All right, good morning. Good to see you all. If you get a Bible turn with me to Second Kings, chapter 22, we’re going to look at chapter 22, and 23. Welcome all those you will joining us at home online. We’re glad you’re here too. Just as you’re turning, I’ll give you a quick reminder that tonight is congregational meeting six o’clock. So we welcome to come if you’re not a member, and just kind of see what family business looks like. But if you are a member, I’m going to encourage you and implore you come and be part of that time together. We do important work together in particular in this meeting is when we talk about our budget for the year and we vote on that. We talked about we are voting in new elders, two new elders, and renewing a third into a second term, as well as nominating committee and a handful of other things. So we are congregationally governed, which means that all who are members have a voice in these major decisions that we make year to year. So we’d encourage you to come. I’m gonna spend a little time reflecting on what we’ll be thinking about this summer together, kind of where we are state of the church, if you will, just helping us think about, Hey, what is life together look like as we continue our journey in walking with Christ together. So six o’clock, we’ll try to have a hard stop around seven. So we honor your time, but just want to encourage you to be there this evening. All right. So let me pray for us. Let’s dive into God’s Word together. Lord, we thank you for gathering us in Your name. Thank you for the songs we’ve sung to you and our prayers, always whether we’re coming with heavy hearts, or just glad hearts, that we are bringing you worship from the heart, not just from our mouths, and then our minds attention is given to you. So now as we turn to your word, we pray that our eyes will be set on you in Jesus that you would be pleased to reveal the Father to us through His Word through your word that we might see and be changed. In Jesus name we pray, amen. Amen.

Turn to Second Kings, because that’s where we’re going to be. But I want to start by reading from Isaiah chapter 40. I’ll show you why in a moment. Isaiah 40, pretty famous passage in the Old Testament, read verses 28 through 31. To you, you can turn there you can look on the screens or just listen. Isaiah says, Have you not known Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint. And to him who has no might, he increases strength. Even us shall faint, be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted. They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. So when I was in Austin, that was where I lived before moving here eight years ago now. We used to gather with our staff and our senior pastor, my senior pastor Rob, at the time would use this passage. Once a month, we’d get together on his back patio, and he would ask how are you doing? Are you walking? Are you running? Are you flying, he would use this Isaiah 40 passage as an example of that. It was good to be reminded that all of those can be part of the work of the Lord in our life that we might be walking, we might be running, we might be flying, we might also describe something as less than walking. Yes, might go, I am somewhere like crawling, it might be where I am. Those become the second Kings 22 and 23. Today, the thing that this passage is about is about spiritual renewal, and how it comes about in the life of a Christian that comes about in the life of a follower of God. So we’re going to see, it’s a encouraging passage today, we need an encouraging passage. Yes, today, we’ve had some challenging ones. Now, this is sort of the last encouraging if I could say that, in in the books of first and second Kings, it’s the reign of Josiah. It is the last sort of really good moment in the life of the nation of Judah before things really fall apart at the end. So we get an encouraging word today about spiritual renewal and how it comes about, but it’s good to help locate ourselves on the map a little bit. So can I do a little exercise the way my senior pastor used to do with me, close your eyes for me? Want to see if you can locate yourself just where are you in this moment now of your spiritual life? So how many of you would say that you’re flying that for you? This is a time of flying right now. Wonderful. How many of you say I’m running that? That sounds like me, I’m running. Yeah, I love that. Good. Maybe you say I’m walking. Good. When you say something less than walking, I’m crawling. I might just be I might be laying on the ground.

