Tear to Stand
“And when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he rent his clothes” (2 Kings 22). Josiah’s response was direct and decisive. Josiah’s response was the only response. His heart was so torn that the only way he could convey his brokenness was to violently tear his garments. He took the kingdom he had stewardship over seriously. When it was found that he had led them astray by not leading them in the way of truth, his heart was ruptured. Josiah was the picture-proper of humility and tenderness before the Almighty Creator. Josiah went on to “stand” for the truth of God and to renew the covenant that he and his people had generations earlier made with Jehovah-Nissi*. And when Josiah “stood”, the people stood also (23:3). He brought reformation to his country on a magnificent scale that had never before been witnessed–on a scale only possible by one whose heart finds solace in God alone.
Like his ancestor David, Josiah had a heart after God’s own heart. David lived a life of devotion to God, highlighted by his darkest moments in which he expressed a level of repentance and brokeness only fit for one who was destined to be the ancestor of God Himself. How do I compare to Josiah and David? How do you?
The question is, “How is your heart?” Have you become callused, cold and indifferent? With each hurt that we swallow and each transgression that we leave unresolved, a new layer of separation is formed. With every layer the voice of God becomes more distant. Before long we look up to find that we have meandered so far from God that we are clothed in a deep enveloping darkness. “How did I get here?”
The way back is through a tender heart. As King Josiah and King David we must solidify within us a heart of flesh. We must begin to hear the voice of God again. Most weighing of all is the realization that if you do not stand for God, then by your very refusal to stand you will lead a host of people in the way of error. As you continue in your state of darkness and malnutrition you will find like bodies scattered at your feet.
Oh, but if you would only rent your heart–if you would only stand!–Then you would behold the beauty of a people who will stand because you have stood. Then they too will see and experience the salvation of God and lead others in the way of truth. How much better would it be to be surrounded by a living army than a graveyard oh king? Tear to stand oh King, tear to stand.
*Jehovah-Nissi – “The Lord Our Banner” When we lift God up He lifts us up. God enables you to stand for Him and when you stand for God, He stands for you!