Rich Lewis, Worship Team
When architect Frank Lloyd Wright began his career, he built houses and offices like most everyone else. Over time, though, he developed a style that combined his love of the natural world with the essence of the building he was creating. The synthesis of the “built” world and the “natural” led to a new form of harmonious living, in Wright’s eyes. The new, “organic” whole was greater than the sum of the parts, in both form and function.
In Zephaniah, 2 Chronicles, 2 Kings, and Jeremiah, the examples of a world that follows God’s natural order are clear and concise. Predictions of dire consequences on those who willingly disobey God’s order in Zephaniah and Jeremiah, and the demise of King Josiah recounted in 2 Chronicles and 2 Kings, share a common theme: God’s way is the true way, no matter how we try to alter the world to suit our needs. The prophet Zephaniah writes of Jerusalem, “Woe to the city of oppressors, rebellious and defiled! She obeys no one, she accepts no correction. She does not trust in the Lord, she does not draw near to her God.” (Zeph 3:1-2 NIV) Later, though, he notes, “Sing, o Daughter of Zion; shout aloud, o Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, o daughter of Jerusalem! The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.” (Zeph 3:14-15 NIV)
Though he was a leader of God’s people, King Josiah did not do that which God had commanded, and his fate echoed that of the apostate nations. In riding out to face Neco, the pharaoh of Egypt, Josiah went against the natural way. “God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” (2Chron 35: 21b NIV) Josiah foolishly tries to cover up his identity with a disguise, but to no avail – as if God could be fooled by such a trick! As Neco reminds Josiah, when God’s will is at hand, the wise will follow and not strike out in a different path. This reminder should be ours on a daily basis as well!