Alright, good. All right. You can open your eyes. First go row by row, I’ll tell you where everybody said they were. I would never do it to you. Yeah, it’s, here’s what you need to know, there’s some, there’s somebody in every one of those places, there’s somebody in every one of those places, right, let’s get to locate ourselves on the map, because we come to the Scriptures that speak to us about renewal, we have to have some amount of understanding of where am I, and where I’m in the process of renewal. Let me encourage you with this, that renewal spiritual renewal is a regular part of the Christian life, I think sometimes we have this idea that the Christian life should look like, you know, if you were going to look at a graph and say, it should always be going up into the right, you know, and in some kind of a linear fashion, but that really isn’t the Christian life, the Christian life, has setbacks, has challenges has moments where something gets a hold of your heart that really shouldn’t. There’s always this need for renewal, that’s going to be a regular part of the Christian life, to have dry seasons, and the seasons where you need to be renewed. The scriptures testify to this. Do you remember as we’ve gone through First and Second Kings, what about First Kings 19? And Elijah? Do you remember him needing a bit of renewal? Yes, he sat by the brook and just said, Lord, I’m done with this. Just let me die. Right? What about Peter? After the resurrection of Jesus Peters dealing with the talking to Jesus, and Jesus asked him three times do you love me? This if you love me, Feed my sheep. Peter is in need of what renewal after denying Christ, there’s this regular pattern of that. I like what Richard Lovelace says, in his book, if I could summarize his argument in this book that he’s written, if I can find the title for it, that would help there it is dynamics of spiritual life. He says, we are so prone to fall away from a full understanding of the gospel into cheap grace, or legalism, or moralism, or any number of other things, that spiritual renewal must be a regular pattern of the Christian life. I love that, here’s the thing to know about spiritual renewal is you can’t bring it about yourself, do you know that? You can’t, it’s the work of the Spirit, and you cannot do it. But what you can do is you can prepare the soil of your heart for it. We can’t bring revival and make it happen, where the church is exploding with new life in Christ, people are being saved and the sense of worship just crescendos and there’s this sense of life within the body that is so good and satisfying and right and righteous and confession of sin and repentance is happening. That’s what revival looks like, you know that right? We I pray for that pray for that in our life together as a church, that would be join me in those kinds of prayers, we cannot make revival happen. There’s an older school of thought when people used to hold big tent revivals. What they meant was we’re calling people to revival because there is no theology of revival that should imagine that we can just say revival, and it happens. Revival is a work of the Spirit of God. But what we can do is prepare ourselves for it. It’s very true that the people of God, whenever God’s Spirit has been poured out, more often than not, you see patterns of renewal of things that had been done to prepare the soil of hearts, to prepare the soil of a community of faith for that kind of renewal and for that kind of revival to come about. So Josiah is gonna give us four of those today. Now, just before we get there, let me give you one little white history lesson that helps to in terms of thinking about renewal as a pattern in the Christian life, and not just something that’s like, only when we’ve sort of sinned and kind of backtracked that we’re then going to be in need of renewal, that renewal can be a regular pattern, because sometimes our hearts just get off track. But also, sometimes the circumstances of life are just tough. Yes, and there’s a need for the sense of like, Man, I need you to sort of renew my hope and encourage my heart, Lord Jesus, I need that to come about. So one of the things that we learned right off the bat, in our text today, is that part of the reason this renewal that’s being sought after has there’s the space for that is because of what’s going on in a broader picture that you don’t know unless you know a little bit of the history. So at this moment, that Josiah has come to the throne, He’s eight years old, and he becomes king. That’s very daunting. Yes. 18 years into his reign is when we’re picking up the story in chapter 22. So he is 26 years old, I want you to think about yourself, if you’re older than 26. Think about yourself at 26 where you’re ready to lead a kingdom into spiritual renewal. Those of you who are 26 right now and saying yes, you are wrong.

