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Bethany Baptist Church

Dan Stillings sang a special patriotic song Sunday morning and the Jubilee Singers brought a program of patriotic music, Sunday evening called, “Sweet Freedom’s Song.” All the veterans were honored with a small gift, Sunday morning, before Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message he called, “What would happen if America sought after God?”

Josiah was only eight years old when he became king of Judah after his father, Amon, was slain. Judah had turned away from God and had allowed every sort of idol to be set up. Prophets had repeatedly warned the people of Judah that if they persisted in worshipping the idols, God would bring a terrible devastation on Jerusalem and Judah. In fact God had already allowed the northern tribes of Israel to be carried off into captivity for their sin of worshipping every sort of false god. While they had been in rebellion against God they had suffered through droughts, famines, economic failures, and even starvation. Yet they had not repented, so now the survivors were in captivity. Josiah must have been told about these things.

Josiah began to seek after God when he was very young. When he had ruled eight years, he began to purge Judah. He began to break down the altars to Baal, the high places, and the groves, and to destroy every sort of carved image that people worshipped. With so many false “gods,” it was necessary to identify who was the true God. God had revealed himself to Israel through Moses saying, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” The LORD God had dealt with Israel in such miraculous ways, so that there should not have been any confusion about the one true God. Somehow Josiah, whose father had been an idol worshipper, started following God and there was a revival of faith in Judah. What would happen in America if our leaders all began to seek after God?

Seeking after God would result in a cleansing in the churches of America.  Josiah sent men to repair the house of the LORD his God. While there Hilkiah, the high priest, found a book of the law of the LORD. He brought it to Shaphan, the scribe, who took it to the king. When Josiah heard the words of the law, he rent his clothes because he could see that the wrath of the LORD would be great toward them because they had not kept the word of the LORD. When Judah had failed to read and follow the word of the LORD, their sins had increased so that there was no longer any hope for Judah. Yet God would delay the wrath until Josiah had died.

Seeking after God caused the word of God to be prominent in the land. Josiah set out to have the word of God read in the ears of  the inhabitants of the land. And all his days Judah served the LORD God and while they did so they enjoyed peace in the land. What would happen in America if our leaders set out to have the Word of God read in the ears of all the inhabitants?

What would happen if all those who claim that the Bible is the authority they live by, actually read it through? Sin is defined in the Bible. Sin is anything that transgresses God’s laws, but how do we avoid sin, if we do not know what the Bible actually says? People would do well to pick up their King James Version of the Bible, read it, study it, and let the Holy Spirit speak to their hearts. The Bible says that in the last days there will be a great falling away. God will surely unleash his wrath upon the earth. But if America would seek God and repent of its sins, there might be a delaying of the wrath of God. God once said, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

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