Last week we looked at Israel’s sad decision.
Today, we will look at Josiah’s wise decision.
Second Chronicles 34 and 35 tell of us about King Josiah. Manasseh, the wicked King of Judah, is dead. Amnon, his son, reigns two years and is killed by his servants. Eight year old Josiah takes the throne.
First, he sought the Lord. Then, he purged the high places, groves, carved images, and molten images.
“Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years.2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.” (34:1-3)
Second, he repairs the Temple.
“Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God.” (34:8)
Third, the Book of the Law is found and read.
“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.” (34:15-21)
Fourth, King Josiah’s tender heart.
“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.” (34:26-27)
Fifth, The Word is read before the people and a covenant made.
“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.” (34:30-32)
Sixth, King Josiah kept the Passover.
“Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.” (35:1)
Josiah was the last Godly King of Judah. The wickedness of Manasseh would not be overturned and Judah was destined to seventy years of captivity under the Babylonians.
Sin has its consequences. As believers, we should never feel we can rebel against God and get away with it. We can’t.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001