The Arena
The Arena

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The Heart of the Righteous King Josiah - Genealogy Sunday 2020


The Heart of the Righteous King Josiah - Genealogy Sunday 2020

Good Deeds: Cultivating a Life of Virtue 

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Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to present good deeds cultivating a life of virtue, a seven part lecture series. These lectures expound the place of good worksin the salvation of the Christian the nature of virtues and vices and the traditionalmeans for cultivating virtue in the Christian life. Saint John of Damascus, in histext on the virtues and the vices in the Philocalia, writes that everyman is said to be made in the likeness of God as regards his imitationof God through virtues and God like actions. The study and cultivation of virtue isthe quest both to love God and also to become a true human being. The lecture titles include Lecture One, good deeds, understanding virtues and vices. Lecture two, the Cardinal Virtue of Justice, Lecture Three, the CardinalVirtue of Wisdom, Lecture Four, the cardinal virtue of courage, Lecture Five, the cardinal virtue of temperance. Lecture six, conquering the seven deadly sins. Lecture Seven. After God, the failure of the secular ethic. Forthese and other available titles, please visit our website at patristic nectar dot org. And now the arena with Father Josiah, trenna and the name of the fatherand of the son and of the Holy Spirit. I wish you ablessed Sunday, brothers and sisters, this last Sunday before we celebrate the Nativityof our Savior. Yes, yes, this Sunday is the Sunday of theforefathers, the Sunday of all those from Adam to Christ, who please Godby their faith. It's a marvelous, marvelous day to remember all of ourSavior's ancestors and especially his genealogy that you just heard. You know, there'sa passage in the New Testament from St Paul's pen that I just love andit's been in my mind all week as I've been meditating upon these incredible forefathers. It comes from first Timothy, and you should know first Timothy, secondTimothy and titus. Those three epistles of St Paul. They're very dear topriests. They're very dear to priests and bishops because these are called in NewTestament studies the pastoral epistles. These are the epistles that Paul wrote not tochurches but to his spiritual sons, who were Bishops Timothy and Titus. Onein ephesis one was increte. He told he said so many important things tothem that have guided the bishops and the priests for the last two thousand years. This is why those epistles are so precious to us. And he startsall of them in the first chapter of his first epistle to Timothy, inverse five, by laying out a vision for preaching in the Gospel and teaching. This is what he says to Timothy, his son, Bishop Timothy. Hesays the goal of our instruction, that which we're seeking as the endof all of our catechetical labors and all...

...of our preaching and teaching. Thegoal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, from a good conscienceand from a sincere faith. I want you to get that. Of course, we priest need to meditate on that constantly and measure our labors by thatgoal, by that vision. But you also see yourself here. You seewhat we're actually trying to accomplish. Why do we read the Scriptures to you? Why do we preach to you? Why do we teach you? Whyis that our in Paul's language in this very epistle, he says to Timothy, he says, be obsessed with these things, be absorbed with them,so that your progress be made be evident to all your people, for bydoing this, you will ensure both your salvation, Timothy, and the salvationof those who listen to you, by being completely absorbed, dedicated, asthe apostles were, to the word of God in prayer. See Yourself inthis text. What's the goal? The goal is that, through our teaching, you might love God and love others. More specifically, that your heart mightbe purified, that your conscience might be informed and then established in goodness, meaning that you, by the teaching you received from the Church, mightunderstand the truth well, your conscience might be formed and you might have thestrength to listen to it and to do it, and, lastly, thatyou might have a sincere faith. That's very, very important and of coursethat's the central theme of the Epistle we just look just heard from me peasant, that hall of faith, these incredible people who lived by faith in thisfallen world and were willing to suffer for Christ's sake by their faith. That'swhat we're trying to accomplish, brothers and sisters, this is it your lovefor God by having your heart purified, and this is the purifying place,this is the refiner, refinery, the Church and the teaching of the wordof God is what purifies the heart, established in a good conscience and strengthenin a sincere faith, so that you put into practice what you learn,not that your mind only is receiving these things, but that you're living them, you're practicing them. This is our goal, this is what we're tryingto accomplish. On this Sunday we are remembering all of those people who didjust this, the models, from Adam until Christ, of those who keptthe faith, who put into practice the word of God and of whom theworld was not worthy. If you would have the Manaian for December, thehymnitty book, and you would open it up, you would come in themiddle of war, throws to the Synaxarian, the Synox are and of course,is the lives of the saints of that day. Usually, you know, it's maybe about this long. Today it's eight pages, one after theother, after the other, after the other after the other, by name. The Church remembers all of our forefathers, who loved God and had a sincerefaith in a good conscience, in a pure heart. Especially this dayin the hindity, we remember the holy prophets and the prophetesses and amongst themespecially to the Holy Prophet Daniel, whose life is such a radical expression offaith and confidence in God and who saw visions of Christmas, visions of thecoming of Christ, of the stone cut...

