The High Places

Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 22:10-12; 23:1-21; 2 Kings 10:18-31; 11:21; 12:1-3

"Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there" (2K 12:2-3).

This is said of many of the good kings of Judah. They "did what was right in the eyes of the Lord," but still failed to remove the shrines that the Israelites had built on the hilltops, where they offered sacrifices to the gods. These kings didn't personally worship at the high places, but they failed to remove that temptation from their people. Most of the people believed in God, but they weren't secure enough in their faith to trust in him alone to meet their needs. They added extra rituals to their religion and worshipped other gods, for an added measure of good luck. They trusted in their high places for hope and security instead of obeying the laws God had written for them.

What are the high places in my life? Am I looking for security in relationships, stable employment, money, ministry, recognition, control, food (chocolate!), etc.? Do I go to church, give to charities, and do good works as an attempt to somehow earn a higher status with God or out of a sincere heart of love for God and others? Do I place selfish desires above the desires God has for my life? Is my faith measured by a set of man-made rules or by the principles set forth in God's word? Am I looking for God in a ritual or a relationship? Am I willing to do what is "right in the eyes of the Lord," but reluctant to tear down the shrines I've built in my heart that keep me pursuing fulfillment in all the wrong places?

I will find true security and significance in Christ alone. I choose to let him be seated on the highest place in my heart.