Now you might not be the Lord uses the young he uses the old, alright, but he’s 26 years old, he is determined to bring about renewal and the people of God God says that He is a king with a heart like David’s like no other king. He is a good king. But one of the things going on is that during Josiah his reign Assyria has already they’ve been in the world power and they’ve been the threats to Israel. They’ve taken Israel into captivity. They’ve disbanded them as a nation, and they’re still a threat to Judah. But Assyria has begun to wane so much so that I think it’s around 640 BC, Babylon untethered itself from a Syria they, they’re starting to get their big boy pants on, right? They’re getting strong, and Babylon says enough with his Assyrian rule, and they get out from underneath them. Babylon has not yet become strong enough to where what’s going to happen when they do become strong as in 586 BC, they’re going to conquer Judah and take them into exile. They will be the big boys on the block in just a few years, but Assyria has been where we are in 622 BC in the reign of Josiah when he begins to institute these renewal changes efforts is Assyria is weakened to the point they’re no longer a threat. Babylon is not yet strong enough so that they’re a threat. Egypt has waned to the point in the South that they are not a threat. So what that means is the nation has rest on all sides. There is no war to be fought, there is no protection to be sought out, had there been Josiah as time and energy would have been taken up rightly as king with defending his people. But God gives rest on all sides so that Josiah might pursue an agenda of renewal. What that speaks to me is this. This is not a hard and fast rule. Okay, God can bring renewal whenever he wants to bring renewal, and we should always be preparing the soil of our hearts for that renewal. But one of the things that helps me remember, lest we put this pressure on ourselves to say, hey, renewal should be this, like always up into the right sort of, you know, reality in my life, is that sometimes God gives us reserves and resources of spiritual energy, that when he puts us in hard circumstances all around us, we’re just using those up, we’re drawing on past resources that he’s granted. We’re saying, Okay, I’ve got to draw on those because right now, I am consumed with the things around me that can be seasons of life. But the other thing I want you to recognize is that when he brings you to a season of rest, the point of that season is not just rest. The point is that you would have time and energy to give towards spiritual renewal, that there’s a gift being given to you. If there’s not circumstances surrounding you that are heavy and pressing and requiring attention. Maybe it’s your health or maybe it’s route, you know, family brokenness, if you find yourself in a season, where you’re going, hmm, I don’t have things kind of stressors pressing in on me, don’t be satisfied just to say, great, that’s awesome. I’m just happy with that. But recognize that that would be a time where God would say, hey, just like Josiah use that time to cultivate these activities that prepare the heart of my people for renewal. That would be how we’re intended to utilize that season. Does that make sense? Okay, awesome. Get not a hard and fast rule, just a historical observation. That’s really interesting that, you know, unless you kind of know the timeline here, you miss that. So I wanted to highlight that now. The question for you today that I just want you to consider is, is the Lord inviting you into a season of spiritual renewal? I mean, I saw you know, where he said, how many you’re walking, you’re running, you’re flying, you’re, you’re crawling, maybe, I don’t know if that’s the result of still lingering effects of like, just the loneliness of COVID. If it’s wrestling through family, relationship, dynamics that are broken, friendships that have been really tough or severed in these days, or perhaps you’re flying because man work is going so well. You know, things are good. Wherever you find yourself on the map, I want you to ask Is God inviting me into a season of spiritual renewal? Now, what we’re going to see in First Kings, Second Kings, sorry, 22 and 23? Is that Josiah? Those four things, four activities that are aimed at again, not manufacturing renewal, because we can’t do that, but preparing the heart for it. Is that clear? Everybody? Makes sense. So here are the four activities I’ll give them to you upfront, you’ll see him in the sermon notes, but here they are. One, he sets his eyes on revival of worship, reviving the worship of his people. Number two, recovery of God’s Word. Number three, removal of idols. And number four, restoring celebration. I just want to go through each of those with you and help you see how Josiah tackles those. We’re going to ask how does that apply to our own preparing of ourselves for spiritual renewal?

