Men of Character: Josiah (II Kings 22:1-2)
II Kings 22:1-2, Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
Josiah became king of Judah when he was just eight years old (II Chronicles 34:1). He followed the reign of two wicked kings who did all they could to destroy the spiritual life of Judah. His father Amon (II Kings 21:20; II Chronicles 33:21-23) and his grandfather Manasseh (II Kings 21:2; II Chronicles 33:2, 12-13). Manasseh turned to the Lord towards the end of his life.
Josiah had every excuse for not living for the Lord. When he came to the throne there was a great crisis of spiritual apostasy and moral decline. Josiah lived in wicked times, an era when idolatry flourished and the Word of God was dormant (II Kings 22:8). However, with no parental support or example to follow, Josiah’s days were filled with living for the Lord. We can serve God under any circumstances and at any age (II Kings 22:3).
Josiah started out right. At the age of sixteen, Josiah began to seek the Lord (II Chronicles 34:3). The best time in life to find the Lord is when a person is young (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Soon after, Josiah began to eliminate the pagan influences in Judah by destroying idols and their altars. II Kings 23:25, And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
In the eighteenth year of his reign, he ordered repairs to the Temple. During this time, the high priest discovered the book of the Law and read it to Josiah. When Josiah realized how far he and his people strayed from the Lord, he tore his robe in aguish. Josiah had the Book read to the people and reinstituted the Passover.
Josiah orchestrated the last great spiritual revival in the kingdom before its final decline, downfall and deportation. The revival came in concert with the preaching of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:2). As a leader, Josiah knew he was in a position of authority and he would be held accountable to the Lord for how he ruled and what operated in the kingdom. Therefore, he became devoted to the Sanctuary (II Kings 22:3-7; Hebrews 10:25); the Scriptures (II Kings 22:8-20); the citizens of Judah (II Kings 23:1-2). He cleansed the land spiritually (II Kings 23:12-15, 24); and cleansed it morally (II Kings 23:7). Sin was dealt with and put away.
Josiah’s remembered for his attitude about God’s Word. He knew its importance and made sure the people knew what it said and encouraged them to obey it. Josiah completed the work the Lord gave him to do (II Chronicles 35:20a). He died serving the Lord.
PRAYER: Lord, may I be convicted to pray fervently as a way of standing in the gap for my family, community, nation and world. Thank you for the warnings You give me and may I always strive to heed Your call. Thank You for Your mercy, forgiveness, grace, lovingkindness, and especially for sending Your Son Jesus Christ as the ultimate source of revival. I am deeply grateful that I am saved because of Christ’s finished work on the cross! Amen
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.