Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Reading 1 - 2Ch 34:19,33
"When the king [Josiah] heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes" (2Ch 34:19).
He might easily have said, 'How interesting! We should begin a study of this unique historical document!' Or 'Let's form a committee to look into this!' Or 'So what?' But instead, he repents immediately, and then begins to take action!
"Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the LORD their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the LORD, the God of their fathers" (v 33).
When the Book of the Law was discovered in Josiah's reign, it is likely that he read of the evils which Moses had prophesied would come about if the Jews neglected God. He sent to inquire of God what he might do to avert this judgment. God's answer was that it was too late; the calamities were on the way. However, because Josiah was faithful and God-fearing, they would not come in his day. Thus the first fulfillment of the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning a northern invader, may have been averted because of Josiah and the resurgence in his day of Judah's right worship. (The Scythians passed by Palestine. However, the Babylonians would not.) While he lived Josiah indeed did God's will, so that "all his days the children of Israel departed not from following the LORD" (2Ch 34:33). Not only did he cleanse Judah, but he was also instrumental in reducing idolatry in Israel.
Reading 2 - Hos 2:13
" 'I will punish her for the days she burned incense to the Baals; she decked herself with rings and jewelry, and went after her lovers, but me she forgot,' declares the LORD" (Hos 2:13).
"Have you ever had a day or a week slip by when life's pressures and pleasures seem to fill the whole of your life from morning till night, only to discover -- when you take stock of your day -- that you had not read your Bible, prayed or walked with God at all? It may be that we have 'idols' that take our time -- things that are more important than God. It may be that nothing is more important but everything is more urgent. With God there are no deadlines, yet every day we face deadlines in our busy schedules -- deadlines that must be met. But sometimes these deadlines squeeze God out of the picture and He is forgotten.
"Even though God must be the most important thing in our lives, He is often the easiest to forget because He has given us the responsibility of ordering our lives, instead of ordering them for us.
"So let us resolve no longer to be like Israel who forgot God, but instead let us set times, priorities and deadlines that will help us to remember our God, to love Him and to live for Him" (Robert Prins).
Reading 3 - Acts 16:25
"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them" (Acts 16:25).
"Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2Co 6:10; cp 2Co 7:4; Phi 4:4).
"Those men at Philippi knew beyond any doubt that they were not alone. They knew in their deepest hearts that all things were working together for good under the providential hand of God. Bodily they seemed to be in the hand of the jailer, but spiritually they knew they were in the hand of God. As it turned out even the jailer was part of the great purpose: very soon he is washing their stripes. They had an unalterable conviction that nothing could separate them from the love of Christ. They trusted in the profound secret that the city was being built and that one day it would come down out of heaven from God. They knew that no power on earth could prevent it, and they were part of it. Sin was defeated; pardon was full and free; death was vanquished. The King was alive for evermore. This gives cause for joy and joy gives cause for song" (Dennis Gillett, "Genius of Discipleship").