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Pulverizing Paganism (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 14, 2023 6:00 am

Pulverizing Paganism (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 14, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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There's no other man in all the Bible associated with Messiah as King David and I think it's wonderful.

I love that. I love King David because I can identify with him probably the most. I wish I could say that it was Daniel or Joseph because they were extraordinary men.

Because he is the man. Today, Pastor Rick will continue teaching through 2 Kings chapter 23 and his message called Pulverizing Paganism. Solomon prided himself.

He was quite the statesman and he was just totally deceived. He introduced these spiritual viruses to Jerusalem and they could never get them out. God had to do that when he sent them to Babylon. That dealt with idolatry in the Jews but then they had other issues.

But here's an interesting play on words. The Mount of Corruption. You say, well where is that on the map? What's the Mount of Olives?

Where Solomon built shrines of the pagan gods according to 1 Kings 11 verse 7. So the Hebrew play on words, the Hebrew name for the Mount of Olives or the Mount of Ointment, you crush the olives, you get the oil. It's Har Hamishka. But the Hebrew for Mount of Corruption is Har Hamishkith. So you see the slight little play. We can pick it up phonetically.

We can hear it and say okay. Instead of ka, it's kith. It's quite a clever insult. Which the writers of Kings and Chronicles and the prophets were notorious for doing. Insulting the pagan idols and emblems. Verse 14.

And he broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images and filled their places with the bones of dead men. He did not care who was offended. In fact, if you were offended for offending God, you'd get in trouble around Josiah. You better keep that under your hat.

You know, it's odd. We hear Christian conservatives saying we want politicians who stand up and say what they mean. And then when they go to Washington and they cave and they're disgusted. But then they get a pastor who will stand up and preach what he believes and they get offended.

He goes, I mean it's just a sin. It's everywhere. Where does trouble come from?

I mean where does it come from? Is there like a little trouble cloud that moves around and rains on people? When you think about it, I mean some troubles self inflict itself into, but other troubles like, man it's like a blanket of darkness.

Like a fog that rolls in. And it is spiritual. And sometimes you have to identify, is this God or is this the devil?

Is God doing a work or is Satan, has he gotten access? Verse 15. Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, the high place which Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, who made Israel sin, they always put that in there. He is probably one of the most disliked people in the Bible. By the people in the Bible had made both the altar and the high places he broke down and burned the high place and crushed it to powder and burned the wooden image. So there he is pulverizing it again. Verse 16.

As Josiah turned he saw the tombs that were there on the mountain and he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar. And he filed it according to the word of Yahweh which the man of God proclaimed who proclaimed these words. So there we see him there. He turned and he saw. He's present.

He is in the field with the troops. This is the fulfillment of about a 300 year prophecy. I mean if it was a 50 day prophecy fulfilled it would be impressive. But this is three centuries old. It goes back to 1 Kings 13. Then he cried out.

This is the man of God. He came, Jeroboam built that altar in Bethel and the man of God was sent up and he pronounced judgment. And God said don't go back the same way you came.

Don't stop to eat with anybody. He disobeyed God and the lion killed. You might know the story. So here's what we read in 1 Kings 13. Then he cried out against the altar by the word of Yahweh and said alter, alter. Thus says Yahweh. Behold a child Josiah by name shall be born to the house of David and on you he shall sacrifice the priest of the high places who burn incense on you. And men's bones shall be burned on you.

And here it is being fulfilled. And that prophet is still referred to as the man of God. Just because he suffered the consequence of disobedience and poor judgment combination. He's still a man of God. God doesn't call him the backsliding prophet like he does Balaam. And Josiah, he's personally involved in cleansing the land. It's personal with him.

John the apostle in his first letter, how does he end that letter? We should never trivialize this. Little children keep yourselves from idols. Amen. They're still around. False representations of deity. They're always out of hell. Even if men claim credit, they're from hell through that individual and out to whatever source that they have in mind.

Anyway, whatever goals. Verse 17. And he said, what gravestone is this that I see? So he's on it, man.

