The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 1 year ago

Restoring the Ruins | The Life of the Righteous Josiah the King


The Arena Podcast is the flagship of Patristic Nectar Publications and contains the Sunday Sermons and other theological reflections by Father Josiah Trenham delivered from the ambon of St. Andrew Church in Riverside, California and begun in 2010. Currently there are more than 550 sermons and lectures covering ten years worth of preaching through the liturgical calendar.

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Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to have completed our PHILOCALIA project and now happily offers to our customers professional audio recordings of these sacred texts absolutely free. The PHILOCALIA is a collection of ecclesiastical writings from the fourth through fifteen centuries, devoted to inner asceticism, the purification of the heart and the acquisition of unceasing prayer. These holy writings have inspired thirsty Christians throughout the history of the church and provide time tested counsel in the quest for holiness. May God inspire us, in our pursuit of pure prayer, to listen to the Philo Kalia. Please visit our website at patristic nectar Don Org. And now the arena with Father Josiah Trennam. In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, a blessed Lord's Day to all of you, brothers and sisters, while this last Sunday before we celebrate the Nativity of our Savior, I can't wait. I'm sure you can't wait as well. Today is the Sunday of our Savior's genealogy and of the holy forefathers, those who have pleased God in every generation, for from Adam until today, you heard Deacon Reciting Beautiful Name After Beautiful Name. The church sets forth the reality that the faithful who lived before Christ's coming are part of us. They're the Old Testament church. There's one church, those who live by faith in Christ and in the Old Testament. They lived in far more challenging times than us and yet exercised great faith. Abraham, the father of us all, yearned, it says, for that city which had foundations built by God. He yearned for the city that God fashioned. As the architect and the builder, he's sojourned even in that earthly piece of real estate that God gave him as a promise. As a foreigner, as a stranger, he yearned to see Christ himself. Jesus says. He yearned to see my day, and he did see it and he was glad. Moses also yearned. Six Hundred Years later after Abraham, Moses also anticipated and wanted his king. He knew what a horrible Pharaoh was like. He wanted the Real Pharaoh. He thirsted for the Messiah, the Great King, to come, and he made all sorts of choices for or Christ's sake. You heard Paul and that epistolescent we just read. He considered all of the sufferings that he endured, all of the reproach of Egypt, everything he gave up from Pharaoh's house and all the persecution and all the misery that he had leading the people of God out of that slavery and across the Red Sea and to the Promised Land. He considered that all to be treasure. In sharing the reproach of Christ, he knew why Pharaoh hated him and the people of God because they hated Christ in anticipation. The Great King was the one leading his people to this way of life. Both Moses and Abraham didn't just believe in Christ ahead of time by faith. They both sucked with him, Abraham on the fields of memory, Moses on the top of Mount Sinai. They even had communion in anticipation, so close to God. We thank God for all of these beautiful...

...people. We also especially remember today those who are in our saviors direct earthly line. Genealogy. Sunday presents US The Gospel from St Matthew One, where sat matthew describes both Jesus's earthly line and his divine line, his earthly line as the son of Abraham, and through all of his forbears one by one, and then, having told us all of his earthly forbears through the tribe of Judah, then he shows his divinity, the fact that he was conceived not by an earthly father but by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary. And so matthew lays out at the very beginning of his gospel the fact that everything you'll see from this point on are the words and the actions of the theanthroposts of the God man. What a day it is. I am particularly jealous for this day as his father, Joseph, because we both celebrate our our patron saints on this day and it's my custom, as it has been for my whole life as a priest, to speak a bid about my patron saint, the righteous King Josiah. In our Savior's genealogy there are many kings listed. Four are of note and precious David, who manifested Jesus in a very unique way by his heart. The scriptures say that he had a unique heart. He had a heart after God like no one else. Solomon revealed Christ in anticipation, in his great wisdom, the vastness of his comprehension was an insight into the fact that Jesus is indeed the wisdom of God. Hezekiah was a man of great faith. Hezekiah the king believed and trusted in God. And then Josiah Hezechius, great grandson, my patron saint. He was unique in having the deepest repentance of all, the deepest repentance of all. I'd like to magnify him and especially his repentance to day, especially how he returned to God, how he brought himself into the presence of God, how he became a persecutor in his own life of everything that was in him that took him away from God. And he did this so well. He learned to repent so well that God was able to use him as a teacher of repentance for his whole nation. When you hear that word repentance, love it, love it, thirst for it, ask God to give it to you as his special gift. Deeper and deeper all the time, Saint John tells us do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If any one loves the world, the love of the father is not in him, for all that is in the world, the lust of the Flesh, the lust of the eyes and a boastful pride of life, is not from the father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away and all its lusts are passing away, but the one who does the will of God lives forever. This is the promise...

