"Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the spiritists and the teraphim and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. Before him there was no king like him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him." - 2 Kings 23:24-25 NASB
Josiah was a unique king. He went against the current of the time.
I picked this version because it left a word untranslated that interested me. Teraphiym (Strong's H8655) is used 15 times in the old testament and is often translated image, idol or household god. It is plural for the Hebrew root Rapha (H7495) with means healer or physician.
In other words he took away the things that people used to self medicate. He removed public idol worship and private idol worship. Oh, how people would be up in arms if that was attempted in most societies today. I am not recommending this course of action. Josiah was unique and Israel was unique.
I do think that there is much value in separating our own household from idols and teraphim. Self medication cuts us off from receiving true comfort. Josiah knew this. The people could not worship the true God but have all these idols around. It was one or the other.
Perhaps I don't speak about my own hobbies here very much but I have some things I enjoy and derive great pleasure from. I am in my forties and I'm learning my first musical instrument and discovering the joys of reading sheet music. Most days these halls echo with the sound of a clarinet for a short time. As the weeks go by I'm getting more proficient. The dog doesn't howl like she used to. I still get her going from time to time and I have a long way to go. It is new territory and a different avenue for me to worship God and I just love it. I listen to more jazz, big band and klezmer music and find the different instruments as I listen. I am developing the ears of a student.
I'd love to go listen to live venues but where is most jazz played? In bars. So guess what... I don't go to those places to listen. Not gonna happen. I won't cross the line. I don't want to take home what is being served there.
I see a lot of posts on social media about wine. Wine is a classy way for women to self medicate but do people know that there is a Comforter in Heaven and here on Earth inside each one who believes? When we find comfort in other places we are committing adultery the same way a married man or woman runs to the arms of a strange lover.
I don't say this to condemn anyone or bash your lifestyle. Do what you do. We will both stand before God some day and make an account for the choices we made and didn't make. Some folks would tell me that my love of the clarinet is wrong because I enjoy it so much but it isn't about the pleasure of a thing. I speak about wine this way because the Bible gives clear definition.
"Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise." - Proverbs 20:1 ESV
"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart," - Ephesians 5:18-19 ESV
There it is. Do with it what you will. I see a stop sign. What do you see?
I see music that glorifies God as a recommended pastime.
When I was young mockery and brawling were fun activities. Not anymore.
I want the teraphim out of my house. If the public idols were taken away our streets would be safer and our children would have a better chance at life. I have a God and He is amazing. I don't want to worship anywhere else or anyone else. There are pain relievers on a shelf in my bathroom. I use them when needed but by God's grace they will never come before Him. If they ever do then I would rather live in pain. I am thankful that there is a provision for pain available.
Josiah was a unique king and we are unique people with a unique sphere of influence. I want to share God's grace with people and recommend the great Comforter as a remedy for what ails them.
Let's live like royalty today. If we have control over our space then we can exercise that control like royalty.