Partial or Selective Hearing can be dangerous….

You will probably know that the Books of Kings and Chronicles in the Old testament contain the histories of many rulers of Israel and Judah, and quite a mixed bag they are! A considerable number of them walked in rebellion against God and did what was evil in His sight. However in Judah especially there were some good guys (which interestingly enough seems to be becoming a generically neutral word)! One of the good guys was Josiah. He became king when he was just eight years old. I guess there is nothing surprising in that. Many monarchs have technically and in actual fact  become king or queen at that age or younger throughout history, some of them a lot closer to home than Israel. However what is noted in a particular way  about Josiah in the text of the bible, as though it was a bit unusual and worthy of comment,  is that from a very young age as a teenager he set himself to seek the Lord, and to honour the Lord in the way he reigned. He did pretty well in that pursuit.

You can trace that success  in 2 Chronicles Chapters 34 and 35 to the fact that he honoured both the Word of God  and the Spirit of God. During his reign and the building renovations he undertook, the Book of the Law of God was discovered. That probably is a reference to the Book of Deuteronomy but we cannot be certain about that. Whatever, it is a bit of a shameful thing that the Book of the Law of God had been lost in the first place by God’s people and had to be found again. In fact it is quite an appalling indictment against  God’s people.  I could digress here in the light of the present state of the Church in Scotland and the UK and North America  judging by decisions taken at the highest level of several denominations to depart from the text of God’s Word, but I will resist! Maybe one day the Church will rediscover the bible, effectively in many quarters the Lost Book of God. To Josiah’s credit when the book of the law was discovered he set to work to bring Israel into obedience to that law in its commands and rituals and festivals. He honoured God’s Word.

Josiah also honoured God’s Spirit. He allowed the prophetic word to be spoken into his life through and into his times through Huldah. It was not altogether a rosy picture that was spoken prophetically, but Josiah honoured it and received it, and did not go into the huff about the unpleasant parts of the prophetic word but served the Lord even more so.

However, every one of us has a weak spot. Though the bible  says there was never another earthly King of Judah like Josiah before or after he reigned, though of course he was not perfect. Yes, he was open to the Word of God, he was open to the Spirit of God, but where he fell down was that he was not open to the fact that God could speak to him through the king of Egypt! Knowing the history of the Jews that is perhaps not surprising, but nonetheless because of his failure to listen to the word of God through the King of Egypt, Josiah died as a result of wounds in a battle.

Is there someone God is using to speak to you, but you cannot recognise it? It might be because of past history either with that individual or just the past story of your life that makes you think the God who loves you would not speak to you through them and thereby cause you needless confusion or distress. It may be you think God could not possibly use someone whose theology is as wonky as theirs is in your view! It could even be that there is a slight racism we can be guilty of: e.g.  “If God is going to speak to us here in Scotland he will do it through a Scot! We don’t need these folk from South of the border or from across the pond or from Africa or from somewhere in the East, thank you very much!” Perhaps you find it difficult to hear the Word of the Lord through someone who is poor or uneducated, or on benefit, or who falls into all 3 of these categories. Perhaps you are guilty of inverted snobbery and cannot hear the Word of the Lord through someone who is rich or educated or successful or all 3!

Is there a limitation on who you will receive the word of the Lord through? Well, He may well humble you and ask you to hear him through a donkey: in fact that is a prophetic word for someone specifically even if it has more general application. You have  sarcastically called someone a donkey recently; better listen to the donkey if you want it to go well with you.

God Bless