Sunday Scriptures-Good King Josiah

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.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Protecting Joash

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last week in the continuing saga of the Old Testament kings of Israel and Judah, we ended with Judah’s king, Ahaziah, son of Jehoram and Athaliah the daughter of Ahab.

Ahaziah was murdered by Jehu of Israel. As soon as Athaliah heard of Ahziah’s death, she gave orders that all members of the royal family of Judah be killed.

But God …

From the very beginning of time God knew his son, Jesus, would come from the royal line of King David of the tribe of Judah. God preserved that royal line even though evil humans such as Queen Athaliah did their best to destroy it.

He raised up a woman for the job.

Ahaziah had a half-sister, Jehosheba, who secretly rescued Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and hid him with a nurse at the Temple where her husband, Jehoiada, was a priest. She saved Joash while all the rest of the princes were murdered.

After seven years, Jehoiada secretly crowned Joash king. Athaliah was executed and Joash reigned for forty years.

Of Joash we learn he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada instructed him. The high places where idols were worshipped, however, were not destroyed.

After Jehoiada died, Joash listened to the officials of Judah. Once again, Judah turned from worshipping God to worshipping idols. Although God sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, they would not listen.

As long as Joash had Jehoiada as a positive influence in his life to show him the ways of the LORD, Joash did what was right. After the priest’s death, Joash listened to ungodly counsel and idol worship took off again.

This story is the tale of two women, I believe.

Athaliah, who was pure evil and slaughtered her own family to become queen, and Jehosheba, who risked her life to save her nephew’s life and the kingly line of Judah.

God may not put us in a position to directly save a life, but he might. There are other ways we can save someone, though.

We can offer words of kindness that speak into a broken life. We can offer a non-judgmental ear as they share their pain. The smile we give may be the only ray of sunshine some receive.

We can be God’s hands and feet in a very broken world, and go to the least of these with the gospel whether physically, through monetary gifts, or by being a prayer warrior.

Who knows? You might be someone’s Jehosheba.

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As soon as King Ahaziah’s mother Athaliah learned of her son’s murder, she gave orders for all the members of the royal family of Judah to be killed. Ahaziah had a half sister, Jehosheba, who was married to a priest named Jehoiada. She secretly rescued one of Ahaziah’s sons, Joash, took him away from the other princes who were about to be murdered and hid him and a nurse in a bedroom at the Temple. By keeping him hidden, she saved him from death at the hands of Athaliah. For six years he remained there in hiding, while Athaliah ruled as queen. 2 Chronicles 22:10-12 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Old Testament Kings

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I didn’t set out to center my Sunday Scripture posts around the kings of Judah and Israel after the kingdom David established divided into the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah two weeks ago when I wrote about Solomon, or last week when I wrote about Ahab, but that’s exactly what happened.

If the very thought of another post about the Old Testament kings makes you roll your eyes, skip all the king-stuff and read my application. 🙂

If you look at a listing of the kings of Israel and Judah, you find there are forty-three. Of those forty-three it is written eight were righteous, two were mostly righteous, three were mostly evil, and all the rest were evil.

Although there were evil kings in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, it was the only kingdom with righteous kings. How sad the Northern Kingdom of Israel had no righteous kings at all. They didn’t even have any who were mostly righteous.

Usually, if the father or grandfather did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so did the son. Occasionally, a righteous king would follow an evil king, but not often.

While Ahab’s son, Joram, ruled in Israel, Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, ruled in Judah. Jehoram married Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah. In 2 Kings 8:18 we learn that although Jehoram ruled in the Southern Kingdom, he “walked in the ways of the kings of Israel as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD.”

Of Jehoram’s son, Ahaziah, also a king of Judah, it is said, “He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him in doing wrong. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing.” (2 Chronicles 22:3-4)

A curious thing is Jehoram’s father, Ahaziah’s grandfather, Jehoshaphat was considered righteous.

Next week we celebrate Mother’s Day. June 17 we celebrate Father’s Day. Looking at the history of the kings of Israel and Judah, we see the powerful influence parents and grandparents have on the children in their care.

Parenting is not to be taken lightly, is it?

Some reading this may not be parents or grandparents, but that doesn’t let you off the hook. Nope. Each of us is responsible to live godly lives to be a positive influence on those around us; whether they are in our care or not.

We might be in a position of influence over family members, or the people in our neighborhood, or within the various organizations we are a part of. We can be a godly influence even to the casual observer.

Years ago a preacher said of his mother, “I never once saw her fill her fast food cup with soda after she told the cashier she was getting water.”

Simple right? But someone was watching her.

We may shrug off our importance in another person’s life, but we shouldn’t. Let it never be said of us what was written in 2 Chronicles 21:20 regarding Jehoram.

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Jehoram had become king at the age of thirty-two and had ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. Nobody was sorry when he died. They buried him in David’s City, but not in the royal tombs. 2 Chronicles 21:20 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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