The Church at Brook Hills Matt Mason November 9, 2014 2 Kings 22-25
Use this resource as a tool to help Christ-followers move forward in their spiritual growth. To do this well requires that the Small Group Leader is building a relationship with the individuals in the small group and has identified where the people are in their relationship with God. Are they Christ-followers? Are they growing in Christ? If so, in what areas do they need to grow further? As disciple-makers, Small Group Leaders shepherd people to know the truth of Scripture, to understand why it matters, and to apply it to their lives. Small Group Leaders come alongside those whom they disciple to discover how loving God, loving each other, and loving those not yet in the Kingdom should shape how they live. The structure of this resource coincides with moving people from knowledge (Main Truth) to understanding (Why It Matters) to application (Now What Do We Do?). Utilize this Small Group Guide as a flexible teaching tool to inform your time together and not as a rigid task list.
GETTING STARTED Before Small Group Weekly Readings for November 10-16
2 Kings 23-25, 1 Chronicles 1-8, and Hebrews 5-11
Where We Are In The Story ~ Old Testament (2 Kings) Background of 2 Kings: The events of 1 & 2 Kings covers a span of 400 years, and neither book name their author(s). 1 Kings picks up with Solomon’s ascent to the throne, which was approximately 970 B.C, and 2 Kings concludes with the description of King Jehoiachin’s thirty-seventh year in exile by the Babylonians, which would have been around 560 B.C. So 1 & 2 Kings would have been completed around this time. 2 Kings describes the events leading up to the Northern Kingdom’s exile by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. After the Northern Kingdom was taken captive, the question became whether or not Judah would learn from Israel, repent of their idolatry, and turn to the Lord, but 2 Kings records the fall of Judah to the Babylonian Empire in 586 B.C. Although Judah would return to the Promised Land seventy years after their exile, the Northern Kingdom never returned to the Promised Land after the Assyrian captivity.
This Week in 2 Kings: 2 Kings 23 continues with the reign of Josiah and describes the reforms he enacted after Hilkiah the high priest discovered a scroll in the temple containing the “Book of the Law” (22:8). Questions arise as to how such important content went missing in Israel as well as what portion of Scripture was contained on the discovered scroll. It likely included at least a portion of Deuteronomy, if not the entire Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy), and it is possible that, in an age before printing presses, other scrolls with the same content either were destroyed by wicked kings such as Manasseh or disintegrated over time. Yet God in His sovereignty safeguarded a scroll that would come to light in Josiah’s reign and lead to reforms in the nation. Such reforms included leading the people in a covenant renewal service (23:1-4) and destroying the high places and idolatrous worship sites in the land (23:5-20). As Josiah defiled the altars at these idolatrous sites with the bones from priestly graves, he fulfills the prophecy by the unnamed prophet in 1 Kings 13:1-10, which had been made over 300 years before this event.
Josiah also led the people in restoring the Passover celebration (23:21-27), and 2 Chronicles 35:18 clarifies that the country had not celebrated such a grand, lavish Passover since the days of Samuel. King Josiah even donated 30,000 of his own lambs and goats as well as 3,000 bulls to be used in the worship service. While we do not know the exact length of time that had lapsed between the previous Passover celebration and the one Josiah initiated, Hezekiah (Josiah’s great-grandfather) is the last king who ruled when a Passover celebration is mentioned (2 Chron. 30), but Josiah’s Passover follows the Law’s prescriptions more closely than Hezekiah’s Passover. Interestingly, Josiah does all of this after receiving the prophecy from Huldah that God would judge the nation for their idolatry (2 Kgs. 22:14-20). As Paul House states in his commentary on 1 and 2 Kings:
Josiah’s emphasis on the Passover is one more attempt on his part to take the covenant nation back to their roots. It is as if he believes the nation has a chance to survive if the people will return to basics like an emphasis on God’s Word, on covenant keeping, and on ceremonies that pass the faith from one generation to another. Despite Huldah’s prophetic message that predicts Judah’s doom, the king works to save the nation. In this way he acts like Moses, who serves God and Israel even after he knows that neither he nor his people will reach Canaan. Both leaders work to redeem the time and the remnant and to offer the witness that God is worth serving under any and all circumstances.
