If you will return, O Israel, says the Lord, return unto me: and if you will put away your abominations out of my sight, then shall you not be moved.
If God had a message for this country today, I think this is what he might say. There are a lot of good people in this country who are trying to live a godly life, but they are losing the battle. We just don’t recognize the determination of the anti-God forces in our society. There is a war going on for the minds and spirit of our children, and we are losing battle after battle. The kids may recognize that better than the rest of us do. They are taking steps on their own to maintain prayer and an awareness of God in their lives, and they are sometimes doing so right on the grounds of the very schools that don’t allow prayer.
The social structure of Israel was starting to break down. The nation, so dedicated to God in the beginning, was drifting away. There was a direction for their return. It was to
the God who is there, to borrow Francis Shaeffer’s phrase. It was a return to a personal God who cares what we do and don’t do. And the situation was not hopeless. If they would return and get rid of all the idolatrous symbols they had gathered, all would be well. This is what King Josiah was all about—rooting out idolatrous worship, even from the Temple of God—finding the way back to God. And the way back to God is never long, but it is quite specific.