2 Kings 23:21-28 – If You Have A Weakness for Cute Lil Kitty Cats, Don’t Go to the Pet Store!

Posted: October 10, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 23:21-28

Josiah Celebrates Passover

If you don’t want a cat but you have a weak spot for cute little kittens, don’t go to the pet store or animal shelter and look at cute little kittens. That was never so true for me in the years between my previous marriage and my marriage now to Elena. I was single for six years. Lived alone for six years. And I would have my kids every other weekend til they got of adult age. When my youngest daughter was in the summer between middle school (8th grade) and high school (9th grade), she and one of her friends that was hanging out with her at my place on a Saturday during one of my weekends, they convinced me to go the Greenville (SC) Humane Society and look at the little kitty cats. I told them that I didn’t want a cat. I lived by myself and traveled relatively frequently. They hounded me from Friday night through Saturday morning. So, on Saturday as we were out running errands and such, they kept begging and begging. So, I finally relented and said OK. My youngest, Taylor, you have to give her credit. She was always persistent about the things she wanted. She was unrelenting in focus when it came to that. So, to get them to quiet down, we went. We went back to the “kitten room” where all the cute little, sweet, playful, darling….umm…ok…starting to want a little kitty now…stop….it…Well we were looking at all the cute kitties. After we looked at all the cats in their little individual habitats, I turned around and facing away from the cubes containing the kitties and looked at Taylor and her friend and asked which one they liked the most.

At that moment, I started feeling something tapping my hair at the back of my head. I turned around and it was this cute little kitty cat that thought the hair on the back of my head would be something fun to play with. He was the cutest little tuxedo cat that you’d ever want to see. And, of course, I was smitten from that moment on. That was the kitty! That was the one that we had to have, including me! Thus, I became an owner of a kitty cat on my own for the first time in my life. That cat was the cutest thing ever though. He would rush around my apartment for no apparent reason as fast as he could and that’s how he got his name, Flash. He was my buddy for 10 years before he died. He wasn’t as cute and cuddly as he got older but we were buddies. We understood each other. He was my pal. The consistent thing throughout those years. When everything else changed often, Flash was the steady freddy in my life. But it all started with this little kitty playing with the hair through the gate door to his little cubicle. I should have known back on that day, back in the day, that I could not go into the kitty room at the humane society and NOT come out with a kitty.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read through this passage and thought on how Josiah changed the spiritual landscape of Judah. He recognized the sins of his nation and removed all the temptations to worship other gods than the one true God. He took away the temptations. He steered his people back toward God and away from their sinful idol worship. With that idea of removing ourselves from temptations, especially where we are weakest and most susceptible to certain kinds of sin(s), let us read today’s passage, 2 Kings 23:21-28, now:

21 King Josiah then issued this order to all the people: “You must celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as required in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 There had not been a Passover celebration like that since the time when the judges ruled in Israel, nor throughout all the years of the kings of Israel and Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24 Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols,[a] and every other kind of detestable practice, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the Lord’s Temple. 25 Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.

26 Even so, the Lord was very angry with Judah because of all the wicked things Manasseh had done to provoke him. 27 For the Lord said, “I will also banish Judah from my presence just as I have banished Israel. And I will reject my chosen city of Jerusalem and the Temple where my name was to be honored.”

28 The rest of the events in Josiah’s reign and all his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.

In this passage, we see that, when Josiah rediscovered Passover in the Book of the Covenant, he ordered everyone to observe the ceremonies exactly as prescribed. This Passover celebration was to have been a yearly celebration/holiday in remembrance of the entire nation’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt (see Exodus 12), but it had not been kept for many years. Josiah is remembered as Judah’s most obedient king. His obedience followed this pattern:

  1. He recognized his sin.
  2. He eliminated the sinful practice.
  3. He attacked the cause of the sin.

This approach for dealing with sin works. Not only must we remove sinful actions, but we must eliminate the causes for sin – those situations, relationships, routines and patterns of life that lead us to the door of temptation.

Looking back at that day when our family added the little man, Flash, it turned out pretty good. Flash became a family institution. He became part of the family. Flash was like a member of the family and we all shed tears when the little man was killed by a wild animal or a dog or something. He was a crafty little guy and survived several moves to new homes and hometowns until that one day when his zig and zagging did not work and he met his end. So, in that case, the succumbing to my weakness for little cute kitty cats did not cause heartache (except at Flash’s death some 10 years later). My flirtation with my weakness for kitties did not cause irreparable harm to my life. There are certainly other weak spots in my life that have indeed caused me long-term harm some of which still effect my life today. We all have our sin weak spots. So, like me having a weak spot for little kitty cats, I should have never gone into the humane society that day. I knew that most likely I would come out of there having adopted a little kitten.

It is the same with us. We need to recognize our sins, particularly those sins where we so little resistance against. For example, if you are an alcoholic or even if you are not defined as a alcoholic but are a weekend binge drinker and end up doing stupid crap that you will regret for a long time or a lifetime, you need to stay away from the bars. If you are a guy who is deeply susceptible to sexual desires for women and you are married, you gotta not put yourself in positions where you could stray. If you have a weakness for gossip that often can destroy other people’s reputations, you gotta not participate in the gossip game. If you have a weakness for spending money on things that are not necessities, stay away from the stores. If you cannot control your spending, cut up your credit cards. Remove yourself and block yourself from being in the same zip code as your sin weak spot. These are just a few examples of how people who know what their sin weak spots are but persist in flirting around the fire, the open flame, toward which they are a moth. At some point, you will get burned and you can’t sit and wonder how or why it happened. If you don’t won’t to get burned, stay away from the fire.

Oh, Lord, help us, through the Holy Spirit, to recognize where we are weakest when it comes to sin and help us to block ourselves through discipline, through accountability partners, through whatever means necessary to keep us from even being tempted in these areas. Help us to mature such that we begin to identify all our pet sins and distance ourselves from them so that one day, when we meet you in heaven, we will be perfect in Christ.

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s