...of repentance. Repentance will deliver you from passing away, dear ones, repentance will secure your place in the establishment of God's kingdom on the earth forever. I want you to especially to think about how King Josiah repented. What did he do? What exactly where the contours of his repentance that made him so famous for this, why has the church always looked to him as a model of repentance? He began his repentance as a young man. He opened his heart and his ears to God's word when he was a teenager. He allowed, even as a young man, he allowed God and his words to have a position to crush his heart. Many of us are very scared of pain of heart, unscared pain of heart. It hurts the worst here, the worst. Therefore, we're tempted to somehow guard the heart, to protect it from pain. That's not always bad, unless it's the pain of repentance. If it's the pain of repentance, we have to accept it, we have to embrace it, or else we create a false reality and will live far away from the truth about ourselves. And it's very easy to deceive ourselves in an effort to protect our hearts enough to accept the pain that we have to have. Josiah, as a young man, allowed his heart to be crushed. The chronicler, in describing his life, says that Josiah humbled his heart, tore his clothing and wept. Note that this profound and tearful repentance is described. It's in his eighteen year of his reign, when he was twenty six years old, he had already turned his heart to God when he was sixteen. He became king at eight, can you imagine? And at sixteen he began to turn his heart to God. That, the Scripture says, he began to seek God's faiths. The the text says in the eight year of his reign, while he was still a youth, he began to seek the god of his father David. That was the mark of his turning himself, putting his hand on his heart and fashioning it. In the twelve year of his reign, after four years of intentional seeking, when he was twenty, the text says that he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, the carved images, the molten images. He had the altars of the balls torn down in his presence. That's an interesting reference. At the end, he didn't just send someone else to go down there and destroy it. He said, wait until I'm there, I'm going to stand in the presence of the evil, I'm going to stand in the presence of idolatry, and then I'm going to give the order, so no one has any question where this is coming from and so that it's clear that the gods that are false know who is opposing them. It's an act of incredible courage. It reminded me of many of the great kings on our walls who imitated Josiah, especially saying Vladimir, who did the same thing with the godparent who had the hearts this false idol, who had the hearts of all the Rus. He made the idol be torn down and then he stood in front of it and he gathered his nobles around it and they took whips and they whipped the idol right out of his kingdom, right to the edge of a cliff and they through the idol right into the sea, to a massive stream...

...and massive river, and they issued it right out of the Kingdom Josiah in nurses. He gives birth to that kind of devotion. After Josiah had the false idol torn down in his zeal, he burned the bones of the priests, the false priests, those that be dug up their bones and burned them and he purged Judah and Jerusalem and he made a circuit through the cities of Manassa and Fram and Simeon, even as far as naftily and the surrounding ruins. And he did the same, it says, throughout all of his dominions, not just in his capital but everywhere. He became the fierce enemy and destroyer of idolatry. From the time he was twenty. Do you see his repentance expanding? It began when he was a young man. He began to seek God. His repentance deepened and he made a commitment to aggressively remove godlessness. It grew. You see, his repentance grew in his eighteenth year, when he was twenty six years old, he deepened his repentance yet again. He sent Chiffon, the son of as Eliah and Messiah and official of the city, and Joah was the son of Johas, who was the recorder, the official scribe. He sent him to repair the House of the Lord, his God. He himself funded and gathered funds throughout all of Judah and Benjamin and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem in order to restore the temple in all its glorious worship at the hands of the high priest Hill Caia. He had the carpenters and the builders obtained great quarried stones and timber for everything. And then the text says he did this in order to rebuild what the Kings of Judah had let go to ruin. Unquote. You see how his repentance is even deepening. It starts in his own heart and he fixes himself. First he turns himself to God. Then, as it matures in blossoms, he begins to purge obvious evil and then, six years later, having eradicated the evil from the land, he turns his attention to re establishing the worship of God, the worship that his father and his grandfather had utterly totally destroyed. He was repenting for his family, not just himself. His father and his grandfather had become, had become, had been horrible, horrible betrayers of the God of Israel. They had brought in, literally imported idols from the nations, from Damascus and from the Syrians and from the Egyptians. They had commanded people to turn their back on God. And so the temple was in ruins, total, complete ruins. Josiah gave himself to its repair. Next King Josiah, in the midst of restoring the temple and all of its glory, he found the book of Moses, probably Deuteronomy. Can you imagine finding it not having it multiple generations? Turn your back on God, you can become something you never dreamed of. They literally lost their identity and they lost the text that recorded their covenant with God. Deuteronomy was lost and in the process of rebuilding the temple, his servants found the text and they brought it to him and he said read it publicly. And when they read it publicly, he stood up and he tore his robes, his regal robes, and he wept for he heard there so many of the Lord's Sacred Commandments, so many beautiful...

