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Monday, February 25, 2013

Strange Graces

King Josiah remorseful
I woke up in my Comfort Inn bed this morning on my own, feeling quite rested, a nice change after 5 days of a head cold and restless nights.  My voice has been shot for the last two days, which happened to be over my trip to Nashville to have my photo shoot for the next album (July 17).  I have some time before my meeting with Centricity this morning so I threw open the curtains, turned the AC to Heat and crawled back in bed with my Bible.  I opened up to 2 Kings 21 and very studiously thought, "ok, sure."

I read of King Manasseh, who did what the Lord said was wrong.  Everything God told His children to do, Manasseh did horrible things on the opposite end of the spectrum for 55 years.  Then he died, and his son Amon became king at age 22 and did the same things his father did.  He did what the Lord said was wrong, then he was killed by his own officers.  His son Josiah became king at age 8.

Josiah did what the Lord said was right.

At age 18 he discovered the Book of the Law in the Temple, and when it was read to him, he tore his clothes to show how upset he was.  He sought out the advice of God's prophetess Huldah who delivered the message from God,  "I will bring trouble to this place and to the people living here... they have made me angry by all they have done, my anger burns against this place like fire and it will not be put out."  

Then God lets Josiah know that He saw his remorse.

"When you heard my words...you became sorry for what you had done and humbled yourself before Me...You tore your clothes to show how upset you were and you cried in My presence.  This is why I have heard you." 

Then God extends a strange grace.

"So I will let you die and you will be buried in peace.  You won't see all the trouble I will bring to this place."


God was going to let him DIE!? This struck me so hard.  Death, that we often see only as tragic calamity or a trial to be endured, was administered as a grace from God in this instance.  He remained true to His word, but administered grace and allowed Josiah to rule for 23 more years.


God's ways are always higher than our ways!







10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Shust, I have a great life that I take for granted all the time. I get angry when my children don't listen and my husband doesn't help with chores. By following you on social media I am humbled and find inspiration. Thank you for your daily reminders of the plan He has!

Fatcat said...

There have been times that could see that dying might be a mercy. Getting to go live with God! Isn't it fun to find new, cool things in God's word?

Aaron Shust said...

:) I find myself praying like John, "come quickly Lord Jesus" more and more.

Emma McGarity said...

Isn't interesting how the same verse can mean different things when read at different times. Even different times in the same day. I read this post by you earlier today, and it took a while for this verse to sink in. So, I went and read the story of Josiah and compared this verse in a few different versions. I'm doing a Rick Warren study right now where he talks about the "pronounce it" method where you emphasize a different word each time you re-read the verse, and BOOM! Something hit me. Peace... Dying in peace.... Josiah's heart was moved by God's law, and he had made an effort to get rid of sin wherever he saw it. After letting it all sink in, I want to die in peace, whenever that may be. I don't want unresolved sin in my life. So, thanks for this Aaron, you've shared this verse and revealed to me that I need to seek out the areas in my life of unresolved sin.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I have been a Christian for many years but in the last year I have gotten in a very sinful situation. I feel tortured every day by the reality that I am turning my back on God and others in my life because of this sin. This sin that used to be fun is now nothing but pain because God so often uses things like your words today to convict me. I have no peace. But yet, I continue to choose this sin day after day. I'm living a lie that will hurt my husband and children. Your words convicted me today to deal with this sin. I can't let it go on any longer. So much regret that I ever started down this road. What was I thinking? Now I am not sure how to get out of it. I never meant for all this to happen. I want to be like Josiah and humble myself before God and my husband. And finally have this burden of sin lifted from me. Thank you for your songs and for your words today.

Rebecca said...

I like this find. Thank you for sharing. And yes, "come quickly, Lord Jesus."

Aaron Shust said...

Emma, PEACE. What a strong concept!

Anonymous, if you didn't read Emma's comment, what a great insight. I would encourage you to, just like Josiah, figuratively (or literally if need be!) tear your robes before the Lord, expressing your sorrow for walking away from His ways, and know that our Father will soon shush you with His lavish love, place a ring on your finger, a new robe on your back, and throw a party because the lost is found and the dead is now alive! Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you, no go and sin no more!" You're journey has encouraged me this morning!

Aaron Shust said...

Jesus didn't say "no go" he said "now go" my bad.

Jennifer M Krouse said...

What I love most about this passage is that it shows that God is still the same (He is the same yesterday, today & forever). I have seen God administer this kind of Grace even today. To let someone pass with grace and to be in His presence. Thank you for your continued study of His Word and sharing what God has revealed to you.

~Jen~

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