O God, we have heard it with our own ears— our ancestors have told us of all you did in their day, in days long ago:
2You drove out the pagan nations by your power and gave all the land to our ancestors. You crushed their enemies and set our ancestors free.
3They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from your face that helped them, for you loved them.
4You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel.
5Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.
6I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me.
7You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us.
8O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name. Interlude
9But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor. You no longer lead our armies to battle.
10You make us retreat from our enemies and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
11You have butchered us like sheep and scattered us among the nations.
12You sold your precious people for a pittance, making nothing on the sale.
13You let our neighbors mock us. We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
14You have made us the butt of their jokes; they shake their heads at us in scorn.
15We can’t escape the constant humiliation; shame is written across our faces.
16All we hear are the taunts of our mockers. All we see are our vengeful enemies.
17All this has happened though we have not forgotten you. We have not violated your covenant.
18Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path.
19Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home. You have covered us with darkness and death.
20If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods,
21God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart.
22But for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.
23Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever.
24Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
25We collapse in the dust, lying face down in the dirt.
26Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love.
“Sometimes you need to rest from all of your hard work so that your mind, body, heart, spirit, and soul can enjoy the fruits of your labor.”~Jon Barnes
Hit the reset button when you take time each day to reflect, relax, and balance your activities in love with your life.Some days may seem more productive than others, but to God, they are all the same, containing the same amount of time for you to breath the same volume of oxygen to live.What you do with it counts and is recorded.
When you honestly want to improve yourself, your standing, and purpose in life, you will step up your game and do the work that is required to balance all of your efforts, goals, dreams, and desires.They all will line up with God’s framework and personal plan of reality if you love God.Each step is ordered with a reset button of repentance, by faith, love, and action to keep you on the straight and narrow path into Heaven.
Repeating the plan that God has set for you is a lot of fun because of your experiences and fruit from your labor nets amazing results.Notice and be happy in the success God has given you, rejoice and be glad to be a blessing to others.Hit the reset button each day and do it again.Something new always happens, in spite of the repetition of daily activities.Don’t forget to smile!
Are you amazed at the new things God teaches you each day or do you know it all and don’t need a reset button from your pride and arrogance?
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For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord! He shouts with joy because you give him victory. 2 For you have given him his heart’s desire; you have withheld nothing he requested. Interlude
3 You welcomed him back with success and prosperity. You placed a crown of finest gold on his head. 4 He asked you to preserve his life, and you granted his request. The days of his life stretch on forever. 5 Your victory brings him great honor, and you have clothed him with splendor and majesty. 6 You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence. 7 For the king trusts in the Lord. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.
8 You will capture all your enemies. Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you. 9 You will throw them in a flaming furnace when you appear. The Lord will consume them in his anger; fire will devour them. 10 You will wipe their children from the face of the earth; they will never have descendants. 11 Although they plot against you, their evil schemes will never succeed. 12 For they will turn and run when they see your arrows aimed at them. 13 Rise up, O Lord, in all your power. With music and singing we celebrate your mighty acts.
“Your life is missing in action, because there is no place for God in your heart since you have hoarded everything else inside it, leaving Him no room or space.”~Jon Barnes
You cannot serve wicked ideals partially.Your whole heart will be consumed with what you feed it as it will take over you.Evil is a subtle full-time job, wrapped in a nice bow with a fake smile of happiness, money, and power, yet fully sold in deceit. When you are blind with this foolish behavior, everyone can see it but you.This is the full truth, but an evil mind will only get half of it.Good people live by the whole truth.
Once the truth is explained, many still will not listen because no one can tell them what to do.They pretend to listen and agree but their actions are far from God’s reality of justice.People who are half committed to doing a good job will suffer great loss.God is not missing in action and He will hold us accountable.
Hell will be full of people who explained away the full truth of God’s simple message.Honesty is a complete concept that works in concert with Love, truth, honor and God’s Will for your life.If you choose something else to substitute this fact, you will face hell’s consequences and damnation.God’s recipe must stay intact, with your bottle full of Holy Oil, from the Spirit of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Are you missing in action on God’s battlefield, because you are only in love with lust, stuff, people, money, positions, power, and corrupt thoughts and actions?
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For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. 2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. 3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.[a] 4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.
God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. 5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. 6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.
7 The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living. 9 Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. 10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.
12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
“The best cable connection you have and watch is the biblical stories you get from the Heart of God to penetrate and rewrite the motives of love in your heart before wickedness turns it into stone or ice.”~Jon Barnes
Defy the devil by denying yourself the lust of the flesh in your lifestyle and cut off the vanity, spending, holding, and collection of trash in your life.Cut the cable connection you have with the devil’s TV, communication, ways, and technology to focus on rebooting God’s Ways and Commandments with yourself, family, and others.
Search and balance the truth in your mind and heart with honorable intentions and motives, as you forgive and forget the old pains, hurts, and disappointments from the past.Laugh at your mistakes by not making them again with God’s help.Change your mindset and outlook each morning with God’s fresh approach of positive prayer, thinking, faith, and plans for the day.Open The Cable to His truth and destroy all other fake cable companies and connections.
Completely destroy evil access from penetrating your mind and heart by shielding your entire body, mind, soul, spirit, and heart with God’s Truth, Words, Works, Thinking, and Ways.Your actions will keep the devil away and defeated, as in the Book of Job.Your Prayers and good deeds will help others to restore their true connection to God, when you sacrifice your stuff to believe what God is doing in your life, is correct.
Are you wise only in your selfish ways with the devil’s cable tightly wrapped around your neck like a noose, shaking, dangling, and grasping for air?