...and wady words which have been completely forgotten, which he himself had never heard. His Mother didn't read them to him, his father didn't read them to him, his grandfather didn't read them to him. He was shocked, completely shocked, at what he heard. He was undone at what spiritual indifference had eclipsed in his own land, and his repentance expanded yet again. You know, yesterday in the Morning Liturgy, the Gospel text was the marvelous parable of Jesus's teaching about how the Kingdom of God comes like a small mustard seed and then it grows to become a great tree, such a great tree that it blossom sports all sorts of branches and the birds of the air come and nest in the branches of the tree. He uses another metaphor with a woman making bread, and he says the Kingdom of God is just like a little bit of leaven which a woman puts into the bread and then it leavens the entire loaf. This is how the Kingdom of God grows. Dear ones, the Kingdom of God finds a refuge in us. It takes up the a place by our repentance and faith, by the mercy of God, and the Kingdom of God gets planted into us. This is why Jesus began his preaching with the word repentance. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. That seed he plants right the sore, throws it into your heart. It finds rest there by repentance and it stays. But what does it do? It grows, it grows and it grows and it grows. And what parallels the growth is your repentance, until it becomes a great treat until your repentance isn't just your salvation, but your children salvation, your friends salvation, your nation's salvation. In Josiah's case, literally, his repentance became in him a great tree that his brothers and sisters, his whole land could come and rest in the greatest of all trees, the kingdom tree inside of us. This transformation from the smallest, to the of seeds to the greatest of trees, offering shade and fruits to so many to take refuge in, is recorded this way. Then the king stood in his place and he 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 and to perform the words of the Covenant of this book. Moreover, he led all who were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand with him and to renew their covenant with God and to serve the Lord God alone. And so the Chronicler Rites, throughout his lifetime, they did not turn from following the Lord God of their fathers. You hear this? This is repentance language right, that repentance is the language of turning. He had turned back to God and by his great repentance, he brought his family, his nation back to God and during his entire life they stayed oriented to God. How many of you are concerned with those that you love? How many are you concerned to those with you love? You see so much worry, you have so much worry about the orientation of some of those that you love. What is the best thing you can possibly do for them? The best thing is to expand your repentance. Let the Kingdom of God have its way inside of you. Do what he did. Turn yourself first, as your repentance grows eradicate every evil and in drone...

...the love of God, the worship of God in your life, deeper and deeper and deeper. Let the Kingdom of God and repentance become a great tree in your life. There are quite a few of you here who are great trees already. It's not work like we're talking about something that's that we don't know. We know, we know what this is like. This is what God's calling us to. By the grace of God and Josiah's deep repentancy, returned himself and his people to the source of their life, God. He returned him to the source of truth, the word of God. He brought them to the prophets. You know, when he was at his hour of need, you know what he did. He went to the person he trufted most in his entire life, a woman who was a prophetess named Holda, and he sent word to her and he said what do I do, and she spoke to him God's work. This was a great king and he surrounded himself his close confidants, hold of the prophetess Jeremiah, the prophet he loved God's Word in writing, and he loved God's Word in the saints, the Living Saints. He wasn't just listening to Moses, he was listening to those that God was inspiring now, and that's what repentance does. That's why we cherish the saints. That's why we love the prophets. This is why the great sage Syrac five hundred years after Josiah's death, he writes of him at the conclusion of the Old Testament, and he says this. The memory of Josiah is like a blending of incense prepared by the art of the perfumer. What smells better than the humility that's promoted by repentance? Nothing, nothing delights the heart and uplifts with such beauty. The memory of Josiah is like a blending of incense is prepared by the art of perfumer. It is sweet as honey to every mouth and like music at a banquet of wine. He was let a write in converting the people, and he took away the abominations of iniquity. He set his heart upon the Lord and in the days of wicked men, he strengthened godliness. Josiah as a type of the greatest of all kings, the king of kings and the Lord of Lords Himself, Our Lord Jesus Christ particularly Josiah's tender heart as a type of the great heart of our Lord Christ, who said, come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. It's the Lord Jesus who's The supreme teachers, dear one, of repentance. He's the one who's calling us to this, he's the one who's establishing and growing his kingdom within us, and he is the one who's going to plant us in the eternal good things which are to come. This is the case by His grace and the prayers of the holy and Righteous King Josiah. May the good which has been left to go to ruin in our own families be healed by repentance, may be restored by our imitating him in the cultivation and the deeping of repentance. made the good which has been left to go to ruin in our church by indifferent clergy and indifferent faithful be restored by our imitating him the cultivation and deepening of repentance. May the good which has been left to go to ruin in our nation by godless leaders and in different citizens be restored by our imitating him in the...

...cultivation and deepening of repentance, and may we find ourselves vessels full of joy in just a few days as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, by the cultivation and deepening of our repentance. I wish you all a wonderful Sunday of the genealogy and ask the blessing and prayers of the holy and Righteous King Josiah on us all. I member. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in other available titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot petristic nectar dot org.

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