He's scanning the area. So the men of the city told him, it is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel. Well, it's remarkable how some people knew the prophecy. Josiah didn't know. He misturched that sermon. He didn't hear about it. Because we didn't have the word of God like we have the word of God. And certainly in his upbringing in the palace, they didn't get it.

Somewhere there was a gap. It's so easy to disbelieve God's word. You know what an unbelievable, a militant unbeliever would say about this? Ah, they wrote that in afterwards. Yeah, well, we got about a hundred other prophecies that nobody could have written in afterwards. What do you say about them being head?

So, I mean, say it in love. You know, much of what is prophesied in Revelation, we don't really understand, but those who will be living through it, they're going to get it. They're going to be able to go right to Revelation. This is just what was said by John in the Revelation. We are increasing our knowledge.

One of the exciting things, I haven't been able to do a study on Revelation since these new technological advances. So now when you talk about a lot of these creatures, teeth like a dragon and hair like a woman, you know, these could be drones dressed up. I mean, there's a stinger within their tail. It's not these real creatures, mutant creatures.

This is an island off, right off of Connecticut and Long Island, the tip of Long Island in New York. And it's an island where they have a lot of scientific experiments and animals and there's a lot of lore about mutant creatures. It's lore.

It's not real. Anyway, I digress. How encouraged you must have felt to hear that you have been named by God 300 years before by the bones, the man that owns these bones, this prophet for this high work. Psalm 139 verses 2 through 4. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought afar off. In other words, before you even think of it, long before God knows it, you comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue. Behold, O Lord, that you know all together. God is as though he is, if I could just say it this way, it's like he's this incredibly spiritual computer that can sense everything before it even happens.

It's so plugged in. So intelligent. It goes beyond, you know, if you can exhaust an explanation of your God, you got the wrong God. God is beyond our comprehension, our complete comprehension.

There's much about him we can get though. Verse 18, and he said, Let him alone. Let no one move his bones. So they let his bones alone with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. So the bones of the prophet of Judah who pronounced the curse on this altar that Josiah is destroying and the bones of the priest that are being burned as prophesied and the prophet who lied to the prophet and got him killed.

And I mean, that guy irritates me. The old prophet of Bethel, that's who he is. And he's in 1 Kings 13. Anyway, verse 19, Now Josiah also took away all the shrines of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke Yahweh to anger. And he did to them according to all the deeds he had done in Bethel.

So he ground those of powder. Verse 20, He executed all the priests of the high places who were there on the altars and burned men's bones on them and returned to Jerusalem. So you want to offer up little children?

We're going to offer you up and their bones. I mean, just total disgust at what was going on in Israel. And you're just amazed that when his son, Jehoiakim, becomes king, he's a vile, disgusting creature too. And the things they did to Jeremiah, just so, why?

Because he didn't agree with them. Verse 21, Then the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to Yahweh your God, as it is written in the book of the covenant. So first he finds the scripture. He makes the people pledge allegiance, make that commitment and covenant.

He goes to work on the idols, purging the land. And then he comes back and says, Now we're going to celebrate God delivering us from the death in Egypt, from the slavery in Egypt. And they're going to commemorate Yahweh's deliverance. More details about this are given in 2 Chronicles 35, where it's a parallel account.

And it's worth reading. It's exciting to see how Josiah encourages not only the priests, but also the Levites. Verse 22, Such a Passover surely has never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. Verse 23, But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, this Passover was held before Yahweh in Jerusalem. So he's 26 years old now. He became king at 8 years old.

Moreover, 36 years, sorry. Verse 24, Moreover, Josiah put away those who consulted mediums and spirits, the household gods and idols, all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book of Hilkiah the priest, that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. Remember, this was their national constitution to obey God.

Their constitution was Genesis to Deuteronomy and expanded with the prophets, of course, which were in total agreement with it. And so he has every right to do this as king. These people were breaking the law of God, which was the law of their land. There's never been a country like this.