So look with me at Second Kings 22 verses three through seven. So in verses one and two, we’ve been told Josiah is now King, Manassas, his father, he has been on the throne now since he’s eight, and it’s been 18 years. So look with me, at verse three through seven they say this. In the 18th year of King Josiah, the king said Shaphan the son of as Azailiah, son of Meshullum the secretary to the house of the Lord, saying, Go up Hilkiah, the high priest, that he may count the money that has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people. Let it be given into the hand of the work hand of the workmen, who have the oversight of the house of the Lord, and let them give it to the workmen who are at the House of Lords repairing the house, that is to the carpenters, and to the builders and to the masons, and let them use it for buying timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand for they deal, honestly. Alright, so when we read this, it might sound like just like a building project. Yes, no. Okay. It’s a building project. Good. Praise God, these trustworthy contractors, subcontractors who are doing the work right. What I want you to hear is that Josiah, His aim is not to make the temple look pretty. He’s not like, hey, it’s time for renovations in the temple. What Josiah is doing, and we’ll see this in some of the things he does next, what your site is doing is he’s trying to restore the revive the worship of the people back to the house of God where it belongs. If you remember, throughout First and Second Kings, one of the things that’s happened again, and again, as we’ve heard the Kings cause the people to worship at the high places, right, which means God had said, I am going to cause Solomon to build a temple, I’m going to cause my presence to dwell there. And I’m going to create sacrificial rites in an Old Covenant, where you are supposed to come and worship me here. This is the place of my presence, and this is the place where you are to worship me. But the people had forsaken that and worshiped all over they had decentralized worship in a way under the old covenant that was disobeying the command of God. So when Josiah says, hey, get that money, give it to the workmen who are restoring the temple, what he’s saying is, we are preparing the house of God for the worship of God, do you see that? So he is wanting to revive the worship of God’s people. In order to do that, he’s doing that in order to bring about spiritual renewal. Now, remember, under the Old Covenant, the temple is the place where God’s presence dwells. That’s the key understanding here, when Josiah is rebuilding or or rehabbing the temple, this is not like watching fixer upper. Okay? This is not like he’s just doing a nice little house project to make it look pretty. What he’s doing is trying to reestablish the house of God according to the Word of God. So the people would come and experience His presence there and stop worshipping in ways that were unbiblical in ways that they had not been called to worship. So at the end of the day, here’s what I want you to know. The reason that revival of worship is so crucial, is because worship is where God’s presence is experienced. Worship is where God’s presence is experience. Now, under the old covenant that is experienced in the temple. Why is that necessary? Why is that necessary for spiritual renewal? Why is that part of the tilling of the heart, the tilling of the soil of the heart? Why is reviving worship part of it? Because it’s the presence of God that renews and the presence of God only that renews? And that presence is experienced in worship? Does that make sense? So under the Old Covenant looks this way. So what does that how does that speak to us? Here’s what I would say two things for you. Number one, it means that it should temper or not temper, it should set your expectations. When you come to worship here, you should come and I should come with nothing less than an expectation that we will encounter the presence of the living God. And we should not settle for anything less. You should not settle for a nice message, an intellectual message, you should not settle for just some wonderful sounding music. You should not settle for coming in and your heart, just sort of riding through the motions of the worship together, you should come prepared for an experience of the presence of God and you should not settle for anything less. That’s part of that’s what it means to revive worship. So one of the things that I would encourage you is it has to set our expectation for what we’re after here. I know, Look friends, we got to do it over and over again. Because like Lovelace said, our hearts are so prone to just wander off towards so many other things. It’s so easy to just show up here and just kind of be like, Yeah, this is what I do. And I go and that’s good. I’m glad you’re here. But if you come with something less than an expectation that what you need is the presence of God, then you’re doing yourself a disservice and you’re not tilling the soil of your heart in such a way that you’re prepared for spiritual renewal that you need. Yes. I want to encourage you in that. If I can say, I mean, gosh, this could be a whole series unto itself, where we talk about what does it mean to encounter the presence of God in the worship of the people of God. But I’ll just give you two really quick things. One, it means that you are determined when you come in here. We worship and we hear God’s word that you’re determined to see him like you’re, you’re fixing your mind upon him and going, Jesus, show yourself to me. You’re not just going to sing, let your mind be disconnected from it. But you’re going to, you’re