Small Powder

August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

“…both that altar and the high place he brake down,
and burned the high place, and stamped it small to powder…”
– II Kings 23:15 –

This passage of Scripture is referring to a King of Judah named Josiah.  He was only eight years old when he began to reign but Josiah is one of the very few righteous Kings that ruled over Judah prior to captivity.

A study of King Josiah is a worthy study.  Only a small child when the Kingdom was bestowed upon him and having a wicked grandfather (Manasseh) and a righteous great-grandfather (Hezekiah), our governments today could take a great lesson from him.

We read in the Scripture that once the Truth was revealed to Josiah, he set out to purify the Kingdom and remove all the altars and worship centers set up to Baal. The poetic words used to describe the extent of the removal of these altars is quite symbolic – Josiah ‘…stamped it to small powder’.

What was his motivation?  He was but a child!  How could he have been so wise to do these things? The answer is simple. Josiah heard the truth and he reacted to it appropriately, cleansing the land of idols to false gods.

Isaiah 11:6 tells us  that ‘a little child shall lead them‘ and in the case of King Josiah, this is certainly true.  As we pursue purity we realize it is a daily walk, a daily fellowship, a daily conversation with God where He prompts us to pray inquisitive prayers. Ask God to open your eyes to see anything that prevents you from a closer walk with Him.

Do you have altars in our lives that need to be ‘...stamped to small powder‘? Has the Holy Spirit revealed to you areas you need to ‘cleanse’ in your life? If so, allow God to ‘stamp it small to powder.‘

Pursuing Purity Quotables

August 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Absolve me, teach me, purify me, strengthen me: take me to Thyself, that I may be Thine and Thine only.
– Joseph Barber Lightfoot

As threshing separates the wheat from the chaff, so does affliction purify virtue.
– Christian Nestell Bovee

He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver.
– Thomas Kempis

Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature.
– Thomas Kempis

No one ever became, or can become truly eloquent without being a reader of the Bible, and an admirer of the purity and sublimity of its language.
– Fisher Ames

Purity is not imposed upon us as though it were a kind of punishment, it is one of those mysterious but obvious conditions of that supernatural knowledge of ourselves in the Divine, which we speak of as faith. Impurity does not destroy this knowledge, it slays our need for it.
– Georges Bernanos

The virtue of paganism is strength: the virtue of Christianity is obedience.
– Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare Guesses at Truth

Purity is the feminine, Truth the masculine, of Honor.
– Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare Guesses at Truth

Sanctification is the real change in man from the sordidness of sin to the purity of God‘s image.
– William Ames

The great standard of literature as to purity and exactness of style is the Bible.
– Hugh Blair

The way to preserve the peace of the church is to preserve its purity.
– Matthew Henry

Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is opened.
– Henry David Thoreau

The pure in heart need no lawyers.
– Judge Danforth, the Crucible

Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the King — Else, wherefore were you born?
– Lord Alfred Tennyson

The Captive and the Silly

August 4, 2010 § 2 Comments

“For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
– II Timothy 3:6-7 –

The words ‘captive‘and ‘silly‘are not kind words. I am certain that no woman considers herself as such. Still, God does not waste words.

In the previous verses, God describes what sort of people to BOLO – (Be On The Look Out) for.  It is not an admirable list either. Characteristics include those that are:  lovers of their own selves; covetous; boasters; proud; blasphemers; disobedient to parents; unthankful; unholy; without natural affection; trucebreakers; false accusers; incontinent; fierce; despisers of those that are good; traitors; heady; and high-minded.

Can you find yourself in that list?  We all can from time to time. A pursuit of purity, a mindset that focuses solely on getting all those things out of our lives, will free us from inclusion from that horrible list of behaviors.

These select words ‘captive‘(meaning without freedom) and ‘silly‘(meaning foolish or void of understanding) are descriptive words and the direct result of two things: 1) their diverse (many) lusts (forbidden desires), and 2) their ever learning (never-ending) of new ideas and things.

In today’s society, women boldly declare their intellect, their fortitude and their independence. But here in Scripture we find that the demands of many women to declare their rights and their never-ending desire to always look for the new and better thing results in the two unkind words ‘captive‘ and ‘silly‘.

It gets even worse. By not pursuing purity, by meandering, they have made themselves prime targets for ‘…those who creep into houses…” One cannot enter through a closed door.

A wise woman is a free woman. A wise woman’s head is not easily turned to the ‘new and better’. She has selected to build her house with wisdom by confessing her sin when God reveals it to her and avoiding the ‘new and better thing’ by holding fast to the teaching of her LORD.

Tending the Garden

August 3, 2010 § 1 Comment

And every man that hath this hope in him  purifieth himself,
even as he is pure.”
– I John 3:3

Recently, my husband and I moved to our new home in the country. Driving to our new house, I often noticed my neighbors outside tending their gardens.

Having lived in the suburbs most of my life, there was never room for a garden. Now that I lived in the country, I wanted a garden of my own. When the next spring came, we tilled a small area and planted a few vegetables.

Each day, I would don my garden attire and set out to tend my new garden. I pulled weeds, sprayed for bugs, and hoed the rows until my little garden looked as cared for as I could make it. I waved to my neighbors as they tended their gardens.

I did everything I knew to tend to my little garden. There was one thing I never did, though. I never went to my neighbors to tend their gardens. They never came to mine either. We tended, we purified our own gardens.

I learned many lessons during that first year. I did not create the soil, the seed, or the rain it needed to grow. But, I did tend the garden. I kept as many insects and weeds and small animals from it as possible. I purified our garden as best I could.

Our lives are much like this. We have the hope that God plants in us as sons and daughters. There is much we cannot control in our lives. There is also much we can. Every child of God who has this hope purifies himself, even as he is pure.

Because of the hope He gives us, we are driven to purify ourselves.

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