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April 30 Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 23-24
“He read in their ear all the words.”
2 Kings 23:2
Good king Josiah assembled all the people of Israel and, standing by a pillar in the house of God, “he read in their ears all the words of the Book” of God that Hilkiah the priest found in the Temple. With holy joy, he led the people in the celebration of the passover and covenanted together with all the people to walk with God, consecrating themselves to him “with all their heart and all their soul…And all the people stood to the covenant.”
How thankful and joyful we ought to be in the assembly of God’s saints for the worship of God in this gospel day! What a great privilege it is to hear the gospel of the ever blessed God preached, to read his Word, to sing his praises, and to call upon his name in prayer in union with his saints in the house of God! As Josiah gathered all under his influence to the house of God, so we ought to exert all the energies at our disposal to bring all under our influence with us to the house of God, that they may come to know, trust, love, and worship God our Savior.
If the mere celebration of the typical passover feast was so memorable, how our hearts ought to erupt with joy at the thought of keeping the feast of Christ our Passover in the Church of the living God! Truly, there never was holden such a passover as this! Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us; and we feast upon him by faith, eating his flesh and drinking his blood. And feasting on him, we have eternal life abiding in us.
As we close the book of 2nd Kings, we see Jerusalem ruined. Generation after generation, the children of Israel and Judah despised God’s ordinances, ignored his prophets, and went a whoring after the works of their own hands. How brazenly the sons and daughters of Adam persevere in sin, shoving God out of their way (if I might be permitted to use such language), and running madly to hell! In the destruction of Jerusalem we see the sure and inevitable consequence of sin. — “The wages of sin is death!”
In the light of the things we read in 2 Kings 24, I am compelled, my God, to beg your grace that I may constantly flee to Christ for refuge. Ever fleeing to Christ, let me hear your voice in my soul saying, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.” O Lord God, be gracious to your land, your church. For Christ’s sake, be not angry with your people. Remember our iniquities! But be jealous for your name and for your Zion. Turn us; and we shall be turned. Draw us; and we will run after you. Heal us; and we shall be healed.