striving with all the energy that works so powerfully within you, as Paul says, all the energy of the spirit to set your mind on Christ and drive your affections towards him, and you’re not settling for anything less, I’m not going to sit in that back row, and just settle for singing some words, I’m going to drive my mind to him, I’m going to drive my affections towards him, I’m going to strive and toil to see all the energy I’ve got move in that direction. That’s the vertical component. The other component, I would say, encountering the presence of God is it’s never apart from loving the person sitting next to you. I’m also going to love the person sitting next to me. I’m going to determine the figures their way I can serve them right now, is there a way I can offer an encouraging word to somebody, I’m not going to honk my horn at somebody as I’m pulling out in the parking lot, and they’re taking too long to make that right turn. Because part of encountering the presence of God is loving the people in this place. Not just some of them, all of them. I mean, goodness gracious, if you have not been challenged through the season of COVID, and all this political turmoil and all the difficulties that we’ve been enduring as a people at a national level, the church is divided. The church is fractured. If you have not felt, and here’s the thing about that, here’s what I want you to get. You do not get the luxury of only loving the people in the church who think politically the way you think you do not get the luxury of only loving the people in the church who think the way you think about issues of race and ethnicity, you don’t get the luxury of only loving the people in the church who want the same kind of songs that you want, or who felt the same way you did about masks or no masks or this thing or that thing. You do not get the luxury of only loving the people who think like you. The church is loved by Jesus, every one of his people redeemed by his blood and you must love them all. I hope you mean that. Amen. Because it’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s hard. This has been a season just pastoral. They trying to give words of correction to people over here and people over there and both of them not liking it at all? It’s hard. Dad gummit. My southern coming out. It’s it’s actually my mom coming. My mom She also says Fiddle Faddle a lot. What’s the most precious thing about my mom, she gets frustrated. I still love my mom so much. It’s hard. Man. It’s the Bride of Christ. You know what, and people have perceptions that are off and they just don’t get the luxury, right? So loving, that’s part of experiencing the presence of God. You can’t experience the presence of God unless you love the people of God. But it’s been longer than I wanted to. Here’s the here’s the next thing. Okay. I gotta look at my notes. I don’t know where I am anymore. Okay. Listen, the reason that revival of worship is part of spiritual renewal part of tilling the soil of heart is because we encounter the presence of God. Think about Second Corinthians 318 is, you know, like, have you seen the cross out in the foyer out there? Do you know what verses underneath that cross? Second Corinthians 318? Do you know what it says? It says, In Christ, the veil is removed, the veil is removed so that we see the very face of God. So it says this and we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of God. And we all with unveiled face beholding the glory of God are being transformed into the same image, from one degree of glory to another. Let me just highlight what’s so magnificent about that text. The veil between us and God has been removed by Christ. That’s what it’s saying and is saying that presence experienced is what transforms us and it doesn’t just transforms into something better than what we are. It transforms us into the image of the one we’re beholding. Think about that for a minute. From one degree of glory, the glory of a being created in the image of God with dignity and worth and value as a human being from One degree of glory to another, the glory of a redeemed, reconciled saint. That’s the transformation. So the presence of God is required for spiritual renewal. It’s in the gathering the revived worship of his people that that worship come.

So number one is set the expectations then, but number two, and let me just Can I Can I just gently challenge you now, number two is you have to come. You have to show up, and it has to be more than once a month. Worshiping with the people, God has to be a priority for you. Now that all the statistics tell us people are worshiping less frequently, they’re gathering less frequently to worship at all the studies say, and sometimes I’m guessing you get the sense that pastors are disheartened by that because we like full sanctuaries, right? That’s the wrong reason for a pastor to want God’s people to show up. But let me just tell you the real reason that your pastor should want if this isn’t your church home, the real reason this pastor wants you to show up is because I know spiritual renewal can’t happen without it. I know you can’t be renewed without being in the presence of God and His people. So let me really challenge you. If your kids activities prevent you from coming to worship on a Sunday, if their soccer tournament, their baseball game gets in the way of that they should miss the soccer, not the church. Let me just tell you, I’ll just give you my personal opinion don’t have to follow this is just is my opinion, okay? It’s not the word of God. My opinion assessment, I think it’s okay to play a soccer game or a baseball game on a Sunday afternoon after church, I think that can be part of the