Category Archives: B90X

B90X- Josiah revisited

Every time 2Kings 22-23 come up for reading, there is a model of life and leadership which evokes a desire to emulate.

Over and over again while reading through the books of Kings and Chronicles we are confronted with kings who do right in the eyes of the Lord and who do evil in the eyes of the Lord.  It can become like the rocking of a ship on stormy seas.  First one way and then the other in rapid fashion to the point of nausea.

The reading requires thoughtful meditation to get a grasp of what is happening over many, many years, yet in such a short time during our perusal.  Instead of skipping over Josiah, stop and think about how revolutionary in his zeal, love, and life towards the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

When Josiah was eight he was appointed king.  His father Amon was one of the good guys.  It is the foundation which Amon laid which propelled Josiah to further build.  The temple had fallen into disrepair.  For sixty years it had been disregarded.  At age 26, Josiah initiates a building campaign to remodel the temple, in an effort to return it to its original splendor.

Money is collected.  Carpenters were hired.  Lumber was felled and hewn.  Masons are hired and stones were cut.  No money was spared and we are told they didn’t even have to give an account for what they spent as they acted faithfully.

As part of the rebuilding process of the temple, the High Priest Hilkiah finds a Book of the Law buried in the rubble.  The forgotten and lost guidelines for proper faith and practice of life had been absent from their lives for decades.

In learning what the rules and guidelines for blessing and cursing in ones life or country, Josiah receives conviction to destroy all of the wicked practices of those kings and people who preceded him.  In a tearful repentance, Josiah renews the covenant between Adonai and His people.

With no remorse and steadfast resolve, Josiah, Hilkiah, and the leaders of the church begin to systematically disassemble all articles of worship made to Ba’al and Asherah.

He removed,Josiah
He burned,
He did away with,
He took, burned, He ground to powder, scattered,
He tore down, desecrated,
He broke,
He desecrated,
He removed,
He pulled down,
He removed, smashed, thew, desecrated,
He smashed, cut down,
He demolished, burned, ground, burned, removed, and burned again,
He removed, slaughtered, burned and got rid of.

In a complete and thorough sweep of the nation, all high places were wiped clean.  ”No previous king was like him, because he turned to Adonai with all his heart, with all his being, and with all his power” (2 Kings 23:25, CJB).

The dude had guts and conviction.  What does it take for us to make decisions like this in our lives to recognize that the reason we are not blessed and prosperous is because of the sin we have allowed to creep in for decades?

Lord, search our hearts, find anything within us that does not please you, and help us to have the courage and plan to fix it.

B90X- A short look at the Kings

The two books of Kings have captured my attention on this lap of B90X like never before.

Not sure if it is age, experience, or what.  Maybe it is a combination of  hourglassboth.  This quote by Jean-Paul Sartre may sum it up appropriately, “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Wednesday night I had the privilege of sharing just a few thoughts with The Ananias Project at CRBC.  One of them was, just hang in there, stay faithful to Jesus, you will get it, as you grow things will get more clear and understandable.  (It looks like more than one thought, but is really, one.)

Having seen just a bit more clearly some of the more intimate details of the two books of Kings, the following short ideas are presented:

1. God is the source and giver of wisdom.  It is obscure to think that it can come from anywhere else.  Not from spots on a liver, not from bringing back the dead, not from a lifeless metal statue.  Father is the only source of wisdom.  Similarly to how Solomon asked for it and received it, we can all do the same.  ”If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).  Pretty straightforward.

2. God is pleased to live among his people.  Father loves his creation and desires dwelling in the intimate details in each one of our lives.  When we have the inclination of our hearts turned towards Him, there is a smile, a sense of his liveliness in our lives, and his great pleasure of working in, through, and around every day.

3. God, in his grace, warns over and over again.  If we could see this one thing.  It is not always about just judgment and God out to get you or me.  It is his loving kindness that keeps him warning and warning.  He doesn’t give up easily.  He knows what is best and stays persistent in following through with us knowing that he is not giving up on us.  ”As was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

4.  Yahweh reigns.  There is no other.  He is greater than Dagon, greater than Molech, greater than all the Ba’als, greater than Anat, Athirat, Chemosh, Ishtar, and Marduk.  Combined. To the nth degree.  No other.  Many can’t hear, speak, or see.  Yahweh is the true and living God.  He is creator.  He is and there is no other.  He is, period.

B90X – “How to Interest Young People in the Bible”

In googling a list of who was young in the Bible, this article popped up.  BibleAt first glance, when reading the preamble, the thought occurred to me, “Wow, Ms. Beard has really nailed the condition of our contemporary culture.”   Then when reading further into the article, it occurred to me that the language and vocabulary did not fit our culture.

In perusing the site just a bit further, it was discovered that the article was written in January 1917!  Maybe things do not change as much as we think they do.

The article is just at 96 years old.  Frederica Beard postulates that one of reasons young people do not read is because they see the Bible as mere precepts and not as story.  In reading through the Bible in 90 Days, gobbling up so much material at a time, the idea that the Bible is story sure resonates.

* The Bible was not intended to be a sound bite.
* The Bible is not a selection of verses used out of context in a verbal battle.
*The Bible  is not a sleep aid.
*The Bible is not a list of moral code.

The Bible is varied literary genre about Father’s interaction with humans.  That interaction belongs in story.  It belongs in humanizing the Bible.  It is a real book– about real people– dealing with real life issues, problems, and challenges.

If you have the time to read the article, it is worth both the time and the fun.  You will engage a writer from a divergent east coast perspective, yet more familiar than might be presumed.

B90X- A couple of thoughts on Ruth

Ruth gleaningThere are some denominations or folks who do church, where at some point in the worship service, the leader says, “Peace be with you” and those in attendance together say, “And also with you.”  When one is not of a denomination that does this weekly, such as myself, it is a really cool blessing to speak over folks.  However, I have heard from some who grew up with this greeting and it had lost it meaning and punch.

Church history and tradition is a fascinating thing.  Personally, the knowledge of where something started and why, is intriguing to me.  Where did this “Peace” greeting originate?  The answer may be from Ruth.

In Ruth chapter two the landowner Boaz arrived at one of his fields in Bethlehem (or Beit-Lechem in the CJB). Bo ‘az  says to his reapers, “Adonai be with you”; and they answered him, “Adonai bless you.”

It may go way back to Numbers 6:24-27 (CJB):

May Adonai bless you and keep you.
May Adonai make his face shine on you and show you his favor.
May Adonai lift up his face toward you and give you peace.
“In this way they are to put my name on the people of Isra ‘el, so that I will bless them.”

Let’s use our words to bless folks.  It may have been Jesus who encouraged something like that. ;)

B90X- Final thoughts on Joshua 2013.01.20

Deeply embedded in almost every part of the Bible is a tension between the holiness of God and his graciousness.

As a holy God he demands compliance with his law, set before human beings choices of obedience or disobedience on which are conditioned blessing or judgment.

As a merciful, gracious, and compassionate God, he makes unconditional promises reflecting the grace and favor he has set on his people.

Joshua 1:1-8 expresses no less than ten “will”s, of which the Lord is personally speaking to a stalwart of a man, of which every one of them were fulfilled.

What was true for Joshua is certainly true for each of us- “Do not let this Book of the Law (probably Deuteronomy) depart from your mouth; meditate (hagah) on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Josh1:8).

Then to close the book, Joshua sums up everything ever learned from Moses and challenges the people, “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.  Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the Gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:14-15).

Each of us is going to worship and serve something.  What or who is it going to be for you?