Read 2 Chronicles 34
Do Not Turn Aside to the Right Hand or to the Left
Josiah was just a young boy—eight years old!—when he became king. The inspired record tells us that at age 16, “while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David” (2 Chronicles 34:3). As he learned the truth, he tore down the objects of idolatry—“the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images….the altars of the Baals…and the incense altars” (2 Chronicles 34:3-4). Why did he do all of this?
The Scriptures are clear as to the motivation of the young king: “And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Chronicles 34:2). The young king desired to be right with God and did not want anything to get in the way of that relationship.
How many times do we allow the things of this world get in the way of our love for God? How often do we demote God to a lesser place in our hearts because of selfish desires? How often do we justify disobedience as “no big deal”? It’s “no big deal” if we miss the worship services every once in a while. It’s “no big deal” if we drink a little, cuss a little, cheat a little. As long as our heart is right, it’s “no big deal.”
But that’s just the thing: if our heart is right, we will see that it is a big deal to disobey! Do you not realize what God did for you? Do you not realize the great price that was paid for your disobedience? His grace is great and His mercy is mighty, and because of that, willful rebellion against His Word is a very big deal!
There will be some who call those who adhere to the revealed Word “legalists.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Legalists are those who emphasize obedience separate and apart from faith, who trust in their actions rather than the grace of God. But if you believe in His grace, in His promises, and in His warnings, you will stress obedience as a part of faith! Josiah stressed obedience and following the Word, refusing to “turn aside to the right hand or to the left,” because he believed what God had said.
Are you obeying God? You may respond, “He knows my heart.” That is true, and if you are living against His will, that should terrify you. Follow the example of Josiah and the people of faith in Scriptures who “did what was right in the sight of the Lord.”