2 Kings 23:3

The king. . . renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD – to follow the LORD and keep his commands.  

The ornate ceremonial bow and quiver had hung on the wall of our home in Michigan for years. I’d inherited them from my father, who acquired the souvenirs while we were serving as missionaries in Ghana.

Then one day a Ghanaian friend visited us. When he saw the bow, he got a strange look on his face. Pointing to a small object tied to it he said, “That is a fetish—a magic charm. I know it has no power, but I would not keep it in my house.” Quickly we cut the charm from the bow and discarded it. We didn’t want anything in our home intended for the worship of something other than God.

Josiah, king in Jerusalem, grew up with little knowledge of God’s expectations for His people. When the high priest rediscovered the Book of the Law in the long-neglected temple (2 Kings 22:8), Josiah wanted to hear it. As soon as he learned what God had said about idolatry, he ordered sweeping changes to bring Judah into compliance with God’s law—changes far more drastic than merely cutting a charm from a bow (see 2 Kings 23:3–7).

Believers today have more than King Josiah did—much, much more. We have the entire Bible to instruct us. We have each other. And we have the vital filling of the Holy Spirit, who brings things to light, large and small, that we might otherwise overlook.

By Tim Gustafson

REFLECT & PRAY

Can you describe a time when a believer wisely pointed out a change you needed to make? What things in your life might be offensive to God?

Heavenly Father, by the work of the Holy Spirit, help me steer clear of anything that’s offensive to You.

Learn about leadership from the kings of Israel.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The covenant-renewal activities of King Josiah in 2 Kings 23:3–7 included house cleaning—the “[removal] from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah” (v. 4). Baal (a word that means “owner, lord”) was the most prominent deity among the gods of the Canaanites. It was believed that Baal (the god of life and fertility) controlled the rainfall and crop production. Asherah was the female companion of Baal. Depending on the context, sometimes the word Asherah (translated “grove” or “groves” in the kjv) can refer to the deity itself (2 Kings 21:7) or to the cult objects associated with her worship (1 Kings 14:23). Anything that usurps God’s rule in our lives is an idol and must be eliminated.

Arthur Jackson

Additional Readings

2 Kings 23:3 – 7

Bible in a Year: Esther 9–10; Acts 7:1–21

Source: Our Daily Bread Ministries