2 Chronicles 34

2 Chronicles 34 has Josiah taking the throne at 8 years old and he reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. “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”.  Here is a young boy that comes to the throne following a king who did the exact opposite.  But Josiah doesn’t just begin to return to God, he is somewhat like Hezekiah a few generations earlier with a steady focus of obeying God.  “He began to purge Judah and Jerusalem….broke down the altars and beat the Asherim and the images into powder and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel”.

Josiah was not partially in to following God.  Scripture tells us he “took away all the abominations from all the territory”.  He cleaned things up completely and led the people to walk with God.  He put a team in place to restore the House of the Lord, and used skilled workers to repair the damage.  He used the money that had been previously gathered and was there to pay people to do the work.  “While they were bringing out the money that had been brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord given through Moses”.  It had been some time since God’s Word had been seen or heard.

But that changed as Josiah is having things repaired and they come across it.  “When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes”.  Josiah was impacted by God’s Word.  That is what happens when we actually dig in – God’s truth always touches us.  In Josiah’s case, it caused him to reach out to a prophet and find out God’s heart.  The sin of the land was heavy, and God tells him that the nation will be punished.  But there is a bright spot as God says “because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words….I also have heard you”.

God is going to bless Josiah for his repentance.  But Josiah wants to do more for his people so “he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord”.  He takes action.  He makes God’s Word central.  “The king stood in his place and 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, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book”.  Josiah not only makes God central in his life, but for his people too.  And unlike so many, he finished strong.  “All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord”.  Oh that we could all have that written about us!

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