Because of its location, Israel got caught in the crosshairs of conflict as Egypt went to assist Assyria against the Babylonians, and as Josiah engaged Pharaoh Neco II of Egypt in Megiddo, the Egyptians killed him (23:28-35). The people named Josiah’s son Jehoahaz as their king, but he only reigned for three months before the Egyptians captured him and named Eliakim (a.k.a. Jehoiakim who was also a son of Josiah) as the puppet king who paid tribute to Pharaoh (23:31-35). Both Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim were evil kings, and within twenty-two years of Josiah’s death, Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. Nabopolassar and his son Nebuchadnezzar (the same king whom the prophet Daniel served) conquered the Assyrians and the Egyptians, establishing Babylon as the dominant world empire. When Babylon conquered Egypt, Judah transitioned from being a vassal state of Egypt to being a vassal state of the Babylonian Empire (23:36-24:1).
For whatever reason, Jehoiakim rebelled against the Babylonian Empire, and God sent judgment on Judah in the form of attacks from various nations (24:1-7). When Jehoiakim died, his son Jehoiachin assumed the throne and ruled for only three months before giving himself up as a prisoner to the Babylonians (24:8-12). This first deportation of Israelites by the Babylonians occurred in 597 B.C. and included the royal family, officials, military leaders, and Ezekiel the prophet. During this time, the Babylonians plundered the temple and put the vessels in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace, and they made Zedekiah (a.k.a. Mattaniah, another son of Josiah) the ruler over Judah (24:16-17). Because of Zedekiah’s rebellion, the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem for two years, which led to a famine so severe that the people became cannibalistic (Lam. 4:10), and the Babylonians burned Solomon’s temple and other parts of the city and its wall, raped many of the women, pillaged Jerusalem, and deported more of the people, leaving only the poorest of the land (25:12). All of this occurred by 586 B.C.
Although 2 Kings concludes with a depressing report of Judah’s defeat, exile, and judgment, it ends with a note of hope. Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, releases Jehoiachin from prison and included him in his government (25:27-30). Yes, the people of Judah were dispersed throughout the eastern Mediterranean world, but a king of Judah, a descendant of David, remained to perpetuate the Davidic line as God had promised (2 Sam. 7:7-17). Judah’s exile lasted seventy years with the people being allowed to return to Canaan in 538 B.C., and with this remnant, God starts over with the people of Israel. God judged His people for their sin as He promised, but He also planned to restore them. He disciplines because He is just and righteous but also because He is a God who loves His people (Heb. 12:5-11).
Where We Are In The Story ~ Old Testament (1 Chronicles) Background of 1 Chronicles:Scholars do not know the identity of “the Chronicler” God used to write 1 and 2 Chronicles, but the content of the book suggests that it was written after the people of Judah returned to the land after the Babylonian captivity (see 2 Chron. 36:21-23), which means that the earliest possible date for these books is 538 B.C. Chronicles follows the reigns of the Davidic kings and provides a theological interpretation of the nation’s history, demonstrating that God’s plans for the nation had not failed. For this reason, it acts as more than a supplement to Samuel and Kings, for it addresses the theological questions of God’s people after returning from exile and provides insight into the character of God, worship that pleases Him, and His covenant with His people.
This Week in 1 Chronicles:1 Chronicles 1-9 contains two distinct genealogies: Adam to Jacob (1:1-2:2) and the twelve tribes of Israel from their development to their return from exile (2:3-9:34). By starting with these genealogies, the Chronicler reminds the people of Israel of who they are as God’s people and how God formed them for His purpose. Before the creation of the first man, He chose them. He formed Adam, chose Noah, selected Abraham, and ordained the twelve tribes (the descendants of Jacob). Therefore, the genealogies provide a zoomed out view of the nation’s formation and identity.
Two tribes are omitted from the genealogies– the tribes of Dan and Zebulun, and three tribes receive an inordinate amount of description – Judah, Levi, and Benjamin. In 1 Chronicles 4, the Chronicler begins the genealogies of the twelve tribes with Judah, Jacob’s fourth son, instead of Reuben who was Jacob’s firstborn. As prophesied in Genesis 49, Judah’s descendants would be kings, and the Davidic kings including the Messiah came from the line of Judah, which is why it receives such prioritized attention. The genealogy of the tribe of Levi stands as the longest genealogy given by the Chronicler (6:1-80) and it is included in the middle of the tribal genealogies much as the tribe was also in the physical center of the camp during Israel’s wilderness years, with Levi encamped around the tabernacle and the other tribes encamped around Levi. As Richard Pratt notes in his commentary on 1 and 2 Chronicles, “The worship of the Lord and the servants of that worship were to be the focus of hope for the traveling Israelite community, and the Chronicler reflected this symbolism in his model of the post-exilic community by setting the genealogies of Levi in the center of his description of the sons of Israel.”
