As I mentionted earlier, only a few kings did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and only a few who came close. What was the difference between the two? The first mentioned group destroyed all the high places (this refers to the places people went to worship other gods). The second mentioned group of kings got rid of other things related to the gods except the high places. And their rule was either short or did not end well.
It's been incredibly frustrating to read about the kings who did "mostly right" but failed to do the ONE thing that would have honored God and brought his favor upon the king and the Israelites. You see, kings in those days weren't just rulers, they were protectors of the faith. From what I can tell, their soul purpose was to be a leader of the faith - a catalyst between God and his people. It seems kind of obvious that getting rid of the area of the country where foreign god's were worshiped is painfully obvious, especially when they had all the kings before them as examples. The land they were in charge of was Holy, God-given land (literally), all they had to do was GET RID OF THE HIGH PLACES.
Then I got to thinking... how am I any different? What are my high places? I've come to the realization that, while I've been a Christian most of my life, I've rarely allowed God to be Lord of my life. I haven't let Him reign over me or trusted him when things have gotten rough (I've made progress though!) and now that I've become aware of this, I'm now responsible for evaluating my life and seeing where I've failed to let Him reign.
It is so easy to say one thing and do another (Paul said this in Romans 15) and I can no longer read the Word and fail to apply it to my life. I have high places: other things I put before the Lord and don't get rid of or destroy. A pastor once gave a good example of the importance in making sure something no longer has a hold on us with the story of David killing Goliath. After knocking Goliath to the ground, David didn't assume he'd killed him, to make sure he was really dead, he cut off Goliath's head. He wasn't taking any chances - and neither should we. If you're a Christ follower, we have one shot at this life. Our job is to know God, bring Him glory, and tell others about Him. As I look at what I need to be doing differently, I trust the Holy Spirit will guide me and give me our Father's strength to make changes.
If you don't know Christ, I encourage you to give some serious thought to who Jesus was and what dying on the cross for you, means. Ask God to reveal the truth to you, I promise He will.