King Josiah

  1. Josiah was the last good king of Judah prior to the Babylonian captivity.

    1. The account of his life and his good reign of 31 years are recorded in 2KI 22:1 - 23:30; 2CH 34:1 - 35:27.

      1. His father, Amon, was murdered by conspirators who themselves were slain by the people who then installed young Josiah as king, fulfilling an ancient prophecy.

        2KI 21:23-24 c/w 1KI 13:2.

      2. In spite of his heritage, Josiah went the opposite way of his fathers.

      3. That he so swam against the stream of family corruption is especially significant in view of the fact that he was (at the start) without the holy Scripture.

      4. Bless God that His divine grace can interrupt sin’s course and make chosen vessels spring from a corrupt history. c/w JOS 24:2-3.

    2. His father (Amon) and grandfather (Mannasseh) had been wretched kings who had led Judah into great corruption of morals and religion.

    3. His reign started at the tender age of eight years. 2KI 22:1; ECC 10:16 c/w ECC 4:13.

      1. He sought the Lord early (2CH 34:3) and he may well have been on the prophet Jeremiah’s mind when he penned LAM 3:25-27.

      2. At 16 years of age he started to seek God and at 20 he began a great purge of the idolatry and immorality of Judah and Israel. 2CH 34:3-7.

      3. That he was a young leader was not necessarily a mark against him. 1TI 4:12.

    4. His name means, “founded of Jah.”

      1. Though thrust into the midst of popular corruption, he “turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” (2KI 22:2). By such means, God pans His gold. 1CO 11:19.

      2. Those with the right foundation will not be blown aside by the storms of life’s oppositions. MAT 7:24-25; 1PE 2:6.

    5. He had a zeal for God, His house, His religion. c/w JOH 2:17; NUM 25:13.

  2. The record here shows that the book of the Law had been long hidden and that religion and morals had long been corrupt.

    1. God judges rebel hearts by removing or hiding His word from them.

      ISA 30:8-11; 29:9-14; ACT 13:46.

    2. When revealed knowledge of God is rejected, God is wont to take away understanding also. ROM 1:21, 28, 31; 2TH 2:10-12.

    3. In the vacuum left by the absence of God’s word, a false word may be sent as a judgment. EZE 14:1-9.

    4. Jeremiah started his prophecy. 2CH 34:3 c/w JER 1:2.

    5. God promises to reveal Himself to those whose hearts strive to find Him.

      JOH 7:17; 14:21; JER 29:13.

      1. Consider Daniel (DAN 10:12), the Ethiopian eunuch (ACT 8:26-29) and

        Cornelius. ACT 10:1-6.

      2. God is both a discerner and rewarder of the heart. HEB 4:12; 11:6.

    6. At age 26, Josiah began to repair the temple and the book of the law was found.

      2KI 22:3, 8.

      1. Obviously, God’s order for the maintenance of the written law had been abandoned for some time. DEU 17:18-20; 31:10-11.

      2. God’s holy word was right under their noses all along, but they couldn’t find it.

  3. With Josiah’s purges underway, God re-introduced His word by a zealous prophet. JER 20:9.

4. NOTE: It is not for the lack of preservation that the word of God is not found by His people, but rather for the lack of desire.

  1. Having heard the words of the book of the law, Josiah knew doom was approaching swiftly. 2KI 22:11-13.

    1. He sought counsel from a prophetess. 2KI 22:14.

    2. Huldah the prophetess confirmed the coming judgment (2KI 22:15-17) for a true prophet will not prophesy contrary to previous revelation. DEU 13:1-3 c/w 2TI 2:2.

      1. There are things to face in this life worse than death.

      2. Death is sometimes a mercy from God. ISA 57:1.

    3. She also added that Josiah would be spared from witnessing the judgment by dying young. 2KI 22:19-20.

    4. With knowledge-reinforced zeal, Josiah then completed his purge of the land in accord with that old prophecy. 1KI 13:2 c/w 2KI 23:16-20.

      1. It was not tradition or “methinks” that made the Passover feast proper. It was the word of God.

      2. Let us ever “...keep the delivered” (1CO 11:1-2) with heartfelt desire and gladness. LUK 22:15; ROM 6:17; 2CO 9:7; PSA 122:1.

    5. He then revived the Passover the same year in a most glorious manner. 2CH 35:18-19.

  2. Josiah’s love and zeal of God delayed the wrath of God but did not undo it. 2KI 23:24-26.

    1. Delayed wrath is certainly better than immediate wrath! 2KI 20:19; DAN 4:27.

    2. Let us pray for godly leaders. 1TI 2:1-2; PRO 29:2.

  3. Thirteen years later, Josiah meddled with Pharaoh-necho of Egypt, which action God used to cut short his days. 2CH 35:20-24 c/w PRO 26:17.

    1. Jeremiah lamented for Josiah. 2CH 35:25 c/w LAM 4:20.

    2. Judah wasted no time falling back into apostasy and forward to judgment. All that Josiah had accomplished was abandoned.

    3. No leader can carry a people who will not carry themselves in his absence.

      EXO 32:1; GAL 4:18.

    4. The Philippian saints showed the right way. PHIL 2:12.

    5. The absence of our Lord is a test of our faith and patience. LUK 18:8 c/w MAT 24:45-46.

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