recreation that we enjoy and can be wonderful. But we have made a commitment and our family and I’ll say to you follow me as I follow the Lord the way Paul said this, and I’m going to make an encouragement to you, we have determined that any team, our kids are on any activity they do. If it interrupts Sunday worship, they will miss the activity. We will state that upfront to any coach, teacher, leader that they have. If it’s happening on Sunday morning, we will not be there. It is more valuable to your kid to be at worship on Sunday with the people of God. For you to be there, too, they will remember that you chose to sacrifice the sport, or the activity or the drama or the play or the they will remember that, that you chose the church and worshiping with the people of God over that activity. I promise you, if your kids good enough, they’ll still get that scholarship. All right. The rest of us weren’t good enough. It didn’t matter ok one Sunday missing that soccer tournament wasn’t gonna make the difference. So you can take that or leave it. But that’s a application that we’re trying to live out in our family. Id encourage you, I would encourage you to do the same. So that may be more than a gentle nudge. So now, let me share with you the discouraging news of this text. Okay, because Josiah is going to do these four things. We’ve named the first reviving worship, he’s going to do all these things to try and prepare for spiritual renewal. And in the end, the renewal is not going to come. Now that’s disheartening. Yes. Because you think he’s more than Trump? Why are you going through these things with us? If he prepares the soil this way, and it doesn’t produce renewal, then what hope do we have and I’ll tell you the hope that we have, we have a hope better than just science. But listen to what happens to go all the way to the end, go to 23 Chapter 23, verses 26 and 27. Here’s what they say this is the end of the story. If you want to jot down a note, you can jot down chapter 22, verses 14 through 20. Because he says the same thing in those verses that he says here essentially, says still, after all the reforms that Josiah made, still the Lord did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasa had provoked him. Manasa is Josiah’s dad. And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight as I have removed Israel and I will cast off this city that I have chosen Jerusalem, and the house, of which I said, my name shall be there. And he generously that’s a massive statement by God, you understand that? Now, again, God is faithful to His promises. He’s going to preserve a remnant even while he brings this exile about so that the Savior of the world can still come. But you might think well, okay, if Josiah does all these things to try and bring about spiritual renewal, or at least be be ready for it, so that the Lord might have the hearts ready, and that doesn’t work, then why are we looking at it and studying it? And the answer is, this is you and I have something better than Josiah. We have the one to whom Josiah points. There is a type of renewal available in Jesus that was not available in Josiah. I want you to know it because it means the renewal is he desires and delights to bring it into our life. We are not like Judah who are going to be left and sent off into exile. Because Josiah points to Jesus, what Josiah could not do Jesus can do. Let’s learn this from each one of these things that we do to prepare our hearts. Josiah could rehab the temple, and say to the people of God, come back, come back to the temple, come back to worshiping God, the way he prescribed us to worship him. That’s as good as he can do is call the people back to a space that God had prepared for his worship. But do you know that Jesus does not invite us to come to a temple at a specific time in a specific place, he says, I am the temple, John chapter two destroy this temple and I will raise it again. In three days, Jesus is saying, I am the true place where the presence of God has experienced and the availability to you think about what a privileged position you live in. There’s at least three ways where Josiah says, come to the temple and experience the presence of God. Jesus says, Come to me, and the presence of God is there with you. It’s better than the presence of God in the temple in at least these three ways, fullness, availability, and accuracy. The presence of God in Jesus is experienced in complete fullness, do you know? Let’s put it in perspective. Probably a lot of us. Look at that text where Solomon built the temple, and then God’s presence comes into us. How many of you think that’d be pretty cool to have been there? When the presence of God descended in the cloud? You have something better right now sitting in the seat you’re sitting in than Solomon had. The presence of God is more fully in you and more fully experienced in you than even every one of those people standing there on that day watching the presence of God descend in the temple, because the temple of God has taken residence in you. You are temple of God, because Christ is that temple and dwells in you do you see it? You have the fullness of the presence of God in a way that not a single one of those Old Testament saints had, Josiah didn’t have it. And you do. Not only that, but you haven’t the perfect, accurate representation of the presence of God. Colossians chapter one, verse 15, He is the image of the invisible God, he makes what is unseen seen. Not only that, not only that accuracy, but also the availability of God, when He says in Jesus, the Old Testament presence of God, you gotta go to a certain place at a certain time. Now the presence of God is available