"Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and the metal images..."
2 Chronicles 34:1-3
Josiah, the last good king of Judah, was used by God to bring about one last revival in the nation. Under his direction they began once again to clean up and repair the Temple, which had been neglected and fallen into ruin. As they cleared the debris from the Temple the Priests discovered the Book of the Law of God, which had also been neglected.
It seems that in that generation what remained of the true religion was being carried forward by dim memory and tradition. They knew there was a book somewhere with all the details in it but they had quit reading it, neglected it, and misplaced it. It had eventually been covered with rubble and trash somewhere in the Temple.
When King Josiah found and read it, he was astonished and horrified to realize that everything Moses had said would happen had come to pass; the people had abandoned God and there would be terrible consequences. In fact, the next thing on the agenda was destruction.
He sent his officials to consult with a prophet, who told them on God’s behalf that everything the Book said was true and inescapable, but that because of Josiah’s heart of repentance and faith when he read the Word of God, the consequences would be delayed until after his lifetime.
Josiah worked tirelessly after that to ensure that the nation would be faithful under his reign. He was determined that on his watch, Judah would be a godly nation. As a result, the memory of his reign would carry the faithful among the exiles through all that came during the Babylonian captivity, and give them hope for the day that God would restore them to the Promised Land.
We don’t know what the future holds. We would like to believe that our country will last and be free until Jesus returns. I hope with all my heart that it will. But we see troubling trends in the news that remind us of the repeated cycles of history.
Since we don’t know the future, let’s determine that on our watch, ours will be a godly and righteous nation, and our children will know what it is to seek the Lord.
Lord Jesus, You are Lord of the Nations, King of Kings and Lord of lords. Have mercy on your people today. Turn our hearts to seek Your face, and bless us with peace. Let us live in Your presence so that the next generation will see know how to do it. Keep our hearts faithful to You and to Your Word today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles