Faithlife Sermons

Sermon Tone Analysis

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Opening
Growing up in Colorado, I love spending time exploring the majestic Rocky Mountains.
One of my favourite activities is to hike what we call “14ers”.
“14ers” are peaks that rise above 14,000 feet, 4,200 meters, in elevation.
To date, I have summited over 20 of them.
On one particular trip, I was hiking two peaks connected by a long saddle.
Mt.
Redcloud and Sunshine Peak.
The trail ascended Redcloud first, crossed the saddle, ascended Sunshine, and then returned back across the saddle, up Redcloud a second time, and then back down to the bottom.
As I said, I grew up exploring the mountains and feel quite at home in them.
My experience has allowed me to go places and do things that others might chose not to, to take on greater risks than others might.
And it was this experience that led me to make the this decision.
As I was returning through the saddle the second time having now summited both peaks, I saw a trail head off downhill instead of back up Redcloud.
This piqued my interest as I love making “round trips” if possible.
However, a sign laying in the rocks said, “Return by Redcloud, dangerous scree ahead”.
Scree is loose rock.
After I read that sign, I said to myself, “That sign is for inexperienced people, I have been crossing scree slopes my whole life” and off I went down the side path.
Ten minutes later I was rueing my pride.
With each step, the whole slope above and below, for 50 meters, started sliding.
Much of the scree was the size of a football and could easily trap my foot.
And once I started going down, there was no going back the way I had come.
I could only try to survive the next 1,000 meters of elevation drop without getting caught in a landslide.
And as I discovered later, there was only a narrow section that didn’t end in a cliff.
By God’s grace, I made it down that slope unharmed, but it was a terrific lesson in destructive pride and heeding wise council.
Transition
Have you ever had a similar experience?
A time when you ignored a warning and ended up in a precarious situation?
Maybe you were swimming at the beach and decided to swim outside the flags and found yourself struggling in a rip.
Or maybe you thought, I’ll just fill up at the next petrol station despite the glowing red light on the dash, and end up stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Or maybe you stopped short from taking the whole course of antibiotics because you were feeling better, but the infection returned soon after?
Words have meaning and certain groups of words carry significant meaning.
And often, even more important than the words themselves, is the person or entity behind the words.
In my case on the mountain, the words were important but the fact that they came from a heavy wood sign hauled up a big mountain and installed by people who care about mountain sport and fellow enthusiasts carried even more weight.
Thesis
Over the past several months I have been working my way through the book of Jeremiah and was really struck by two parallel stories about fathers and sons.
The first story is from 2 Kings and the second from Jeremiah.
So with today being Fathers Day, I thought we might look at these two sets of fathers and sons and explore the parallels in how they heard specific words from God and how they responded to those divine words.
We’ll start with the passage and then move to Jeremiah.
Josiah Hears and Obeys
The Story
For 65 years, God’s people had disregarded God and had lived “according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before [them]” ().
With the bulk of that time led by one of the most wicked kings, or any person for that matter, in the Bible.
Things are looking bleak for God’s great promises of rescue from sin, the defeat of evil, and forever blessings.
But one day something happens that breathed life into all the death.
The new king decides that 65 years worth of spring cleaning is needed in the Temple and so he hires Temple Restorers Inc. to freshen things up.
And someone finds a lost book.
Let’s pick up the story in :
But one day something happens that breathed life into all the death.
The new king decides that 65 years worth of spring cleaning is needed in the Temple and so he hires Temple Restorers Inc. to freshen things up.
And someone finds a lost book.
Let’s pick up the story in
Read ,
The story goes on throughout much of the remaining chapter describing the spring cleaning Josiah brought to the whole kingdom.
Note that after each of the myriad idols Josiah dismantles, he burns everything associated with it.
The Fathers
As promised, in this passage we meet our first two fathers - Josiah and Shapan - the one is king of Judah and the other, the king’s secretary.
Both men grew up through a period when the worship of God was haphazard.
The Temple was in disarray, with bits of it falling off all over the place and, worse, altars to idol gods set right along side Yahweh God’s.
And both these fathers, upon hearing God’s Word - most likely Deuteronomy based on the allusions in the passage - know that God is speaking.
Shapan, the first to read the lost book of God’s Law, immediately understands that what he just read is no ordinary book and that its message cannot be ignored and that it must be heard.
Shapan immediately rushes off to the king and reads God’s words to him.
When Josiah finishes listening, he tears his clothes in grief at Judah’s sin, immediately seeks the Lord in repentance, sends for a prophet of God to find out what he and God’s people need to do, and then responds through burning stuff - anti-God stuff.
Finally, Josiah reintroduces the Passover celebration and on a grand scale.
And both these fathers, upon hearing God’s Word - most likely Deuteronomy based on the allusions in the passagge - know that God is speaking.
Shapan, the first to read the lost book of God’s Law, immediately understands that what he just read is no ordinary book and that its message cannot be ignored and that it must be heard.
Shapan immediately rushes off to the king and reads God’s words to him.
When Josiah finishes listening, he tears his clothes in grief at Judah’s sin, immediately seeks the Lord in repentance, sends for a prophet of God to find out what he and God’s people need to do, and then responds through burning stuff - anti-God stuff.
Finally, Josiah reintroduces the Passover celebration and on a grand scale.
Both of these men, these fathers, reveal tender hearts to the Spirit of God and the Words of God.
They both showed a readiness to heed and obey the words of God.
In fact, in it says that:
Both of these men, these fathers, reveal tender hearts to the Spirit of God and the Words of God.
They both showed a readiness to heed and obey the words of God.
In fact, in it says that:
25 sBefore him there was no king like him, who turned to the YahwehLORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.
25 Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the YahwehLORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.
Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the YahwehLORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.
25 sBefore him there was no king like him, who turned to the YahwehLORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.
Josiah Application
Josiah Application
But what about us?
What do we do when we hear the Word of God? Are our hearts tender to the things of the Spirit like Josiah and Shaplan’s were?
Does the Word of God convict our hearts of our sin?
Does it lead us to repent of our idolatries?
Does it set us on a crusade to clean out all sin temples secreted away within us?
Josiah’s example both convicts and encourages us.
But what is more, Josiah’s story calls us into proper and genuine worship of God.
Conviction, repentance, and house-cleaning are only preludes to the main event - worship of God.
For Josiah, this meant restoring the Temple to full operations and re-instituting the central worship event of the Jewish calendar - the Passover.
The 2 Chronicles account of these events () really fleshes this out in detail.
even makes the claim that this Passover was unlike any other in over 400 years.
Josiah understood that the hearing of God’s Word should lead to the worship of God.
But what is more, Josiah’s story calls us into proper and genuine worship of God.
Conviction, repentance, and house-cleaning are only preludes to the main event - worship of God.
For Josiah, this meant restoring the Temple to full operations and re-instituting the central worship event of the Jewish calendar - the Passover.
The 2 Chronicles account of these events () really fleshes this out in detail.
even makes the claim that this Passover was unlike any other in over 400 years.
Let’s turn our attention now to the sons of these fathers.
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