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Removing The Monuments Of Idolatry
"The comfort of communion with God should kindle in us a holy zeal and indignation against sin, against every thing that is offensive to God." - Matthew Henry
"Those that set themselves against sin will set themselves against all sin."
"Happy are those that walk by this rule, to do that which is right, not in their own eyes, or in the eyes of the world, but in the eyes of God."
A sure sign that you are seeking after God...going after Him with all your heart...and seeking to please Him in all that you say and do is that you will be stirred against idolatry... have nothing to do with idols and repeatedly ask yourself - What have I now to do any more with idols?...and with vigor apply yourself to destroy the monuments of idolatry in your heart and life as well as in that of others.
There were four people in the Bible who "set their faces like a flint" to remove the monuments of idolatry in their land and abroad. They were Asa, Joash - under the leadership of Jehoida the priest, Hezekiah, and Josiah.
Let's study what these four men did - asking the Holy Spirit to impart to us the same zeal and passion for God that they displayed.
2 Chronicles 14:2-4 relates for us the accomplishments of King Asa - "And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment."
From this portion of Scripture, we gather that Asa aimed at pleasing God. He studied to approve himself to Him. He continuously saw His eyes always upon him. Hence, as soon as he had power in his hands, he made it his business to destroy all the idol altars and images which he recognized as being a great provocation to a jealous God and a great temptation to a people bent on backsliding. He "took away the altars" of the strange people - the Zidonians, Ammonites, and Moabites - which had remained since the time of Solomon. He "took away" the high places which were built for the idols, "break down" the statues and pillars erected to the honor of Baal, and "cut down" the groves in the midst of which they stood. This blessed work of reformation began immediately upon his accession to the throne.
2 Chronicles 23: 16-17 gives us an account of what Jehoida the priest began to do in the reign of Joash - "And Jehoida made a covenant between him, and between all the people, and between the king, that they should be the LORD's people. Then all the people went to the house of Baal, and brake it down, and brake his altars and his images in pieces, and slew Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars."
Notice the first step after the people made a covenant with the Lord to be His people. Immediately, they were stirred to abolish idolatry.
In the reign of Hezekiah, we read how the people went about to purge the land of Jerusalem from all idolatry - "Now when all this was finished, all Israel that were present went out to the cities of Judah, and brake the images in pieces, and cut down the groves, and threw down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had utterly destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities"(2 Chronicles 31:1).
These people were forward in destroying idolatry. Their species of reformation did not just cover Judah but was carried on into Israel. They could not be easy nor think themselves safe as long as the images and groves were left standing. They spared none through favor or affection - though they were ever so ancient, costly, or beautiful.
King Hezekiah's removal of the monuments of idolatry was so widespread and demonstrative that even the heathen were talking about it. It is recorded in 2 Chronicles 32:12 that Sennacherib, king of Assyria, said this when speaking about this great king of Judah - "Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?"
Lastly, in 2 Chronicles 34:3-7, we read about the young king Josiah who, when he was sixteen years of age, began to seek the Lord. This was his eighth year as King of Judah. It was four years later, in his twelfth year of reign and when he was twenty years old, that he commenced to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, Asherim, etc. He sought to destroy all the utensils of idolatry - the high places, groves, images, and altars - "For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images. And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence, and the images, that were on the high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them"(2 Chronicles 34:3-4). Notice that he went in person and saw this work of destruction done. He supervised it to make sure that it was done completely and thoroughly.
Are you seeking after God with all your heart? Do you have a desire to know Him like never before...to know His will for your life...and to be taught His ways?
A sure sign that you are breaking through to God is that you are stirred against idolatry - the idolatry that is hidden in your own heart as well as that which is blatant in the church and world round you.
It's time for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ - His true church - to arise with a holy zeal to "remove," "cut down," "smite and utterly destroy," "break down," and "burn with fire" the "utensils" of idolatry that are blatant before her eyes and hidden in the hearts of men.
In token of great abhorrence of all idolatry, she must strictly follow her mandate from God as outlined in Exodus 23:24 - "Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images." She is to "utterly" and entirely destroy, demolish, and break in pieces all idols. Never is she to be found honoring them...giving them reverence... expressing high esteem of them...trusting in them...nor expecting good things from them.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, you say that you are seeking after God with all your heart. But, you really cannot say that unless you are applying yourself with vigor to destroy the monuments of idolatry that are in your midst.
Going after God with all your heart will cause you to be stirred in holy zeal and passion against all idolatry.
It's time like never before to seek the Lord. It's time that the monuments of idolatry are forever removed from the hearts and lives of people.
Who's is truly on the Lord's side?
May God Bless His Word.