There's never been a people or nation like this. And it is an honor for the Christian Gentile to be part of all of this, as Paul was trying to tell the Gentiles. They held the oracles of God's word. You wouldn't have the Old Testament if it weren't for them. So Josiah is a fundamentalist. He lived under the authority of Scripture. I am a fundamental Christian. I believe in every word of the Scripture. I don't agree with every interpretation of the Scripture, but I believe in the Scripture nonetheless. So he expels the occultists, people in touch with the demon world, they call the spiritual world.

You can watch old movies and see them having seances and you just say to yourself, you know, even then, nothing new under the sun, people are just impressed by this nonsense. The household gods and idols that he mentions here as abominations in the land, terra-fem, are the household idols. Common throughout the history, you know, Rachel had them, Jacob's wife. They show up, of course, in Judges 17 and Samuel. It's just all over the place.

They had become almost like a rabbit's foot with some people. Verse 25, Now before him there was no king like him who turned to Yahweh with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his might, according to all the law of Moses, nor after him did any arise like him. Well, of course, David's not in this class. There's no way you're going to take one verse and say Josiah was the best and just wipe away all the other verses about David.

It's not a competition. Josiah was a righteous king and of all the kings after David, the writer is saying Josiah was the greatest reformer because David had nothing to reform. It wasn't that they were so much into idolatry in David's time as they were ignorant.

There was some idolatry, of course. But they were ignorant of who Yahweh was and David, when they came out to follow David, he taught them about God. His Psalms are sermons and they are textbooks.

Psalm 119 alone is a textbook, about as long as one. And it's just remarkable what David did. So not to take away from Josiah, but he's certainly not going to take away from David. Only David is associated like, there's no other man in all the Bible associated with Messiah as King David. And I think it's wonderful.

I love that. I love King David because I can identify with him probably the most. I wish I could say that it was Daniel or Joseph because they were extraordinary men. But when it comes to the kings, David is, he is the man. Verse 26, nevertheless Yahweh did not turn from the fierceness of his great wrath with which his anger was aroused against Judah because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. Well, Manasseh had a long reign. He was a monster. He turns to God in the end, but the damage was done.

He is Josiah's grandfather, incidentally. So the people were now irretrievable. They passed a point of return as a kingdom. Many of them, I said, are righteous. Well, Daniel's going to be one of them taken off to Babylon, Ezekiel. There are other righteous men there.

It's just not the majority. Verse 27, then Yahweh said, I will also remove Judah from my sight as I have removed Israel, will cast them off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen and the house of which I said my name shall be there. Well, you had the Antiluvians, those in the days of Noah that perished in the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the northern kingdom, and soon the southern kingdom, all testimony. There's this monument of judgment to come. The Canaanites were judged because of their iniquity. Verse 28, now the rest of the acts of Josiah and all that he did are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. Verse 29, in his days, Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, went to aid the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates and king Josiah went against him and Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him. Well, that's a tragic thing.

The story is in 2 Chronicles 35, more detail. Necho's telling him, leave me alone. It's not your fight.

I don't want to kill you. And Josiah was just determined to prove himself on the battlefield and killed him. I guess he didn't see it coming.

He didn't factor in the king's archers, his bodyguards, and they killed him. So here, Necho, Pharaoh Necho, is responding to Assyria under attack from Babylon. Assyria is going to lose. This is when Babylon now comes to power. Josiah going to support Babylon, wanting to be rid of the Assyrians, and maybe even thinking, I'm going to be part of Nahum's fulfillment of prophecy. Because Nahum, you know, Jonah comes along, he pronounces doom on Nineveh, they repent, no judgment. Then Nineveh comes 100 years later because, Nahum comes 100 years later because Nineveh has gone back to their evil, and even worse, and he pronounces their doom. And Josiah may have thought, well, you know, Nahum said they're going to get it.

Well, I want to be part of that. Maybe he thought, but he had no leading from the Lord. None of that is mentioned. His meddling was personal, and it was political, and it was a mistake.

And I don't think there's any way around it. Not that God loved them less, or, you know, he blew it with the Lord. It's just that God said, well, you know, I kind of need you out of the way anyway, because I need to put judgment on these people. I'm not going to take the time to read 2 Chronicles 35, 22-23, which gives us more detail.

