Stand To It
2 Chronicles 32:24 - 2 Chronicles 36:21
We are at the end of Chronicles, and it echoes of the end of Kings.
The authority passing from father to son. The never knowing if the King would reign in righteousness or in wickedness. Each generation choosing.
Once more we read of Josiah. What I didn't notice in Kings was that during the reign of Josiah a sacred book was found in the house of the Lord. Josiah asked those who had the book, "Go, enquire of the Lord for me...concerning the words of the book..." (2 Chronicles 34:21)
Then Josiah, the King whose heart was tender, sent and gathered together all the elders, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small, and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 34:30)
"And the King STOOD IN HIS PLACE, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem...to STAND TO IT. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did." (2 Chronicles 34:31-32)
"And he encouraged them to the service of the house of the Lord, and said ...prepare yourselves...and STAND in the holy place." (2 Chronicles 35:s2-5)
My thoughts are filled with the gathering...with the reading in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant...and I think to myself that just the gathering is not enough. Because in our family we gather together to eat. And to play. And to snuggle. And to be entertained. But in this world just the gathering together is insufficient.
When we gather together we must read the words of The Book. Therein lies the strength.
We must stand in that place and learn more of the covenants. But there is more to it than even that ––we must learn to walk, to keep the commandments and the testimonies and the statutes. With all our heart. With all our soul. To perform. To stand to it. To act upon what we learn in those gathering moments.
When our home was being built we would stop by every evening to watch the progress. One evening we came just after the footings had been laid, but before the cement floor had been poured. We talked about foundations...all of us there in a circle. Dad, Mom, Caleb, Josh, Meg, and Grace. The great and the small.
We told our children, if the foundation is firm it will provide a base for something to stand on. A home.
It is the same with a testimony.
We wanted to remember that a firm foundation would allow us to stand for what we believed in...and we talked about what would make our foundation firm.
Then we each took off one of our shoes, and we buried it in the ground next to one of the footings. The next day they poured cement over the hole. The shoes remain buried next to our foundation today. A testimony of the covenant we made. To stand.
Each day we try to gather for prayer, and for scriptures in our home. Night and Day. To strengthen testimony. So that we can stand firm.
But after reading the story of Josiah I realize that there is more to it than just that.
More than just the reading together and the praying and the gathering.
We must walk after the Lord.
Keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes.
With all our heart.
To perform. To act.
To Stand to it.
There is only one hymn I know of that is written from the perspective of the Lord speaking to His children.
It is one of my most favorites.
"Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed, For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand." (How Firm a Foundation)