UPDATEDToday’s AMI QT Devotional, first posted on September 25, 2015, is written by Tina Hsu who serves as AMI missions coordinator. Tina, a graduate of Biola University (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.) and is married to Anthony.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Is It Just a Matter of Formality?”
2 Kings 23:3, 24-26 (NASB)
The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant. 24Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the spiritists and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. 25 Before him there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.
Some of us who follow a reading plan to read the Bible in one year, have had times when we had absolutely no idea what we had just read; nonetheless, we were content to mark off another 5 chapters from the reading chart. In this way the reading of God’s Word becomes a matter of daily formality.
But King Josiah wasn’t like that. Upon discovering the Book of God’s Law that had been lost for a long time, he devoted himself to purify the land of Judah of its idolatry so that Judah’s ways would conform to what was written in God’s book. He read God’s Word to the people of Judah and led them to renew their commitment to walk in the way of the Lord. The majority of this chapter (vv. 4-20) records how Josiah removed idolatrous priests from the house of the LORD, removed altars that previous kings of Judah had built, burned vessels that were for Baal and Asherah worship, and more. Josiah truly turned to the Lord with all his heart, all his soul, and certainly, with all his might.
Though Josiah knew that God was going to “remove Judah and cast off Jerusalem” (23:27) because the generations of his forefathers had forsaken God, the Book of the Law (God’s Word) led Josiah to lead the nation back to God in his lifetime. He let God’s Word, which Judah had neglected for many years, define his course of action and his leadership. Though the outcome for Judah was sealed, Josiah was instrumental in preserving covenant faithfulness for Judah in his lifetime. In this way, Josiah was successful and Scripture records, “there was no king like him…nor did any like him arise after him” (23:25). Though he had no control over Judah’s future, he glorified God by faithfully keeping a covenant relationship with God.
The Word of God provides power for endurance and faithfulness. Nothing can nourish our souls and strengthen us to do the work of the Lord than the very words of God. If reading or listening to the Word of God is lacking in your daily spiritual life, ask the Lord today to renew your thirst and devotion for His Word.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I desire for your commands and your Words to be near and dear to me. As your Word is able to equip me to do every good work, help me to spend time in your Word daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 4:1-4 (NASB): Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
Questions to Consider
- What is happening during this time in Jesus’ life and ministry?
- What is the nature of Satan’s temptation?
- How does Jesus’ answer minister and encourage you today?
- This takes place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. John the Baptist baptized Jesus at the Jordan River, where Jesus revealed that He came to “fulfill all righteousness” (Mt. 3:15). He came to fulfill and complete what man, tainted by sin, could not do. The world fell under the power of sin because man was overcome by temptation, but Jesus has now come to face temptation and to overcome it by the Word of God.
- Satan’s temptations begin with “If you are the Son of God” (v. 3). Satan desires to drive a wedge between Jesus’ love relationship with the Father. He wants to deceive Jesus into using His own power and role for His own personal gain. He wants to hinder Jesus from trusting and obeying the Father’s will.
- Personal response
Meditate on Psalm 119:103-104
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! From Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.