This week we will study the life of Josiah, the last Godly king of Judah. Our text will be 2 Chronicles 34:1-28, 35:1-27, and 2 Kings 23:25-27.
Josiah was the son of King Amon, whom the people made king of Judah after Amon’s assassination (639 B.C.). Josiah’s reign began when he was only eight years old and lasted 31 years, three decades of peace, prosperity, and reform. King Josiah devoted himself to pleasing God and reinstituting Israel’s observance of the Mosaic Law. The Bible focuses almost exclusively on Josiah’s spiritual reforms, which climaxes in the eighteenth year of his reign with the discovery of the Book of the Law (621 B.C.)
2 Chronicles 34
The Book of the Law discovered (14-21)
“And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses.15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it.17 And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen.18 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s, saying,21 Go, enquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book.”
Huldah’s prophecy (22-28)
“And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect.23 And she answered them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me,24 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah:25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.26 And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the Lord, so shall ye say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which thou hast heard;27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord.28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again.”
Josiah’s covenant (29-33)
“Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.30 And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord.31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.32 And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the Lord their God. And all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers.”
When Josiah heard what the Book of the Law said, he sought the Lord. Once he understood, he took action.
He read the Book of the Law to everyone present. Then he covenanted with the Lord to keep his commandments and testimonies with all his heart and soul.
We have our own personal copies of God’s word, the Bible. Do we read it? From cover to cover?
For true revival to happen, we must keep (obey) and perform what the Bible tells us to do. Failure to do so demonstrates our desire to follow the world and not God.
When Josiah read God’s word, he acted upon it. Do we?
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001