by Sandy Kirby Quandt
Wrapping up my Sunday Scriptures on the Old Testament kings of Judah and Israel today with the good king Josiah who became king at eight years old after his evil father, Amon, was assassinated by his officials.
Of Josiah it is said, “He did right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” Between King Hezekiah and Josiah there were two kings; Manasseh and Amon, who both did evil in the eyes of the LORD.
In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign he gave instructions that repairs be made to the LORD’s temple. As the work was being done, the Book of the Law of the LORD that had been given through Moses was found. When Josiah heard the words in the Book, his heart was broken over what he heard, and he humbled himself before God. Josiah knew his fathers had not kept the word of the LORD. They had not acted in accordance with what God expected.
Josiah’s repentance for himself and his people went beyond mere words. He gathered all the people from the least to the greatest and read the words of the Book to them. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant of the LORD. Josiah purged Judah and Jerusalem of its high places where idols were worshipped, tore down the altars and Asherah poles dedicated to the idols, and crushed the idols into powder.
It would be wonderful if all Josiah accomplished in destroying idol worship lasted, but it didn’t. As soon as he died, his son, Jehoahaz did evil in the eyes of the LORD during his brief three month reign.
The downward spiral continued.
As I’ve mentioned throughout these posts, the cycle of evil persisted in days of old just as it does today. God calls each of us to holiness because he is holy. If we are his people, we are to follow his instructions.
God is a jealous God who will not share our affections with anything we place before him. He is to be first in our hearts and our lives.
Repentance is more than words. It is the tearing down of those things which oppose God, turning to the LORD with all our heart, soul, and strength and obeying his laws. The way to know what God expects is to read his word, as Josiah did, then take action according to what we’ve read.
Do you have a favorite Old Testament king?
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Josiah also got rid of the mediums and psychics, the household gods, the idols, and every other kind of detestable practice, both in Jerusalem and throughout the land of Judah. He did this in obedience to the laws written in the scroll that Hilkiah the priest had found in the Lord’s Temple. Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since. 2 Kings 23:24-25 (NLT)
I wish you well.
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