In between Judah and Levi, the Chronicler lists the tribe of Simeon then the tribes that existed east of the Jordan River – Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (4:24-5:26; see also Josh. 22), and between Levi and Benjamin, the Chronicler includes six brief sections on Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Asher (7:1-40). A short record of Benjamin is given in 1 Chronicles 7 with an extended version taking up 1 Chronicles 8, and the additional attention has to do with this being the tribe of Israel’s first king, Saul. Also, the tribe of Benjamin later became absorbed into Judah after the split of Israel and Judah, so the tribes of the Northern Kingdom are sandwiched by the two tribes of the Southern Kingdom in the Chronicler’s descriptions.
Interspersed in the genealogies of the tribes are remarks about covenant fidelity. Manasseh “broke faith” with God by worshipping false gods, which led to the Northern Kingdom’s exile by the Assyrians (5:23-26), and Judah was taken into exile by the Babylonians because of the people’s “breach of faith” (9:1). Even references such as the death of Judah’s son Er because of his wickedness point to God’s judgment of sin (2:3-4), and all of this reminds readers that God punishes the wicked and blesses the faithful (although such blessings are not always in the form of material things).
Where We Are In The Story ~ New Testament (Hebrews) Background of Hebrews: Written by an unnamed author to second generation Christians (2:3; 4:2), Hebrews provides encouragement to believers to endure in their commitment to the gospel despite their persecution and to hold to the truth of God’s Word (2:1-4; 10:32-39; 13:7-9). This book was written more as a sermon to be read to the intended group of believers rather than a letter, which accounts for the lack of salutation that is included in all of the Pauline epistles. The title of the book does not necessarily mean that the intended audience was primarily Christian Jews, although that could have been the case. The author does presuppose that his intended audience has considerable familiarity with the Old Testament, for he exegetes the Old Testament in order to demonstrate the supremacy of Christ and how He fulfills the Old Testament.
This Week in Hebrews: Hebrews 5:1-6 builds on Hebrews 4 in showing how Jesus is the same as the Levitical high priests in that He was appointed by God for the role and that He’s human and can, therefore, identify personally with the weakness and suffering of those for whom He intercedes. But Hebrews 5-9 also touts that Jesus’ priesthood is greater than the Levitical priesthood because He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Being from the tribe of Judah, Jesus was not from the priestly tribe of Levi and therefore, could not function as a high priest according to Mosaic law. But God made Him a high priest “after the order of Melchizedek” who was the King of Salem (Jerusalem) mentioned in Genesis 14 (5:10). Melchizedek functioned as both king and priest, and because Scripture introduces him without reference to his lineage (7:1-3), comparison is made between him and Christ who has no beginning or end and who rules as king and priest forever. Because Melchizedek came before Moses and because argument can be made that “Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham” (7:4-10), the order of Melchizedek is considered superior to the Levitical priesthood (7:11-22).
Unlike the Levitical priests who die, Jesus is eternal (7:23-25); therefore, His priesthood is perpetual. It does not end. Unlike the Levitical priests who must first offer sacrifices for their own sins (7:26-28), Jesus has no need to do so because He is sinless; in fact, He offered Himself and became the sacrifice that pardons sinners. Unlike the Levitical priests who came about because of a divine command (Ex. 28:1), Jesus became a priest because of a divine oath (Ps. 110:4; Heb. 7:20-22, 28).
Jesus, our high priest, currently sits “at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in heaven” and serves in the “true tent” of worship established by God (8:1-2). The author of Hebrews shows that God originally intended to make two covenants (8:6-13), and the author describes how the tabernacle that was built during Moses’ lifetime followed the pattern of a greater tent (8:2-5). With this, it is important to note that the same pattern exists for the Garden of Eden, the tabernacle/temple, and the New Jerusalem (Gen. 2:4-14; Ex. 25-30, 36-40; Rev. 21-22). In the tabernacle, only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and this only occurred once a year on the Day of Atonement when the high priest offered a sacrifice for the sins of the nation and sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant (9:1-10; Lev. 16). But Christ’s blood supplanted the blood of any sacrificial animal, and by being both the high priest and the sacrifice, He mediates a new and greater covenant (9:11-28).
