Give me a word, Lord: BACK TO THE BASICS

2 Kings 22:11-13 When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser:  “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been d/oing everything it says we must do.”

2 Kings 22;18-20 “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: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate. You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord. So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.’”

In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Josiah, he commissioned a group of people to make renovations and repair the temple of the Lord. While working on the temple, the workers discovered some of the scrolls of God’s Word. Josiah was only 26 years old at the time, but when these words were revealed to him, he tore his clothes in great despair. He was a good king, and he followed the ways of the Lord. However, when these words were revealed to him, he recognized how far the people had gone away from the ways of the Lord, and he was anguished. The really neat thing that we see here is that after Josiah heard the Word of God, he made some major reformations. He removed the mediums, idols, and all of the false gods. He was a man after God’s heart. 2 Kings 23:25 tells us “Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.” He turned to the Lord with all of his heart, his soul and his strength! Wow! Josiah must have been a wonderful king. Isn’t it amazing how reading and living the Word of God can change a person? In this case, the reading of God’s Word changed an entire kingdom.

This is what we need in our world today. We need to get back to the Word. We need to get back to the basics…the basics of reading the Word of God and actually following the instructions given to us in His Word. Our country has forgotten the true living Word. Everyone is doing their own thing. As long as it feels good, it must be okay, right? Wrong! If it’s not Biblical, it’s not something that we should morally accept as okay, y’all. We can’t keep loving and accepting sin as though it doesn’t exist. Don’t misinterpret my words here. I am NOT saying we should hate the sinner. We have all sinned, but thankfully we have a loving and forgiving Father. But, Peeps, we can’t keep loving the sin. We must love the sinner, but hate the sin. We have to stop changing the Word of God to fit our lifestyles, and we have to quit picking and choosing the parts of His Word that we want to follow while ignoring the rest. We have to get back to the basics of studying and following the Word. It’s the only way that this nation, this wonderful nation that was created as “one nation under God”, will ever survive.

In 1996, Pastor Joe Wright was asked to pray before the Kansas House of Representatives. Oh, they likely thought that they would get one of those cookie cutter prayers of blessings and praise. Well, Pastor Joe gave them their full monies worth! I venture to say that he probably wasn’t invited back. Here is a transcript of his prayer. “Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess: We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it pluralism. We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of your will. I ask it in the Name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

The response to his prayer was immediate. A few of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. It was NOT the prayer that they had expected, but it sure was the prayer that they needed. It is the prayer that we all need. This was spoken some 24 years ago, and yet we are seeing the same evil and sin today, but it has been multiplied and worsened. The Word of God is our sword. It is our instruction manual. It gives us all of the basic instructions we need. It gives us the law which is followed by the beautiful story of redemption. It promises rewards, but it also promises penalties for these sins. I’m pretty sure we should be anguished right now, tearing our clothes, putting on the sackcloth and ashes y’all. People if we don’t get back to the basics of loving our heavenly Father and following in His ways, we are headed down a very rocky road of destruction. God can’t keep turning His head. He’s not going to keep looking the other way. Let’s get in His Word today, and get back to the basics!

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