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January 26, 2010

Chapter-a-Day 1 Kings 15

Cleaning house is making room for new things. Asa conducted himself well before God, reviving the ways of his ancestor David. He cleaned house: He got rid of the sacred prostitutes and threw out all the idols his predecessors had made. Asa spared nothing and no one; he went so far as to remove Queen Maacah from her position because she had built a shockingly obscene memorial to the whore goddess Asherah. Asa tore it down and burned it up in the Kidron Valley. 1 Kings 15:11-13 (MSG)

There is something about "cleaning house" that brings a fresh start. Cleaning house means purging old and worthless things that take up room, demand time attention and distract me from more important things. I might "rearrange house" so that there is a sense that things are fresh and new, but it is not the same thing as cleaning house. The old and worthless things are still there. They may be tucked away for the moment, out of sight, so I can fool myself to believing that things are clean. But, nothing has really changed.

"Cleaning house" requires uncomfortable decisions. I'm sure Asa's decision to remove grandma from power had tremendous ramifications in his life, his household, in his family, and in his community. She had been holding "position" within the family, the royal household, and therefore, the government, for multiple generations. The removal of something or someone that holds an old, secure position within any kind of system tends to throw that system into conflict and confusion for a while. That's why we avoid it.

"Cleaning house" is a requisite part of the process for anyone who wants to follow Jesus. You don't get far in the journey if you keep accumulating and never purge. A journey requires mobility and you can't move if you're loaded down. "Old things pass away, new things come," God's message tells us. But, there's no room for new things in our backpack if it's still full of our old stuff.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and questioneverything

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Comments

kr

But despite that, out of respect for David,.......For David had lived an exemplary life before God all his days.......

As a young boy, I remember well the reading of the 10 commandments in church each Sunday. Here is an excerpt from the NIV Exodus 20: 5 "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments."

The concept of generational sin/love was a difficult one for me to comprehend, yet one that always stuck with me. I thought of that this morning when I read this passage. David's descendants clearly benefited from David's faithfulness to God. They didn't deserve by most counts the grace that God gave them. Wow! How important then for me to be obedient to God, not only to train my children as I was trained, but to pave a path of obedience that my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren can walk. What an awesome and huge responsibility.

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