I wonder if most of us don’t secretly love our sin. But because it robs us of our power and peace, we confess it and go straight for a while. But then, like a reforming alcoholic, we tire of our chastity and find ourselves seeking out or allowing our pet sins to once again gain control over us.
Yet the Scriptures instruct us that “to fear the Lord is to hate evil… ” (Proverbs 8:13)
King Josiah demonstrated a hatred for sin that is unique in the annals of Israel’s history. Upon learning of the Scripture’s teaching on holiness, he tore his clothes, repented, and then took severe steps to eradicate blatant practices of sin among his people. He:
|Removed and burned articles used for worshipping Baal and the stars
|Did away with pagan priests|
|Tore down the quarters of the male prostitutes||Desecrated, burned and ground to dust the “high places” (places where pagan priests burned incense)
|Desecrated the places where child sacrifices were located
|Removed horses dedicated to the sun|
|Pulled down an altar dedicated to the worship of the stars; smashing them into pieces and throwing them outside the City of Jerusalem
|Burned chariots dedicated to the sun|
|Demolished a golden calf at Bethel||Smashed and cut down artifacts related to worship of a Canaanite mother-goddess
|Had bones from the hillside removed and burned to defile pagan locales of worship
|Removed and defiled all the shrines on the “high places”|
|Slaughtered all the priests of the “high places,” burning human bones on them to defile them from further practices||Got rid of all the mediums, spiritists and household gods, idols, and all other “detestable” things in Judah and Jerusalem
(2 Kings 22, 23)
Josiah’s passionate hatred of sin is EXACTLY what God expects of us: “Let those who love the Lord hate evil.” (Psalm 97:10a)
QUESTION: Which impression would a careful observer of your life have?
- That you hate your sin? Or,
- That you coddle your sin?