The author of Hebrews uses these descriptions to explain how the old covenant was never sufficient to “make perfect those who draw near” (10:1), for “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (10:4). The people of the Old Testament era were never saved by the guilt offerings, Passover celebrations, festivals, or the Law itself, for this would mean that salvation is by works rather than by grace. Hebrews 10:12 states that “when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,” which is a contrast to Levitical priests who never sat but always stood and served because their duties were never completed since sacrifices always had to be offered. But Christ’s sacrifice was perfect and final. As F.F. Bruce states in his commentary on Hebrews,
A seated priest is a guarantee of a finished work and an accepted sacrifice. The heavenly high priest has indeed a continual ministry to discharge on his people’s behalf at the Father’s right hand; but that is a ministry of intercession on the basis of the sacrifice presented and accepted once for all; it is not the constant or repeated offering of his sacrifice.
In reading so much doctrine, it can be easy to get caught up in the attainment of knowledge or, especially in Hebrews, the connections you make between the Old and New Testaments. But do not forget that such doctrine should lead to doxology and to duty in our lives. For example, what are the implications of Jesus being our high priest and how can this knowledge fuel our worship of Him? Think about the implications for our lives if Jesus was not our high priest. Praise Him for how He is fully human and, therefore, knows our weaknesses and our battle with temptation and can sympathize with our frailty (2:14-18; 4:14-5:4). Praise Him for being a perfect and sinless high priest who is eternal and is always interceding on our behalf (7:23-28; 10:11-15). Praise Him for providing unhindered access to God (4:16); we get the privilege of coming directly to God at any time because of Christ. Praise Him for securing our eternal redemption by the means of His own blood, being both our high priest and the sacrifice itself (7:25; 9:11-10:15). Praise Him for making our forgiveness and reconciliation with God even possible!
After nine chapters of stout doctrine, Hebrews 10-13 digs into the practical implications of how Christ’s work affects the lives of His followers. While obedience was required by the Mosaic law, greater faithfulness is expected of those who are in Christ Jesus. This is not because obedience merits anything, it is because we have experienced the mercy and grace of our Savior. Hebrews 11, the “hall of faith,” follows the commands of chapter ten with examples of believers throughout redemption history who trusted the Lord and followed Him despite ambiguity, persecution, suffering, loss, and without seeing Him fulfill all of His promises. Throughout Hebrews, the author also provides many references to our final destination: our eternal “rest,” the presence of God, a heavenly Jerusalem, Mount Zion, and a heavenly country. He reminds us of our destination while describing our pilgrimage as fraught with challenges (2:1; 4:1; 6:12; 12:1, 12-13), and in addition to “so great a cloud of witnesses” (12:1), he elevates Jesus as our model for how to navigate this life with faith and faithfulness (5:7-8; 12:1-3). To readers who were facing persecution, these reminders were meant to comfort and to spur them on despite hardship (see 5:11-6:1; 10:32-39; 12:3-14).
During Small Group Welcome – Incorporate time for greeting one another, enjoying any refreshments, and making announcements. If guests are visiting, make introductions and help them feel welcomed. Ask for their contact information, so you can follow up with them. Looking Back – Provide an opportunity for small group members to share what God is teaching them, how they are applying what they are learning, and how He has given them opportunities to share the gospel with others. This can be done as a whole group or in smaller groups. Do the people know each other well enough to share more than surface level information? How can time together be used to foster deeper relationships among those in the small group? Also, what are the struggles and needs of the people in the small group? How can the people in the small group sacrificially serve each other? Looking Up – Hold prayer as fundamental to small group time rather than supplemental to it. Give adoration and thanksgiving to God in prayer. Submit yourself to Him, confessing sin. Petition God for personal needs and other requests. Pray for the disciple-making efforts of those in the group and for the salvation of the lost in each other’s families, spheres of influence, and in the world. The Weekly Prayer Focus below can also be incorporated in the group’s prayer time.
Weekly Prayer Focus (from Our Worship Guide)
Pray for Our Lives: Praise God for His plan of redemption and the sacrifice of Christ that grants us access to God. Thank Him for being uniquely capable of bringing lasting change to our hearts, minds, and the world around us. Pray we would have humble and repentant hearts and be quick to flee from sin. Ask God to show the idols we’ve built in our lives and give us the grace to walk away from them. Pray for God to give us the desire to seek Him consistently. Praise God for the satisfaction and hope that comes in Christ. Praise God for sovereignly building His Church. Ask Him to show us how to serve Him rightly.