...from the mountain without hands, themountain being the mother of God, The stone being Christ, which was thrownto the earth and smashed the kingdoms of this world and became a great mountain, a great kingdom that lasts forever. Daniel saw that vision and the threeholy youths, and Anius, as Arias and Missiel, who were thrown intothe furnace, and also had that beautiful vision of Christmas, because though threewere thrown into the furnace, for we're seen dancing, and the son ofGod joined them as a type of his descent, which would come six hundredyears later. He would come to join not just add Anius, as Ariasand missale but US forever, to deliver us from all of the threats ofidolatry and fire and death. If you continued reading through the Snoxarian at nearthe end you would come to my saying, and it has a very short littleentry and it says today we also commemorate the holy King Josiah, andthen it says verily Josiah pleased God and he will be praised. Therefore,I fear lest I slight him. That's what the himnographer wrote as he wascommemorating Josiah. I share that fear that in talking about my patron, sayinglike I do, all was on this Sunday, his Feast Day, Imight not present him in a worthy manner and some way slight his memory.Josiah is an incredible moder. Brothers and sisters, of all the things Paulsays, if the goal of Christian instruction, he is the model of a pureheart, the model of a good conscience, in the model of thesincere faith. In fact, there are multiple places in the Old Testament whereJosiah is talked about, and I want to tell you about them. He'smentioned in second kings. Two chapters are to get given to his life.He's mentioned in second chronicles. Two chapters are given to his life. Therehe's mentioned in first as dress, chapter one, verse one, in factthe first word of that entire book in the Old Testament. The first wordis Josiah, and then it begins to him the celebration of the Passover thathe created, the devotion to worship that he had, and also in thebook of Sirac and the forty nine chapter of Syrac, which gives three versesto him about how sweet his memory is and that just to say his namestirs the hearts of the people of God and you smell the Aroma of beautifulincense these passages. I want to focus on one aspect of Josiah's life.I want to focus on the heart of Josiah, because five things are saidin these passages about the heart of King Josiah, the righteous King Josiah,our saviors ancestor, who was in the genealogy. If you heard, youwere listening carefully, you heard Josiah's name. He was the last great King ofIsrael when he died at the hand of Faro Neco, when just Siahwent out in his zeal not to let that Pagan Cross with his armies intothe land of Israel and he was shot with an Arrow in the nose.He was never replaced. He was the last of the great kings. Allthe other kings were in exile and slaves, his sons and grandson's. I wantyou to know, as I'm describing...

...the incredible heart of Josiah, Iwant you to know, even before I mentioned the qualities of his heart,I want you to know, that his life is a witness to the factthat the external things, the outside, the culture, even your family,does not absolutely determine your relationship with God or your destiny. There is somethingcalled the human soul and the freedom that is infused in every single human being, which is the ultimate determiner of glory or shame, and Josiah's life isa witness to that. His great grandfather was Hezekiah, the king, aman who had more faith and trust in God than any king in Israel.He, together with King David and Josiah, are him does the three kings whodidn't sin, they were so god loving and so righteous. Hezekiah washis great grandfather. His grandfather was Manassa of ill fame, Manassa who,though he had his father such a saint, chose not to follow his father.Why? We have absolutely no idea. Stupid man to so despise his inheritanceof godliness that he wouldn't follow his father. The righteous had King Hezekiaslife. And he didn't just not follow his father a little bit. Manassabecame the most wicked king that Israel had ever seen. He destroyed the worshipof God. He persecuted the priest, he brought in idols into the Templeof God, he forced the people of God to worship idols. He sacrificedchildren in the Valley of Mulloch to Pagan idols. He was murderous and inmoral. The man was so evil that he sealed the fate of Israel.Nothing could stop the judgment that was going to come through Babylon on Israel becauseof Manassa. But MANASSA himself, you might remember, at the very endof his life, after decades of awful wickedness, repented and God forgave himand saved him, and he even wrote us a prayer that we pray onour knees in the great complin all throughout, lent from his own hands. Asa matter of fact, that's him right there and that scroll is thetext of his prayer of repentance. That's him. That's also a witness,isn't it? A man who chose to reject his father's life, live theantithesis of Godliness, gave himself over to terrible sin even at the last momentof his life, repented and was saved. His son. This would be Josiah'sfather, right. So hes a KAI is Josiah's great grandfather. Manassais his grandfather. Manassa son was aimen, so aim and had an incredibly holygrandfather. He knew his grandfather's righteousness. He had seen the stupidity of hisfather, and then he saw his father repent and be saved at theend of his life. And what did aim and do? Aimen became worsethan his own dad. He ignored his grandfather's example. He ignored his father. What muft, his father, have said to him at the end ofhis life? Son, I am so sorry for what I did. Neverdo. What I did, trust me, was all for not and yet aimand ignored him. That was the father of Josiah, the righteous isking, so righteous in fact, that... says in the scriptures that inthe days of wicked men, he established, he upheld godliness this is Josiah.What does this tell us right off the cuff? Your freedom is yourdestiny. It's what it tells you. Don't expect to live on the laurelsof your righteous ancestors, because if you don't imitate them in life, youwill not share their inheritance. And don't think if you have bad ancestors,if you have bad blood, so to speak, unfaithful, don't think thatthat has determined your destiny. It doesn't. You're free, you have the consciencefashioned by God, you have the Law of God pressed upon your heartand you have the ability, with the grace of God, in his help, to become whatever you choose to be, for God or against God. Thisis the first thing I want you to see, and then I wantto press now on you the five qualities that the scripture mentions about the heartof Josiah, because this is what we should imitate, this is what weshould remember. Remember that he became king and eight. His father was sowicked God took him from the Earth. Young Josiah was only eight years old. When he was sixteen, he had a deep personal conversion. When hewas twenty, he began his major reforms throughout the nation and when he wastwenty six years old, until he was thirty nine, he restored all ofthe worship of God and propagated godliness all over the Holy Land. This wasthe movement of his life. Righteous King Josiah had five things said about himin the scriptures about the qualities of his heart. The first is that hisheart was tender. His heart was tender. Remember who his father was, hardheartedmen. He did not imitate his father when he found out, whenhe found out the judgment that was going to come upon Israel, because hewas encouraging the rebuilding of the temple and the re establishment of worship, andin the process they actually found the books of Moses and they read the Lawto him, particularly that portion of the law that's found in Deuteronomy, ChapterTwenty Six, twenty seven and twenty eight, where there are blessings read for faithfulnessand curses read for infidelity. He heard for the first time in hislife what was coming and he was so distressed that he said he sent aword, a messenger, to a prophetess who was his friend end her namewas Holda. She lived at the same time as the Prophet Jeremiah, whoalso became Josiah's friend and wrote his lament on his death hold ah said,there's nothing you can do to stop this. Israel has become so wicked. Thejudgment is coming, but because you, Josiah, have a tender heart,God will spare you and you'll never have to see this. And sothe judgment didn't come until the after Josiah's died, at thirty nine. Afterhis death, she, the Prophetess, knew him and she, having interactedwith him, knew his heart and that his heart was in the hand ofthe prophetess. His heart, his his heart was in the hand of theProphets. He was submissive, tender. God had his way with Josiah,and this is the first quality I want to encourage you with. tenderheartedness,soft heartedness. It shone particularly by the fact that he wept streams of tearswhen he heard the law of God and he felt so upset. The secondquality that is described about Josiah's heart and...

