“[Jehoshaphat] walked in all the way of Asa his father. He did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the LORD. Yet the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places.” 1 Kings 22:43
As you read through the history of Israel and Judah in the Old Testament, you cannot help but be struck by the often repeated phrase “but the high places were not removed.” Why is it that the kings who sought to follow the Lord were unwilling to remove the high places which were forbidden by the Lord? Perhaps, part of the reason lies in the fact that this tradition was passed on from father to son. King Solomon worshipped in the high places, his son saw and followed, and on and on it went. And while kings sought to do that which was right in the sight of the Lord, they refused to hold everything up to the true standard of righteousness – the Word of God.
Congregation, are there high places in your life – things, perhaps, that have been passed on to you, that you have neglected to, or have refused to, hold up to the discerning light of God’s Word? Are you using as the standard for your life, the customs and traditions passed on to you, the life your parents lived, the behaviour of a friend, or the conduct of the person sitting near you in church? Our standard must always and ever be nothing less than the very Word of God! Our aim must be perfection and all else must be repented of. Our lives must be purged of every high place, not in order to be God’s people, but because we are God’s people! We don’t follow righteousness in order to be saved, we are saved in order to follow righteousness!
Praise God that, even with all our remaining “high places”, we have been saved and secured by our Lord Jesus Christ, who was rightfully raised to the highest place, the right hand of His Father on high, and has raised us up to heavenly places as well. Hallelujah! What a Saviour!