2 Kings 23

2 Kings 23 continues in its description of Josiah as king of Judah.  He was very focused on walking with God once the Word was discovered in God’s house.  He called all the people together and “He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord”. Josiah was passionate about knowing God’s truth and making sure all the people in his care knew it as well.  They had gone for decades without hearing it, and he is changing that in Judah.

But he goes well beyond just reading and knowing God’s word.  He wants it to change his life and his country.  He “made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul”.  Josiah was all in for God.  And he was going to lead his people to be that way too.  He systematically went through the nation and destroyed other gods, other worship, other idols and anything that was not lined up with God’s Word.  He broke things, burned things, and killed priests and people who were leading the people away from God.

Scripture describes his passion for God this way.  “Before him there was no king like him, who 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, nor did any like him arise after him”.  That is some pretty high praise.  Josiah was consumed with returning the people to obedience to God.  And yet, in spite of all those efforts, “Still the Lord did not turn from the burning of his great wrath, by which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him”.  The sins of the past were too great to be overcome by Josiah’s obedience.  God had some work to do.

Josiah was a great king, but his life was ended when “Pharaoh Neco killed him at Megiddo”.  He had lived wholeheartedly for God.  But now, as his son Jehoahaz takes the throne, and shortly thereafter his son Joehoiakim follows, we see that both of these sons, from two different mothers, “did what was evil in the sight of the Lord”.  How can that happen?  They grew up watching their dad King Josiah totally consumed by his desire to please God.  But obviously he didn’t intentionally pass that passion on to his kids.  They go 180 degrees the opposite way and return Judah to a nation without God.

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