Pray for Our City: This week we are praying for the ministry of WorkFaith Birmingham (workfaithbhm.org) and their upcoming Business Leaders Breakfast on Thursday, November 13, at Regions Field. Brook Hills helped launch WorkFaith Birmingham a year ago with a significant grant to help the ministry begin. We are also praying for CrossPoint Church, Argo, Alabama, and Ryan Whitley, Pastor
Pray for Our World: This week we are praying for Brook Hills Mid-Termer Braden H. who is serving in India. Braden has the privilege to serve with one of Brook Hills’ field partners who is training believers in sharing the gospel, making disciples, and planting churches. Braden’s main role is to serve this partner by surveying and assessing the water projects put into local villages for access to unreached peoples. Join us this week as we pray for Braden H.
MAIN TRUTH Message Outline How to Build God’s Church
2 Kings 22-25 God uses means to build and strengthen his Church, and there are ways to lean into this strengthening work of God. Eagerness: Seek the Lord (2 Kings 22:1-2)
In Scripture, if you find someone who has genuine faith in God, you are finding someone who seeksafter God.
When the Old Testament prophets see people running to idols for satisfaction, they don’t correct the impulse of searching. They point to the trueSource of life.
Purity: Clean the House (2 Kings 22:3-6)
In the Old Testament era, the truths about God’s rule and blessing were often packed into things that were highly visible (temple, land, priestly garments, anointing the king with oil).
New Testament believers pursue real reform not by destroying the worship sites of false gods but by striving after purity and holiness before God.
Revelation: Find the Book (2 Kings 22:11-13; 23:1-27)
As soon as Josiah gets his hands on the Book, he wants it read before all the people and he wants the people to make a covenant to live under this Word.
Our sole confidence as a church as we face the future is this: God builds his church by his Spirit through his Word!
The End of 2 Kings: Tragedy and Hope (2 Kings 25)
It would seem that God’s promise to claim a people for his own possession had failed, but there’s a ray of hope: a living king in the line of David.
Jesus alone is able to bring more than temporary reform. He is able to build his Church.
Message Summary After a tumultuous time of evil leadership, Josiah became king at the age of eight. As the Lord gave Josiah a desire to seek Him, Josiah sought out a relationship with the God, whom neither his father nor grandfather followed. Josiah led the charge to destroy the nation’s idols and to restore worship in the Temple. When the Book of the Law was found, the king mourned over the way that Judah had lived in rebellion against God. He led the people of God to hear and obey God’s Word. God’s promise to bring judgment against Judah came swiftly after Josiah’s death. The end of the book, however, leaves us with the preservation of the kingly line of David, through whom the Messiah would be born.
WHY IT MATTERS Digging Deeper As the leader, there are at least three directions the small group can take in light of the current Bible reading plan. Knowing the people in the group, prayerfully consider what would be the best route to help those in your group grow. The group’s meetings could also vary with each week, so if one week’s sermon prompts a lot of thought and discussion, option one could be what the group does that week while the next week could be different. As the leader, feel the freedom to take all or just some of the content in this guide and do what is best for your group.
Using the discussion questions below, the small group time can focus on discussing the sermon and how to apply it.
The group can discuss the Bible readings from the past week. If choosing this route, ensure that the group does not simply discuss information but also focuses on how to apply what they have learned from the Bible readings. The information in the “Where We Are in the Story” section can assist the leader in knowing the background and context for the readings.
Using the REAP (read, examine, apply, pray) outline for studying Scripture, the group can take one or both passages from that day’s readings and discuss them. So if the group meets on Monday, then you could pick one or both of the passages for Monday. This also helps those who are new to studying the Bible or who struggle with reading it learn how to do so. To assist the group with REAP questions, download the Guide to Personal Worship from brookhills.org.
Josiah was raised at a time when his father reigned over Judah in an evil way, and his grandfather Manassah was quite possibly the most evil king in Judah’s history. Josiah’s devotion to the Lord came in spite of what he could have known from his family leaders. Point out to your group that many of them may be in a situation where they have come from a family or a community in which they were taught little about the Bible and witnessed little, or even the opposite, of what it means to follow God. Discuss how Josiah took the little that he knew and began to lead in a way that was pleasing to God. Ask members to talk about how we often do the same in our own lives. When we do not have a spiritual trail blazed before us, where and how do we begin to lead our families to follow God? Look at 2 Chronicles 34:1-7. Point out that Josiah simply began his walk with the Lord by seeking Him. As God drew Josiah to Himself, Josiah responded by seeking after the Lord, and then He began with what he knew—destroying all idols—and continued from there.