...the scriptures is that his heart wasfull of shame, full of shame, and that shame demonstrated itself. That'sa shame demonstrated itself when he heard the word of God. He was sogrieved that he didn't just weep, but he took his hands and he grabbedhis royal robes and he tore them to pieces. This was his his angstat knowing that he was so far from from doing the right thing and frombeing thinking and living the right way. Shame is what fueled his reform.Brothers and sisters, don't think shame is only bad, absolutely not. Theworst thing in the world that could happen to you is if you became immuneto shame, which is exactly what's happening in our culture. Our culture literallyhas become shame less, and it's not a testimony to our righteousness, thefact that we're not sinning, it's a testimony to our insensitive heart, aheart that's not able to blush, a heart that doesn't even know right fromwrong and therefore can be walking in the midst of filth and not even knowor care. Josiah was who had a heart that wasn't just tender, butwas completely capable of an appropriate shame when he recognized how far he was fromthe standard of God. It wasn't a destructive shame, it was a shamewhen, combined with faith, drove him to great change, and that's thethird quality that's mentioned in this these passages about his heart. His heart wasrepentant. His heart was repentant, tender, full of shame and repentant, meaningthat it was a heart that took could tape correction, and it did. He's described by the chronicler as repenting like no other king did. That'ssaying something. His grandfather repented mightily, King David repented mightily, but noone repented as much of the Righteous King Josiah repentance. He also the fourthquality that's mentioned is that he filled his heart with godliness, with godliness inthe days of wicked men. He upheld godliness and he upheld at first herein his own heart. What did he put in there? Once he discoveredthe scriptures? That is what he lived on. He had the scriptures readin his presence every day. He piled in beauty, he piled in truth, he piled in Godliness, righteousness and holiness, and he filled his heartwith this. This is what he meditated upon and it's but incarnated itself inhis own life, in his own heart. And the fifth and the last incrediblequality of the heart of Josiah that's mentioned in the text is that heset his heart on God himself. This is another way of saying that heoffered his heart to the person of God. He wasn't making these all of theseefforts just so he could be feel good about himself. This wasn't abouta moralism. This was about him wanting to be God's this is about himwanting God to be with him, and so he offered his heart to God'spresence. He asked God to enthrone himself there, the king, asking theking of kings to rest here, which... what he did. For thisreason, God loved him and God rewarded him, and he has remained amodel of meditation for the people of God, of the fact that, no matterwhat family or culture that we live in, it is possible, byfreely choosing to have a certain type of heart. It is possible to pleaseGod. We can do this, and I offer you this short meditation onthe Righteous King Josiah to day, on his Feast Day, as food foryour own soul. Let the goal I have, which is to establish youin love for God and to give you a pure heart and a good conscienceand a sincere faith, like Josiah had. Let that reach you as well.Brothers and sisters, embrace it with me. May God have his waywith us, to his glory forever. Amen. We hope that you haveenjoyed 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 ofthe Holy Fathers. If you are interested in other available titles or if youwould like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dotpatristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot petristic nectar dot org.

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