High Places

idols2 Chronicles 15:17 “But the high places were not taken out of Israel….”

They did not remove the high places… a frequent commentary about the kings of Israel and Judah. It was a big deal. Failure to remove these Canaanite places of worship became the standard on which the kings were evaluated.

Out of the forty kings who succeeded David  (twenty in Israel and twenty in Judah) only two receive full commendations: Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:3-4) and Josiah (2 Kings 23:4-15). Both destroyed the high places. Both consequently orchestrated major revivals in the nation. Two other kings, Asa and Jehoshaphat, are referred to as good kings with qualification. They were able to get rid of the high places at one point in their reign only to have them resurface in later years (resulting in the nation’s detriment). So even the good these kings accomplished was tainted by the high places’ stubborn refusal to stay down.

Why was getting rid of high places so significant?

God hated them. Not taking them seriously set the people on a trajectory that led to idolatry and rebellion against him. High places became the proverbial inch that takes a mile.

I can’t help but think that we have our own high places in today’s society. We may be more susceptible to them than we realize. One writer suggests the high places of American culture can be found in the media, academia and the courts. Not negative forces in and of themselves, they become high places when their influence beckons us to trust in them more than we trust in God.

So does that make them evil forces that need to be destroyed? Of course not. No more than the hills in Israel where pagan worship occurred were to be leveled. What may need to be torn down, however, is the influence we let them exert over us. Do we consider the wisdom of academia higher than God’s wisdom? Do we believe the standards of right and wrong heralded by media more sophisticated than those presented in the Bible? Does government have more say in our decision making, than the Holy Spirit’s leading?

Beware of the influence of high places. Don’t let them trap you into a place where they sabotage your trust in God. There’s room for only one at the top.

4 Replies to “High Places”

  1. Dear Becky,

    My daughter, Mary Ludwig, was a student of yours at HATS; she loved your classes! Smile.

    I posted this EX insight onto her fb. She is a student at E-town College enrolled in a Master’s program for OT. She loves E-town.

    Thank you for posting this. Jane

    • Thanks for commenting Jane. So glad to hear Mary is doing well. Loved having her in my class. I still remember conversing with you after her graduation. You are quite an encourager! Blessings to you….Becky

  2. Hey Becky! I’m a friend of Jane Ludwig’s. I see she also commented on your article. GREAT article. I’m a Precept Bible Study leader. We are studying Voices: Hearing God in a World of Imposters. This article was a perfect tie-in to the Kings, what God told them to do or not to do, and what they did – ignored Him! As I study God’s Word in-depth, I am grasping the seriousness of the offense of idolatry – God hates it! It infuriates Him, and has destructive consequences on entire families and generations. Your practical examples for today’s culture are very insightful as we seek to apply biblical principles today.

    I’m thankful Jane posted your article and that it popped up in my facebook newsfeed.

    I think you may have taught my son, Nicholas Rudy fall of 2012 at LBC. He then transferred to Cedarville University in western Ohio where he is studying to be a pharmacist. I’m also a friend and student of Joe Kim, and a friend of Paulette Teague. I was quite surprised when I saw that the article was written by someone local.


    • Hi Beth, I’m so glad my post was encouraging to you. I think we all have more idols than we realize. I have another devotional called “Idol Detection.” If you are interested in it, you can click “idolatry” in the tag words at the end of the post. That will take you to all the other posts that are likewise tagged. (It’s a feature I really like).
      Yes, I remember Nick. He was an excellent student. I’m sure he will be very successful in pharmacy. Glad to hear he’s continuing to pursue.
      Blessings to you….Becky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *