Package and product

By Not Known

People sometimes feel the need for a makeover.
Depending on who we are, we head for the hairdresser’s, skin clinic, spa,
clothing and shoe shops. We come out looking and feeling like a million dollars
(and costing it too!).

But then a few days passes and we realise that not much has changed. The same
old ‘me’ is still there and the same old problems have resurfaced. Our makeover
has been only skin-deep (literally), but the real challenges go deeper. We
changed the packaging, but the product stayed the same.

The Old Testament figure of King Josiah shows us a deeper makeover in which
packaging and product were both changed. (We can read his story in 2
Chronicles 34 and 35). Things were so bad at the start of Josiah’s reign that
God’s temple was derelict and God’s book was lost.

Josiah’s search for God led him to repair God’s building and rediscover God’s
book. His response was a makeover that was much more than skin deep as he
followed the command to hear, learn and do all that God’s book says (Dt 5:1).
The grief of his heart was followed by Bible learning and Bible action. He led
the nation to a recommitment and renewal of her relationship with God through
practical obedience and restoration of the covenant meal.

What has this to do with us? Our encounter with God’s book is often light and

  • We re-read the passages that we find easy to understand and pleasing to
    our ear, while neglecting the hard passages.
    Our Bible hearing is only skin-deep.

  • We read a few selected verses, give them some superficial study, dash off
    a quick prayer and go on our way.
    Our Bible learning is only skin-deep.

  • We pick and choose among the Bible’s teaching and only do the things that
    please us.
    Our Bible doing is only skin-deep.

Search me, 0 God, and know my heart today; Try me, 0 Saviour, know my
thoughts, I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me; Cleanse me from
every sin and set me free. Lord, take my life and make it wholly Thine; Fill my
poor heart with Thy great love divine. Take all my will, my passion, self, and
pride; I now surrender; Lord, in me abide.
(TH 439).