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Job Speaks of Wisdom and Understanding
28 “People know where to mine silver and how to refine gold. 2 They know where to dig iron from the earth and how to smelt copper from rock. 3 They know how to shine light in the darkness and explore the farthest regions of the earth as they search in the dark for ore. 4 They sink a mine shaft into the earth far from where anyone lives. They descend on ropes, swinging back and forth. 5 Food is grown on the earth above, but down below, the earth is melted as by fire. 6 Here the rocks contain precious lapis lazuli, and the dust contains gold. 7 These are treasures no bird of prey can see, no falcon’s eye observe. 8 No wild animal has walked upon these treasures; no lion has ever set his paw there. 9 People know how to tear apart flinty rocks and overturn the roots of mountains. 10 They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. 11 They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures.
12 “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 13 No one knows where to find it,[a] for it is not found among the living. 14 ‘It is not here,’ says the ocean. ‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea. 15 It cannot be bought with gold. It cannot be purchased with silver. 16 It’s worth more than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 17 Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. 18 Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies. 19 Precious peridot from Ethiopia[b] cannot be exchanged for it. It’s worth more than the purest gold.
20 “But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? 21 It is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. 22 Destruction[c] and Death say, ‘We’ve heard only rumors of where wisdom can be found.’
23 “God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, 24 for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens. 25 He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall. 26 He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning. 27 Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it. He set it in place and examined it thoroughly. 28 And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’”
“Motivating people into seeing the truth is a mindset that ministers to your family, friends, and enemies from your heart, as they are forced to see and hear the truth from your lifestyle; not just your words.” ~ Jon Barnes
Connecting to the heart of God and sharing it with others is a fun, lifelong project of hope, Charity, and development in learning about the ways of God and how it applies to people and your life. The fun Bible reading that you engage in gives the tools for connecting and sustaining the true nature and being in Christ. This work is personal and rewarding.
As “Human-Beings”, we honor God with our first fruits of giving and daily actions in life by giving our Best Love to Him and living a life full of examples; to show, share, and care, about focusing your good works into trusting God, Your Father. Your being honest with God is the beginning of truth and justice with yourself and others.
Too many of us say one thing and do the opposite, which is why our families and communities fall apart with apathy, homelessness, and discontentment. The stumbling blocks of corporate and private greed prevent good people and small Ma and Pa shops from developing the best goods, services, and ethics for doing good business and developing friendly family values pleasing to God.
Can people see how the love of God motivates and guides the decisions in your daily lifestyle, thoughts, actions, words, and works or are you just a lying devil?
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2 Chronicles 34
Josiah Rules in Judah
34 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years.2 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.
3 During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David. Then in the twelfth year he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem, destroying all the pagan shrines, the Asherah poles, and the carved idols and cast images.4 He ordered that the altars of Baal be demolished and that the incense altars which stood above them be broken down. He also made sure that the Asherah poles, the carved idols, and the cast images were smashed and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.5 He burned the bones of the pagan priests on their own altars, and so he purified Judah and Jerusalem.
6 He did the same thing in the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, even as far as Naphtali, and in the regions[a] all around them.7 He destroyed the pagan altars and the Asherah poles, and he crushed the idols into dust. He cut down all the incense altars throughout the land of Israel. Finally, he returned to Jerusalem.
8 In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple, Josiah appointed Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of Jerusalem, and Joah son of Joahaz, the royal historian, to repair the Temple of the Lord his God.9 They gave Hilkiah the high priest the money that had been collected by the Levites who served as gatekeepers at the Temple of God. The gifts were brought by people from Manasseh, Ephraim, and from all the remnant of Israel, as well as from all Judah, Benjamin, and the people of Jerusalem.
10 He entrusted the money to the men assigned to supervise the restoration of the Lord’s Temple. Then they paid the workers who did the repairs and renovation of the Temple.11 They hired carpenters and builders, who purchased finished stone for the walls and timber for the rafters and beams. They restored what earlier kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin.
12 The workers served faithfully under the leadership of Jahath and Obadiah, Levites of the Merarite clan, and Zechariah and Meshullam, Levites of the Kohathite clan. Other Levites, all of whom were skilled musicians,13 were put in charge of the laborers of the various trades. Still others assisted as secretaries, officials, and gatekeepers.
Hilkiah Discovers God’s Law
14 While they were bringing out the money collected at the Lord’s Temple, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that was written by Moses.15 Hilkiah said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan.
16 Shaphan took the scroll to the king and reported, “Your officials are doing everything they were assigned to do.17 The money that was collected at the Temple of the Lord has been turned over to the supervisors and workmen.”18 Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king.
19 When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.20 Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah,[b] Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser:21 “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for all the remnant of Israel and Judah. Inquire about the words written in the scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger has been poured out on us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the Lord. We have not been doing everything this scroll says we must do.”
22 So Hilkiah and the other men went to the New Quarter[c] of Jerusalem to consult with the prophet Huldah. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas,[d] the keeper of the Temple wardrobe.
23 She said to them, “The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you,24 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city[e] and its people. All the curses written in the scroll that was read to the king of Judah will come true.25 For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done. My anger will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched.’
26 “But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard:27 You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.28 So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You yourself will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city and its people.’”
So they took her message back to the king.
Josiah’s Religious Reforms
29 Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.30 And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the Levites—all the people from the greatest to the least. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple.31 The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. He promised to obey all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll.32 And he required everyone in Jerusalem and the people of Benjamin to make a similar pledge. The people of Jerusalem did so, renewing their covenant with God, the God of their ancestors.
33 So Josiah removed all detestable idols from the entire land of Israel and required everyone to worship the Lord their God. And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the Lord, the God of their ancestors.