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Pearls

Treasures I find in the Word of God

The Lord, my Habitation!
 
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust....He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler....Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation"
Psalms 91:1,2,4,9
 
I am what you would call a "homebody".  I really love to be at home, and sometimes to get me out of the house, Daniel has to drag me out.  (Not literally, lol!)  I do like to go out from time to time for a break from household duties and to have a date with my Sweetie, but I am not the type who has to get out every day.  I am content at home.  Home is a place of comfort, peace, and where needs are met and love is expressed.  I know some, like my husband, are go-getters and prefer to be "out" doing things, and that suits their personalities better.  But even for those of you who like to go "out", you need a comfortable place to "come home" to.
The LORD, my habitation, my home.  I dwell in Him, and He provides my shelter, my comfort, peace, and love.  It is a secret place, hidden from the busy-ness and cares of this world.  That is not to say that it is always a place of complacency and ease, for there is work to be done!  Just as it is in my earthly home,  there is a time for work, and a time for rest.  A time to be a Mary, and a time to be a Martha.  I need to do both, serve and sit at Jesus' feet.  But all of this is within one habitation, under the shadow of the Almighty!
My habitation is not a place altogether free of danger, else why would I need a shield and buckler? (vs 4)  The arrows fly, but dwelling here I have the LORD as my fortress.  I trust in Him, and lean on Him for refuge.  And what does God say?
"Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him....He shall call upon me, and I will answer him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him." (verses 14, 15)

Making a Covenant with God
 
I was reading in II Kings this morning, about the wonderful King Josiah.  The Bible says of him, "And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him." (23:25)
Wouldn't it be something if it were said of me, She loved the Lord with all her heart, soul and might, and there was never another like her?  How sweet it would be to have a relationship like that with God!
 
I think one of the keys to Josiah's relationship to God was that he was not afraid to make a covenant with Him.  Christians these days are afraid to make a commitment to God for fear of breaking it!  But God is a covenant-making God, and a covenant-keeping God, and He can help us do the same.  Here are some things I see that Josiah did that set him apart and made him a covenant-keeper:
  1. He cared about the things of God. 22:3-7  He put his treasure into repairing the house of the LORD, and so that was where his heart was (Matt. 6:21)
  2. He listened to the Word of God. 22:8-10  The "book of the law" was found in the house of the Lord as it was being repaired.  The high priest dusted it off and gave it to the scribe, who read it and brought it before the king.  When Josiah learned from the Bible what God's will was...
  3. He humbled himself before God. 22:11-20  He did not rebel, or say "Well, that's the old testament," or make some other excuse.  He rent (tore) his clothes, which is a sign of humility, broken-hearted that he and his people were not in obedience to God's commandments.  He asked God for mercy, and because of his tender heart and his tears, God granted him that.
  4. He went up to the house of the Lord, read the Book to the people, and before God and everybody, made a covenant with the Lord, "to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book." 23:1-3  I take note that when he chose to be obedient to God and to make this covenant (really, to renew it) that he was not alone, but drew others into a right relationship with God, too.  It says, "And all the people stood to the covenant."  Who might be won to Christ or reconciled to God because of my commitment to Him?
  5. He immediately started the cleansing process. 23:4-25 
  • Everything in the temple that was not of God was brought out and destroyed.  These days, the Christian has no temple but his own body (I Cor. 3:16,17; 6:19,20)  I must go through every room, every closet of my heart and purge everything that is ungodly.  Some habits, some verbal expressions, some types of clothing that are acceptable to the world, are unacceptable for the committed Christian.  Like Josiah, I'd rather be rid of them than offend the Holy God! 
  • He removed from power the priests of Baal who brought sin into the lives of the people, and destroyed them.  While we do not have the liberty to destroy people today, I can separate myself from friends and acquaintances who would encourage me to sin.  Their influence must never again dredge up my old sins and cause me to fall back out of God's will.
  • He destroyed the "high places" and "groves" where false gods were worshiped.  What comes between me and God?  What is it that distracts me from communing with Him daily?  Whatever it is, it must be cut out of my life.  I take note that Josiah burned it at the brook Kidron (23:6) and later broke down the altars and "cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron" (vs. 12)  Another important victory was won at the brook Kidron - see I Samuel 17.  It seems that the brook Kidron is where giants are conquered!  With God's help, I can conquer the giants in my life, too.

I think that last point about cleansing was the main key to Josiah's successful covenant with God.  Verse 24 says, "all the abominations that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the BOOK..."  I think the main reason that Christians fail to keep their commitments to God is because we fail to perform the important task of cleansing, purging our lives of the things that draw our hearts away from God.

Dear Lord, I want to make a covenant with You, to walk in Your ways, to keep Your commandments, and to do what You tell me in the Bible that I should do.  I open my heart to You, making myself vulnerable in every way, and I ask You to search out every area of my life.  Shine the light of Your Word into the darkest corners of my heart, and expose those things that must be removed.  I realize that it will cost me, but I am willing to sacrifice those things so that I may keep my covenant with You.

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