So he's killed in action for being where he did not belong. And that's really the only asterisk next to his name in the way of fault, verse 30, that we know of. Verse 30, then his servants moved his body in a chariot from the ghetto, brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoiaz, the son of Josiah, anointed him and made him king in his father's place. Josiah had four sons. Within 25 years of his death, the kingdom of Judah will be a past thing.

There'll be no more. Verse 31, Jehoiaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamuthal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. This is not the prophet Jeremiah from Anathoth. He never married, incidentally. Jeremiah 16 tells us that, God told him, don't get married. Verse 32, and he did evil in the sight of Yahweh according to all that his fathers had done. No way.

Yeah. Verse 33, now Pharaoh Neko put him in prison in Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem, and he imposed on the land tribute of 100 talents of silver and the talent of gold. So the judgment begins. It's not like, see Josiah, you messed up and now they're a feudal state of Egypt.

No, God got you out of the way. He promised you would go to your grave in the peace of not seeing Jerusalem taken. And yet, with him out of the way, the judgment begins. Verse 34, then Pharaoh Neko made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of his father, Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim, and Pharaoh took Jehoias and went to Egypt and he died there. So he goes to Egypt a prisoner.

He only reigned for three months. Pharaoh, you know, these people were well versed in politics and they just knew what they were doing to be mean and get power. But Neko takes Jehoias and makes him king, takes him to Egypt, and Jehoiakim, his brother, is now king, probably to help destabilize Judah because the people wanted Jehoias. I don't know why he was wicked, but they get Jehoiakim and that's going to create some friction.

Good, they'll stay off balance is Egypt's position. He changed his name to Jehoiakim. So he changes his name from God is setting up to the Lord raises up and probably thinks that this is a good move with the people. But he's, and we get this from Chronicles, he's actually saying Yahweh has appointed me to do this. And again, we don't have time to go into 2 Chronicles 35 where he makes that very clear, Pharaoh Neko does. Well, it says Pharaoh took Jehoias and went to Egypt and he died there. And Jeremiah in chapter 22 would say, don't weep for him. Don't weep for the one gone to Egypt.

He's not coming back. But you better weep for yourselves because now the judgment's coming. Verse 35, so Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh and he taxed the land to give money according to the command of Pharaoh. He exacted the silver and the gold from the people of the land from everyone according to his assessment to give it to Pharaoh Neko. Jeremiah writes about this. He says, yeah, but Jehoiakim lived high on the hog.

He taxed the people but he had a palace and he just lived the luxurious life and oppressed the people. So verse 36, Jehoiakim was 25 years old. So he's the older brother of Jehoias.

He was 25 years old when he became king and he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Sabudah, the daughter of that guy there from Rumah. Now, Chronicles doesn't name the mothers, but Kings does.

Kind of interesting personal touch. It demonstrates they still had a lot of personal records, the archives. Verse 37, and he did evil in the sight of Yahweh according to all that his fathers had done. So in his 11 year reign, Judah gets more and more in trouble with the surrounding nations until she's gone. Jeremiah exposes this creepy king as despicable and we close with this verse from Jeremiah. Remember, Jeremiah became a prophet when Josiah was already king and he was, of course, a prophet throughout that kingdom and on. Yet your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness for shedding innocent blood and practicing oppression and violence. And so that's just a concise commentary on this king, Jehoiakim.

If we were in the book of Jeremiah, we would be getting a lot about him and then his creepy sons and his other family members. Let's pray. Our Father, your word never fails to just build us up, straighten us up, encourage us. We thank you for it. In Jesus name.

Amen. Thanks for joining us for today's edition on Cross Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 2 Kings has been something to remember. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series, go to crossreferenceradio.com. Once more, that's crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast, too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just go to your favorite podcast app to subscribe. Our time is about up, but we hope you'll tune in again next time as we continue on in the book of 2 Kings. We look forward to that time with you, so make a note in your calendar to join Pastor Rick as he teaches from the Bible right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 07:47:40 / 2023-10-07 07:57:26 / 10

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