Revue: God’s Reboot

Mercy:  New Every Morning , © Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© Lynn Abbott Studios

True Confession: like a modern-day Don Quixote, I have occasionally spent entire weeks hurling insults at an inanimate object.

Yup.  I do believe that even Job himself would find an ornery computer to be an extraordinary trial.

Without a doubt, I sometimes threaten to kick my computer to the curb, and rid the world of it once and for all . . .

Despite all this, over the years, I typically return to what most techies deem my best option–the “reboot.”

Of course, this is not before I consider giving it the old-fashioned “boot.”

However, my computer’s misbehavior–although frustrating–is not the total picture.

And so, I seek to save the delinquent, piece of technology.

That’s right: time for the reboot; time to take the computer back to factory condition…

Viruses eliminated,

Internet junk left behind.

Uh, huh.  You guessed it. I have much in common with that aggravating computer.

I typically return to what most techies deem my best option–the “reboot.”

I daily collect dust and “viruses” as I walk through this world.  My life’s journey becomes increasingly difficult.   Sluggish, even.

And at the end of the day, I scratch my head and wonder, “How did I get here?”

The answer isn’t rocket science. Over the long haul, minor shifts can significantly impact any trajectory.  I regularly see that principle at work as I draw lines of perspective on paper or canvas.

In much the same way, when I veer to the left or right and extend my path from there, I arrive at an “unplanned for” destination.

In other words, a small virus can do great damage; a little leaven can spoil the entire dough.

Just ask any of the Old Testament prophets.  The nation of Israel experienced the raw reality of this truth again and again.

The second book of Chronicles reveals the harvest.  However, the seeds of struggle began with Solomon.

As is often the case, his pivot point initially seemed insignificant.

After all, Solomon simply followed the general political wisdom of his day.  He pragmatically ratified his peace treaties and political alliances with other nations by marrying into the “family.”

Unfortunately for Solomon and God’s people, Solomon’s political marriages also represented a departure from the “manufacturer’s” directions.

And at the end of the day, I scratch my head and wonder, “How did I get here?”

God had specifically forbidden for His children to intermarry with the pagan nations around them.  Disobedience would certainly lead to long-term, negative consequences.

Solomon knew God’s Word, of course.  But he may have decided that the benefits of such alliances outweighed the risks.

Been there; done that whole “lean on my own understanding” bit.

Big mistake.

As God had warned, Solomon’s heart became divided, (1 Kings 11:2).  Over time, domestic peace demanded that Solomon compromise his faith.

And paganism began to infiltrate Israel’s culture.  That spelled long-term trouble.

Solomon’s line produced a great many evil kings, men with no respect for their people.

However, in His mercy, God provided a reboot through a boy king named Josiah.

Josiah’s godly life, in fact, stands in stark contrast to previous kings.

Josiah’s father and grandfather had been particularly evil kings.  Idolatry ran rampant, (2 Chronicles 33:9).

Scripture tells us that Josiah’s father Amon did not humble himself before God.

In other words, he proved an arrogant, cruel king.  Chronicles simply states that Amon “multiplied guilt,” (2 Chronicles 33:23).

While no details of Amon’s “guilt” are given, the behavior of his household servants confirms the absolute worst.  Two years into Amon’s reign, he was murdered by his servants.

Fortunately, the Israeli people prevented a total political meltdown: the conspirators received the death penalty.  And Amon’s eight year old son, Josiah, was crowned king.

Of course, from a purely political standpoint, an eight-year-old king didn’t hold much promise.  Yet, Josiah became one of Israel’s great kings.

In His great mercy, God provided His people a reboot through a boy king named Josiah.

Josiah reigned thirty-one years, and Chronicles reports that “he did right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his father David and did not turn aside to the right or to the left,” (2 Chronicles 34:2).

Josiah cleansed the nation of all its spiritual viruses: idolatry and paganism.   Then, Josiah commissioned the rebuilding of God’s temple.  He went back to the basics.

And in the process, a miraculous discovery was made.

The priest Hilkiah found “the book of the law of the LORD given by Moses,” (2 Chronicles 34:14).

In response to the reading of God’s word, Josiah further humbled himself before God.

In fact, Josiah’s obedience to the Word of God brought Israel long-term peace.

Yes, at the heart of any spiritual “reset” is obedience to our Manufacturer’s Directions.

Jeremiah wrote, “So now the Lord says, ‘Stop right where you are!  Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it.  Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls,” (Jeremiah 6:16).

And so it is. When you and I wander from God’s path, Grace calls; “Stop right where you are!  Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it…”

John writes, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).

Grace calls.  It clears the viruses; dumps the accumulated junk files. It returns our souls to manufacturer’s condition.

But there’s more.  Undoubtedly, the world is a messy place.   What if I misstep again?

Grace has that covered, too.

Jeremiah reminds us, “This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.  The LORD’s loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning…” (Lamentations 3: 21-23).

Every morning…

Grace.

I love the picture that Jesus gave his disciples and us as well during the Last Supper.  Jesus knelt to wash the disciples’ feet.  At first Peter objected.

Yet, when Jesus told him that could not have fellowship with Jesus without the foot washing, Peter said, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”

At the heart of any spiritual reset is obedience to our Manufacturer’s Directions.

Jesus’ response communicated profound truth for the believer’s life. He said, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet…” (John 13:10).

In other words, as Abba’s child, I have already experienced the full restart.  The “idols” of my life have been cleared.  Now, I need only a daily foot-washing.

And as I obey the light I have been given, God grants greater wisdom; His Spirit teaches me more of His Word.

Yeah, I still wander at times, (Isaiah 53:6).  However, the closer I grow to the Savior and the more obedient I am to His Word, the easier it becomes to flee dangerous “viruses” and to live in daily victory.

You betcha. I thank God for His merciful reboot.

“So now the Lord says, “Stop right where you are!  Look for the old, godly way, and walk in it.  Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls,” ~ Jeremiah 6:16