“Resolve to Tear Down the High Places”Categories: In the Bulletin
Have you been reading in your Old Testament much lately? If you have, and you start digging around, there’s no doubt you would eventually run across the term “high place.” Well, what exactly is a high place? 1 Kings 13.23 is one area where this term is used. For they also built themselves high places and pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree. The words ‘high place’ is used together 117 times in the Old Testament. These high places were centers of pagan idol worship, and an absolute abominations to the Lord. These high places were not the places He had desired to receive sacrifice, and certainly not a place to sacrifice to other Gods.
So, naturally God did not want these things to be upheld. Numbers 33.52, He tells them “demolish all the high places.” This was a stark warning to the Jews that pagan style worship would never be acceptable in the sight of God. God knew how mixing worldliness in with His people’s culture would corrupt their minds and the society and cause them to spiral into sin.
Now, Hezekiah is one of my favorite bible characters. He was a righteous king that inherited a very unrighteous kingdom. 2 Kings 18.3-5 says that He did what was right in the sight of the Lord…He removed the high places and cut down the Asherah…He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that there was none other like him among all the kings of Judah… Hezekiah was awesome. He was one of the only kings to ever remove the high places. This means two things—One, Hezekiah knew the scriptures. He likely knew the principles from Numbers 33 very well. Two, he knew that he’d have to actually put his knowledge of the scriptures into action. The high places were commonly left untouched.
So, then what are the high places in your life? What are the sins that so easily beset you? Perhaps you have made an effort to remove almost every idol from your life, but one or two high places still remain. What is it? An old grudge? Sports? Lust? Pride? If it’s a high place, it’s probably out of reach to most…but you know what you’ve built and you know Christ has the power to tear them down. So, this New Year let’s be like Hezekiah. Let’s resolve to tear down the high places and never build them up again. God bless.
- Cain Atkinson