Emphasize that Josiah’s ignorance of the Law did not excuse him from following it. In fact, how did Josiah react when he discovered that neither he nor his fathers had been living according to God’s Law? What does his act of mourning indicate about his devotion to God and his love for God’s Word? Whereas some people may see the Law as something to follow begrudgingly, Josiah saw it as grace from God so that he could live in a way that pleased the Lord. How was the Word a lifeline for Josiah? Emphasize that as Christ followers who may not have the joy of being taught the word from an early age, God has given us the grace and resources that we need to blaze new trails like Josiah did—from our Father who has promised to guide us and be with us the whole way.
NOW WHAT DO WE DO? Group Discussion & Application
Use the following questions to help review the application of God’s Word to our Head (What does God want me to know?), to our Heart (What does God want me to desire/value?), and to our Hands (What does God want me to do?).
Read 2 Kings 22:1-2 and 2 Chronicles 34:1-3. Josiah’s father and grandfather did not show him the way to walk in the Lord as God instructed in His Word (in fact, the book was lost at the time Josiah became king). Describe Josiah’s faith and how his spiritual journey of actively seeking God influenced his life and faith. How did seeking God both demonstrate and fuel Josiah’s faith?
Seeking God requires action, both in the seeking and in the aftermath of what we have learned. Looking at both 2 Chronicles 34:3-7 and 2 Kings 22, how did Josiah react to the growth of his relationship with the Lord? How did his life change? How was his leadership impacted?
What does our attitude toward an intentional relationship with God and the receptivity to changing our lives to His will indicate about our genuine faith in God?
What does it look like to seek after God on a daily basis? Are you doing those things? If not, why? If you are not seeking after God, then what are you seeking? What types of things do people seek other than God? What are reasons why people seek their satisfaction, comfort, etc. in those people or things instead of in God? How can you begin to seek God today, tomorrow, this week?
In the time of the Old Testament, God’s reputation to surrounding nations as well as His people’s spiritual state was reflected in physical manifestations of blessing and worship. For example, the external state of the Temple during the reign of Josiah reflected the state of worship in Judah. Why was Josiah’s purging of physical idols in Judah necessary for the restoration of true worship?
How can we deconstruct the areas of idolatry and false worship in our lives today? What areas do we place before God?
How do we often even place good things such as family, children, vocations, and dreams on pedestals of idolatry?
Read 1 Peter 4:13-25. Because the Holy Spirit lives inside those who follow Christ, the site of worship is now with God’s people and not a physical site. Therefore, why is striving for personal holiness an imperative trait of a Christian?
What does it look like to strive for holiness and righteousness on a daily basis?
What are some areas in our spiritual life that we need to address to restore true worship in our hearts toward God? What sins are we tolerating in our lives instead of addressing? What are some practical steps that we can take to begin to bring healing to our relationship with the Father? What does it look like to address sin at the root?
How do we make a safe place for one another to share struggles in our lives in which we need restoration of worship and purity while also maintaining scriptural authority and holiness?
Tearing one’s clothes was a sign of mourning and lamenting in the time of Josiah. How does his actions at the reading of the Book of the Law demonstrate Josiah’s love for God’s Word and his desire to serve God wholeheartedly?
Josiah easily could have taken the position of “I didn’t know!” in response to hearing God’s commands. How can Josiah’s response to God’s Word be contrasted with many of us today who are convicted from God’s Word and try to justify our actions?
Why is our dependence upon and trust in the authority of God’s Word imperative to the purity of our worship and the depth of our fellowship with Him?
Why is it important for us as Christ-followers to know the Word and to study it? What is the difference between reading it for information and reading it for transformation? How can you apply what you read in God’s Word this week? If we have a checklist mentality when it comes to reading the Bible, how can we address that?
Despite the reforms that Josiah implemented, he knew that God’s judgment was impending because of the evil Judah and her leaders had committed. However, Josiah took responsibility for his own knowledge and time as Judah’s leader. How did his actions reflect a belief in God’s goodness and sovereignty as well as man’s responsibility?
Josiah’s reforms did not last and God’s judgment came quickly but the last verses of 2 Kings 25 give us a glimpse of the line of David through which Jesus would be born. How is this a picture of God’s grace?
“How to Build God’s Church,” November 9, 2014 | Page