anywhere at any time. This is not like on demand shopping. All right. But this is God saying, Oh, I’ve changed the game. In Jesus. Now the presence of God is with you now. When you leave this place, and when you sleep, and tomorrow, to still be there, you have access to the presence of God, not once a year based upon a sacrifice through a high priest at a specific place you had to journey to that is not your experience, your experience is richer and deeper. It’s this really rich thing the Puritans call union with Christ, pondering the mysteries of what it means that we are in union with Christ Colossians chapter three, says that our life is hidden with Christ in God. What Colossians will pull us out to the Colossians. He’s saying, you have a union with Christ, that is so much more profound than any other people before you. Do you see what a privileged place we live in. along the timeline of God. Jesus has brought us what Josiah never could, Okay, now let’s hit the other three of them in a little quicker about the other three. So the first is revival of worship. The second is recovery of God’s Word. So look with me at chapter 22, verses eight through 13. And just listen to the sadness of what we’re about to read. And Hilkiah the high priests set to shape and the Secretary, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. Hilkiah gave the book to shape and and he read it what has just been implied about the high priest. He’s never read the Word of God. He is the high priest. They had to find it. What does that mean? They didn’t know where it was. Shaphen the secretary came to the king and reported to the king, your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, so did what you told us to do, and have delivered it into the hands of the workmen who have the oversight of the house lord, then Shaphan the secretary told the king Hilkiah the priest has given me a book. That’s like a footnote. Oh, yeah. By the way, we found this book you might Be interested and shape and read it before the king. Now here’s the beauty of Josiah. When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah, the priest and Ahikam, the son Shaphan and Achbor the son Mikia. Shaphan the Secretary and Messiah, the king, servants thing going choir of the Lord for me, and for the people and for all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found for great as the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that has written concerning us. So if the first thing Josiah does is, say, we’ve got to revive the worship of God’s people so they can encounter the presence of God, the second thing he does to bring about spiritual renewal is to recover the Word of God in the life of the people, everyone else, the high priests, and all the leaders seem to be sort of like, I don’t know, this is a book, maybe we should have it around. We’ve it’s gathered dust sitting in the corner, we didn’t even know where it was, and I love just like is the second he hears it. What does he know? This is God’s word. This is God’s word. We have not been obeying what you just read to me I’ve never heard before. I’ve been king since I was eight years old. I’m 26. I’ve never heard any of this. That’s a problem. He tears his clothes, and he grieves and he says, We’ve got to know what this word says. So he says, We’ve got to recover God’s word. Well, in order for spiritual renewal to come, he knows we have to recover the Word of God. Why? Why? Because God’s word, Psalm 109, is lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path. In other words, the word of God is what objectively reveals the will the ways and the nature of God. You cannot know it apart from his word, therefore, you must love it, you must treasure it. So how does that apply to our spiritual renewal? Well, it’s probably somewhat obvious is we have to recover our hunger for the Word of God. Not just when we come together, I pray that you sense that we are hungry for God’s word when we come together, that when we come together, we are focused on God’s word that we want to give you a diet of God’s word. That’s why we do expositional preaching through books of the Bible, because we don’t want to skip the hard stuff, right? We want to, we want you to walk out not going, that was a great talk, we want you to walk out God, I know God’s word better. I’ve more fully understand His word, because it’s through his word that you experience, His will and His ways and his nature. That’s what we want for you. That’s what Josiah knows that people need. It’s what we know, the people of God need is the word of God. Friends, if I could just encourage you, you have to hunger for God’s word and recover its presence in your life. So let me say just one thing to that is there is no such thing as too much meditating upon God’s word. I get the sense sometimes that maybe it’s because we read about the Pharisees in the Old Testament. Boy, they knew a lot of God’s Word. We somehow sense that it was because they, they spent so much time reading God’s word and studying God’s word that they became Legolas. So we’re like, wow, I don’t want to do that. So maybe we think we need to be moderate about God’s word. Maybe like, yeah, too much turns into legalists. Maybe too little, you’re gonna kind of run off into crazy life. So we got to find that middle ground. No, there is no such thing as too much exposure, too much enjoyment of too much dipping ourselves in the water of God’s Word. If your exposure to God’s word turns you into a legalist. It’s not because you spent too much time it’s because you approached it through a lens of self righteousness and self justification. That’s why if you go to God’s word to justify yourself, yeah, you’ll