“O altar, altar! Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priest of the high places who burn incense on you and men’s bones shall be burned on you.'” 1 Kings 13:2-3 NKJV
1 Kings13:2-3 is an astounding piece of scripture. An unnamed prophet by the Word of the Lord stands face to face with a pagan king and prophesies against his altar of idolatry! King Jeroboam had created altars of convenience to protect his kingdom and caused the nation to fall into sin. The unnamed prophet goes on to say that as a sign, the altar will be split and the ashes will be poured out!Just when the king puts his hand out to arrest him, his own hand withered, he could not move it, the altar split, and the ashes poured out! The Sound of Awakening was released through this unnamed prophet and the Justice of Heaven was enthroned! WHOA! I am lying in my bed, eyes wide open at 3am, and I find myself meditating on this story. My heart is weeping, as I continuously hear these words over the church tonight, “burn the bones!!!!”
I have always been fascinated by the story of Josiah. We even named our son Josiah. Some three hundred years after the occurrence in 1 Kings 13:2-3, a young Josiah was crowned king at the age of eight years old. Although I know he was surrounded by leaders to help guide him, this was still a huge responsibility for a young boy to undertake. Yet in the eighth year of his reign, which would make him sixteen, he began to seek the God of his father, David. (2 Chronicles34:3) Generations prior to Josiah did evil in the sight of the Lord. His grandfather Manasseh built high places, altars for Baal, and built altars in the House of the Lord for the all the host of heaven. (2Chronicles 33:3) He seduced Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations prior. (2 Chronicles 33:9) His father Amon did evil in the sight of the Lord by sacrificing to carved images his father had made, and the Bible tells us that he trespassed more and more.(2 Chronicles 33:18) What a horrible state for Josiah to step into his reign,and yet he was a seeker of God. In the midst of a spiritual state of horrific proportions, God brought forth a new generation to set things in order. A Reformer! A Revolutionary! A Godbreed!
I think if we were to be honest, the spiritual state of our nation, and the nations of the world, are no different today. I’ve heard it said, “What one generation tolerates the next embraces!” That rings true today. The world worships at the altars of convenience entitled humanism, abortion, pornography, self indulgence, etc… Many of our churches, not all…but many have erected altars to the idol of consumerism with the intention of building their own kingdoms, which look nothing like the Kingdom of God. Therefore rather than creating the standard in culture, the church has become nothing more than a subculture. Friends, I believe in the church. I believe with all my heart that the church is the beautiful bride, but I believe the bride is a sleeping beauty. We need an Awakening! As I am writing this, I know there is always a remnant! Looking back at the story of Josiah, out of the chaos the prior generation had left, comes forth a radical seeker of God! Then at only sixteen, he began to follow the God of his father, King David.
The unnamed prophet publicly challenged the altar built by Jeroboam. His word was accurate;God confirmed his word and split the altar. I am most certain that the story was passed down through the generations and many awaited the birth of Josiah. Once he was born one can only assume some teacher or spiritual leader told him you were born fora purpose! “Under the care of better guardians, who trained him in the principles and practice of piety; and so strongly had his young affections been enlisted on the side of true and undefiled religion, that he continued to adhere all his life, with undeviating perseverance, to the cause of God and righteousness.” (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary) One can only imagine the thoughts that went through Josiah’s head, as he was constantly reminded of the words of that unnamed prophet. That identity gave him the boldness to stand against the injustices of the former generations. At the twelfth year of his reign, at just twenty years old,Josiah began to purge the nation of the monuments and altars his father had erected. He broke down the altars of Baal:the incense altars were cut down, he broke the wooden carved and molded images and made them into dust, he burned the bones of the pagan priest on their altars,and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 314:1-7) Josiah was burning with zeal for purity to be restored to the nation. He was drunk with a passion for the unadulterated presence of God! At the age of twenty-six, while they were building the temple, the Book of the Law was found and read to him. He responded by ripping off his clothes in repentance.This led to a more in depth campaign, even into the surrounding territories to remove any trace of idolatry and call the nation to serve the one true God.
Just as it had been prophesied three-hundred-sixty years prior in 2 Kings 23:15, we find Josiah took the altar and high place that Jeroboam had built at Bethel,the altar of convenience, he broke it down, crushed it to powder, and burned the wooden image. If that is not enough, he then dug up the graves surrounding that mountain and burned the bones on the altar!There is so much more to be said. But here is the word, “burn the bones!” I read this in astonishment. It wasn’t enough that the altars and those things which were seen were torn down and crushed. He was not content until he had dug up the graves and burned the bones, thus fulfilling the prophecy. Friends, there is so much here there is no time in a mere blog to cover it all. But I hear the Lord say, “burn the bones!” With the state of our nation and the nations of the world, I am so aware that we need an Awakening,and yet I know that it begins with me. And you know what? It begins with you.We all need to look at our own hearts and have a response like that of Josiah,whom I remind you had already begun a nationwide reformation. He was already walking in his call and yet there was more! It was in the eighteenth year of his reign that the Book of the Law was read to him, and yet he ripped his kingly garments and went deeper! Just as his name in Hebrew means fire of God,he was burning with passion for God! The words of that bookmarked his heart,and he cleaned house!
God is releasing the Sound of Awakening to call forth a Godbreed of believers! These believers will be intoxicated with passion and driven by purpose! Just as Josiah restored true worship to the nation, this Godbreed will be a voice of reformation and will call the church back to her first love.Friends this is our generation! We are the Godbreed! Josiah was a seeker! The Godbreed are seekers! Seekers are finders! (Matt 7:7)Through his seeking Josiah heard a voice and became a voice to change the culture. He was possessed by God! We will hear the voice of God and release His Kingdom in the earth. Josiah was focused. The Bible tells us that he didn’t look to the left or to the right. This Godbreed will have the testimony of David, “One thing have I desired of the Lord…” (Psalm27:4) Josiah crushed the altars of convenience!!!! God did not call us to a life of convenience rather He called us to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him. (Mark 8:34) Let’s smash the altars!!! Josiah violently dug up the graves and burned the bones of the false prophets!How radical is that! As the Godbreed let’s, “burn the bones,” dig up the graves, and burn the remains of our old nature!!!! Let’s clean out our closets!!!! Purify the hidden places in our hearts….allow God to draw us deeper. Let’s have the testimony, “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me!” (Psalm 51:10) Your bones may be bitterness, unforgiveness, hurts not healed, secret addiction. It may be a generational curse or a false identity this world has placed on you;only you know your story, but none the less, “burn the bones!” Tear down your altars of convenience, and burn the bones, any trace of sin. “Our God is a consuming Fire, a jealous God!” (Deut4:24) As we search our hearts and remains of sin are revealed, we can lay it on the altar, and He will consume it with FIRE! Let’s respond with gladness…Let’s have ayes in our spirit. If we want to see Awakening, let Him start in our own hearts. If we want to be a voice let us posture our hearts to hear Him! Let the Godbreed Arise and “burn the bones!”