2 Kings 22 / 2 Chronicles 34-35
His name means “the fire of the Lord” or “Jehovah supports”
Four-fifths of them were deficient in brains and morals, a combination of wickedness and folly, with nothing of the king about them but the name. But here and there you come upon a man amidst all of these royal puppets. It is like finding a jewel in a heap of sham trinkets. Josiah breaks a long, monotonous series of absolutely worthless monarchs. Before and behind him are moral waste and darkness. He stands out as a figure worth looking at and loving. Josiah’s good reign was like a burst of brilliant sunset, before the final darkness comes on. – Herbert Lockyer
Josiah devoted himself to pleasing God and reinstituting Israel’s observance of the Mosaic Law. That a wicked king like Amon could have such a godly son is a tribute to the grace of God.
1. Josiah receives at a young age godly shaping, training, and instruction from godly advisors (2 Chron. 34:1-2).
· They resisted his father’s idolatrous influence.
· Josiah becomes king at age 8 upon his father’s death.
· Young Josiah was subjected to violence and a civil war.
· Josiah had a godly mother named Jedidah. No doubt she labored to influence him for the Lord, and her labor had its sweet reward.
2. Josiah begins to seek the Lord for himself as a young adult (2 Chron. 34:3).
· He began to seek the Lord at age sixteen (2 Chron. 34:3).
· Josiah turned from the ways of his father and grandfather and took his nobler and remote ancestor David as his model.
· In life’s fair morning, Josiah set his heart to seek the Lord. - Lockyer
3. Josiah cleanses the land of idolatrous objects at age twenty (2 Chron. 34:3-7).
· Out went all forms of idolatry. He swept away the groves full of abominations.
· He personally supervised the destruction of the altars of Baal, the incense altars, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images.
· Would that the fervent zeal and righteous enthusiasm of this earnest, passionate man might characterize more young men today!
· The New Testament refers to Josiah as Josias (Mt. 1:10).
4. Josiah leads in a major reform and renewal of worship (2 Chron. 34:8-33; 35:1-19).
a) Josiah orders the Temple repaired under the direction of the high priest Hilkiah at
age 26 (2 Chron. 34:8-13).
· This consecrated young man saw that it was of no use destroying idols unless he had something better to replace them. Thus, when his destroying fever had spent its force, Josiah began to rebuild and repair the house of the Lord.
b) Josiah makes the Word of God central in their lives and land (2 Chron. 34:14-33).
· In the process, they discover the Book of the Law. In turning over the rubbish of the Temple, they came across a buried and forgotten copy of the Law.
· When it was read to Josiah, he was horrified to learn how far they had departed from the law of God. This discovery provided a new momentum for the reformation that was already in progress.
· The Book of the Law was probably the first five books of the OT. Josiah would have displayed grief in reaction to statements in Deuteronomy concerning the role and responsibility of the king as covenant leader of the people (Dt. 17:18-20).
c) Josiah celebrates the Passover (2 Chron. 35:1-19).
· He provides opportunity and resources for the renewed worship of Jehovah.
6. Josiah dies after a battle with Egypt in Megiddo in 609 B.C. (2 Chron. 35:20-27).
· Pharaoh Necho II marched to assist Assyria in her fight with Babylon for world supremacy.
· Josiah saw Necho’s campaign as a threat to Judah’s security.
· Josiah was seriously wounded in battle and returned to Jerusalem where he died.
· His death is followed by widespread lamenting. Josiah was loved by his people.
PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS FROM JOSIAH’S LIFE
1. Never underestimate the value of investing in the spiritual-moral-and mental shaping of children. Pour into them!
2. A bad past does not necessarily limit you or your family to a bad future. Re-dig the old wells!
3. The worship of God in our lives can become neglected and cluttered. Prepare yourself to worship God.
· Are there idols that need to be relentlessly torn down?
· How are our weekly habits of worship with God’s people?
· Does God’s Word need to be rediscovered in our life and family?
· Are you preparing yourself and your family to regularly encounter God?
· What kind of offerings are you giving to the Lord?
“Prepare yourselves by families.” – 2 Chronicles 35:4