Covenant Renewal

Open Your Bible

2 Kings 22:1-20, 2 Kings 23:1-37, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13-14

Has anyone ever told you were were “too much”? I am such a shameless enthusiast that I often quietly remind myself to just calm down. Case in point: a few years ago I needed a juicer. But I couldn’t afford the one I wanted—nay, needed. Luckily I found one on Craigslist. Joy of joys! After exchanging about ten thrilling and delightful messages with the seller, out of the blue he hit me with this: “I am thinking there’s a game going on here. It would be better if you stopped emailing me, because you’re making this too hard. I won’t respond to you any more.”

I blew the deal! All my overly enthusiastic nonsense pushed him away. Yes, it’s possible he wasn’t interested in hearing what I was planning to juice and for whom. Naturally, this wasn’t enough to deter me, so I asked my husband to reach out as a totally unrelated prospective buyer. They easily arranged the sale, and as my husband paid, the juice man confided, “You wouldn’t believe the crazy people I’ve had to deal with on Craigslist over this juicer!” To which my husband shook his head, “Don’t I know it.”

Maybe I should calm down about juicing delicious fruits and vegetables and reserve my zeal for something that truly merits all my energy, but what if there were an appropriate reason to be “too much”? King Josiah would probably not be very popular today; in his day, some might have called him a fanatic. The kings of Judah before him just allowed the country to drift along in the idolatry of their neighbors. What’s more, even the kings that followed him fell back into the same pattern.

But the words of the Lord were real to Josiah, and he took them seriously. Josiah knew he had fallen deep into the idolatry of the world. The Word of God, like a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), pierced Josiah with conviction and roused in him a zeal that may be foreign to many of us. Consider how fiercely and fervently he repented. If the Lord’s anger burned against it, Josiah was ready to smash it—idols, altars, towers, temples. He brought that same zeal to the whole of his kingdom, destroying every false idol and every false prophet in the land. He was a fanatic, and I think it’s safe to assume that many thought he was “too much.”

But look at the commendation he received from the Lord: “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 strength according to all the law of Moses, and no one like him arose after him” (2 Kings 23:25). Do you see it? He isn’t chided for overbearing zeal or reminded to calm down. Instead, he is lauded for keeping what Christ declared the first and greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). The first and greatest commandment is the territory of all us. And is this what it means to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength—to give all your energy to the destruction of idols and the defense of God’s words?

What if Josiah’s zeal wasn’t too much? What if it was the only right response to the conviction of God’s Word? The first and greatest commandment is the summation of the whole law of God, and it is this very commandment that Christ bids us to keep without wavering. Many of us live without much zeal, and some of us direct our zeal toward things that don’t matter. Instead, we should yield our hearts, all our enthusiasm—our heart, soul, mind, and strength—to the unchanging Word of the Lord. Go ahead and be “too much” for Him.

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21 thoughts on "Covenant Renewal"

  1. Camille English Davis says:

    Lord replace my lethargy and tiredness with a zeal for you!

  2. Elaine Clark says:

    How easy it is to have zeal for all the inconsequential things! I love Rebeccas story of the juicer!
    Lord, help me to have zeal for you and your word!!

  3. Maura says:

    Such good words. And, such a gift Sisters to read your responses to God’s word. It struck me that Josiah was just 8 years old when he became King. Which speaks I believe to those God placed around him. His mother and those who spoke truth to a young boy’s heart. May our words Lord be full of you Jesus and impact those around us with the truth of your love, mercy and grace. Help us to bless every one you place in our path, for we never know how you are working on these would be kings, teachers, doctors, preachers and how your power in our words might strengthen them. Praise be to the Lord God Almighty.

  4. Courtney says:

    Amen, Churchouse! Amen!

  5. Mari V says:

    I LOVE it!! “Go ahead and be “too much” for Him! Thank you Rebecca for this great devotion. I too can fall into talking too much to people and have to back off sometimes BUT when it comes to Jesus we can never be too much as HE wishes for no one to perish. I might not be able to speak it out loud where I work but most of us there are Christians and love Jesus. My way of showing Jesus to them is by loving on these beautiful children that the Lord has entrusted me with. Mainly kindergartners. And who doesn’t love little sweet kindergartners. And you know what? They love you back! And sometimes I just need that sweet smile or hug from them. I love my job!

  6. Alexis says:

    “Go ahead and be “too much” for Him.” I absolutely love that. <3
    Thank you Rebecca for your words this morning.

  7. Chris Swan says:

    We were privileged to have Gianna Jessen speak at our Annual Pregnancy Center Banquet last moth! She is “over the top” with zeal for Jesus!! Oh that we could each have an ounce of her and Josiah’s zeal! We could change the world!

  8. Monica Davis says:

    Why don’t he children of the godly kings follow in their father’s footsteps ? It’s so disappointing