become a legalist. And you’ll look down on others and you’ll be holier than thou and self righteous, but it’s not because you spent too much time in God’s word. It’s because you never surrendered and yielded yourself to that word, to show to you and to reveal to you your self righteousness, and you went to it looking to justify yourself, and you found that you could, if you read it in part, it’s not because of too much of God’s word, you understand? Yes. recover your hunger for God’s word. Just let me you can jot these down, just go to some of these classic texts and meditate upon them. Second Timothy, 3:16 and 17. All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting rebuking and training in righteousness. Hebrews 4:12, the word of God is living an active sharper than a double edged sword able to divide joint and mero. Psalm 19, 7 through 11, I want to read this one to you is listen to this. We read this I cheated last night and I read this to my kids because I needed a little sermon prep time. So we read this at bedtime. I asked him this question. So what do you see that the word of God can do. See if you can answer that question. The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. After I read that with Deacon, Deacon said it gives lightning in the eyes. Sure, why not? That sounds cool. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The rules a lot are true and righteous altogether More to be desired are they than gold? Do you want the Word of God more than when your bank account full? Even much fine gold sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them, is your servant warned and keeping them there is great reward. What do we just hear? hunger for the Word of God leads to revival of the soul. It leads to wisdom that leads to great reward in the life. It really it leads to enlightening of the eyes, joy in the heart, do you want these things, hunger for God’s word, recover its presence in your life, this is a promise to you, you will find your soul full as you hunger and thirst for God’s word and take it in day by day by day. Love it, saturate yourselves with it. In the old in the Second Temple period, when rabbis would gather groups of students and teach them when they would have the first day they get they get a tablet to write on on that first day, as they began to learn they were going to memorize the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament. And as they began that process, the rabbi would take honey, I think I’ve shared this with you before, and he spread it on the tablet. And he’d say, Now lick the tablet, and then he would quote Psalm 19 and then and he would say, May the Word of God be as sweet to you as the honey is to your lips. That’s a great way to start your study of the Scriptures in May the Word of God always be as sweet to you, as this honey is to your legs. Now listen, here’s what Josiah can do. He can point the people back to God’s word, but we have an availability to prepare our heart for spiritual renewal and even richer ways because what has Jesus done that Josiah could not do? Josiah could from the outside in say, recover God’s word people of God. What does Jesus do? He is the very Word of God in a person in the same way that he is the temple of God, where the presence of God is experienced. He is the Word of God. And what that means for us is that you and I live in a more privileged position in the timeline of redemptive history than any other people before us, because he has unlocked the key of God’s word for us. As we read the scriptures. Now we see what God has done in Jesus. And it means we have now insight into the interpretive key for every text in all of Scripture, he is the center of the story. And in Him, we understand every piece of scripture, all of it points to him, and directs us towards his finished work this know what Ephesians one, nine and 10 says is I run into my stand there Ephesians one nine intensive This is God was making known to us the mystery of his will, according to His purpose, which is set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time to unite all things in him things in heaven, and things on earth. Do you see what Paul is saying? He is saying that in Christ, the mystery of God’s Will has been revealed, you know, the will of God is to redeem a people for Himself for His glory through Jesus and all of His written Word points to him. Therefore, now we have an insight and an understanding into the mystery of God and into his word that no people before the cross had, yes. How dare we get bored with God’s word? How dare we find it dull? It is the revealed mystery of God and now we see it in Christ in full recovery of God’s word, revival of worship.

Alright, let me pray. Let’s practice revival of worship together, shall we? By singing to Lord as we prepare to depart? Lord, thank You for Your word. I pray that it’s been made plain today. Anything that was unclear by the power of your spirit, would you then cause it to be clear as your people meditate upon it, as they chew upon it as they think on it? Thank you for the mercy of Jesus, His great love. Thank you for how rich it is. We thank You for Your servant Josiah, who points us to him. We thank you for the limitations of Josiah his work that reminded us as good as he was, he wasn’t enough. But we have one who is reveal yourself to as more and more King Jesus, that we might be satisfied in you. The one in whom there is no imperfection. The one who reminds us that in God there is no shifting shadow. Thank you. You are unchanging in Your perfections and your beauty. It’s our delight to offer you these praises the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Continue reading...