Here's another king of Judah named Josiah(2 Kings 22-23 ,2 Chronicles 34-35) , he did some major cleanup in Jerusalem, because he desired to follow God. The kings that had preceded him(Manasseh and Amon), had turned away from the little good that Hezekiah had done for Jerusalem. The Word of God records the following about Josiah "2 Kings 23:25Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses."
Lessons I learnt
- Begin seeking the Lord-v3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.
- Started purging all the idols from the temple of God- v3 In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images. In our hearts we might have set up someone as an idol(meaning-any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion)Someone or something we are devoted to, and that idol is taking up space, instead of God and this is destroying our life, whether we know it or not. We need to ask God to help us identify these idols and remove them. This does not mean, we become disrespectful to the ones who are in authority over us. We can ask God to guide our supervisors, that they may make the right decisions, especially when the decisions are going to affect us and we realise that. Sometimes this idol could be ourselves too.
- Started purifying it, by building the temple of the Lord-v8 In the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign, to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the LORD his God. Merely removing the idol is not enough, we've got to set our life with the right stuff, it need to be built. Like, a strong word of correction is good, but we also need to give words of encouragement that the person may be built up in the right direction.
- Humbled himself to receive God's Word-v14 In the process of cleansing and building, they found the book of law and it was read to King Josiah, he immediately tore his robes realising how terribly, far they had moved from the Law of God and sought God's direction immediately
- He opened way , through his humility and obedience, for God's Work in Jerusalem and his life-"27 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. " Its not that God does not hear our cries, the Word of God says, in Isaiah 59:1-3 "1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
- Renewed God's Covenant-"3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD -to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant. "
Conclusion: "33 Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the LORD their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the LORD, the God of their fathers." Josiah, had caused such a change in the people during his reign, that in spite of, wayward rulers who had misguided them, led them astray and made them worship idols, the people stuck to following God. Oh.. if there were more kings who would have stuck onto Josiah's commitment, Israel could have seen the power of God like in times of Abraham, Isaac, Moses and all.
I strongly think, the way God works His plan for our lives is, in partnership with us. It is possible for God to work without us, but He made us in His image to have fellowship, friendship and partnership. Remember, before Jesus came, there had to be done something, so we could be prepared for His arrival-John the baptist preached" Matthew 3:3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "