We live in an exercise-crazed society, don’t we. And you can’t just exercise, you have to do it in style, with all the proper equipment: the running shoes, the yoga mat, the back support, the hand weights, the cute attire, and on and on. Regardless of the weather, we pass faithful joggers every Sunday morning as we travel to church, and part of me envies their dedication and determination as they strive to keep their bodies fit and toned. I don’t mind a good walk, but jogging? In bitter cold, snow, rain, or oppressive heat? No way! Besides, doesn’t the Scripture remind us that “the wicked flee when no man pursueth?” That does accurately describe jogging, right?…running when no one is chasing you? Just kidding, joggers, I seriously applaud your devotion to your sport and I envy your dedication to fitness.
If you aren’t into jogging, here’s a daily exercise you can accomplish from the comfort of your living room, cuddled in your favorite blanket, all while sipping a steamy cup of coffee. Take you Bible, choose a passage, dig in, and start reading. Now every time you come across a passage that convicts you of sin, brings to light some area in your life that needs adjusting, makes you feel a bit uncomfortable, or points out some lack of obedience on your part, tear that page out of your Bible and toss it away. Better yet, tear it out and burn it up. Sound ridiculous? Not to the knife-wielding king we will meet today.
The prophet Jeremiah was under the direction of God when he was told to “Take…a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel.” Judgment was coming, His children had been warned, and now God would immortalize that warning in writing, preserved for His people and the generations that would follow. Jeremiah obeyed and dictated the words of God’s revelation to Baruch, who wrote those words on a scroll as directed. When those stern words of judgment were read “in the house of the LORD…they (the men of God) were afraid,” and they immediately took the scroll to the royal assistants to Jehoiakim, king of Judah, in an effort to make the king aware of God’s hot displeasure with His nation. The king was presented the sacred scroll as he was relaxing in his “winterhouse.” When the king read all those words of God’s condemnation, he was angry, he did not appreciate God’s reminder of the impending punishment upon his kingdom, so he “cut it (the scroll) with a penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth.” This king had the audacity to tear up and burn the words of the Jehovah God of Judah! The saddest part was the attitude of those rulers, for “they were not afraid.”
Ridiculous, right? Who would ever do what King Jehoiakim did with the precious Word of God? But sadly, how often do I read His Words with an unresponsive heart? I may not physically tear up the pages, but if I don’t allow Him free reign to convict me of sin, to point out my waywardness, and to instruct me in righteousness, I have no room to criticize that knife-wielding king. And how often do I find myself rushing through my time with God, distracted by the busy, crammed day that lies before me. When I am sluggish in my obedience and submission to what He has revealed to me, my Christian walk becomes a dangerous exercise in futility.
When you delve into His Word today, allow those precious passages to lighten your path and to draw you closer to Him. Allow His words to purge and cleanse your life of what displeases Him. King Jehoiakim would have fared much better if he would have allowed those words to burn into him, and lead him, and his people, toward repentance.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Lord, when Your Word is revealed to me, give me the strength and guidance to obey immediately. When You uncover sin and waywardness in my life, may I always strive to respond quickly.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1584-62bc0166eb1fd' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1584&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1584-62bc0166eb1fd' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1584-62bc0166eb1fd' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>