Thousands of years ago, an eight year old boy became the King of Judah. His father, King Amon, was an evil man who turned God’s people away from Him. His grandfather, King Manasseh, was even worse, “provoking the Lord to anger” over his 55 year reign. What hope was there for an eight year old king with no example of what faithful kingship looked like? By human reckoning, he should have become an arrogant tyrant.
But that’s not what happened with Josiah. After his rule was over, the Bible sums up his life by saying that, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2). When he died, his people mourned him and sang of him for generations.
Why not set your sights on living like Josiah in 2018? Read through 2 Kings 22 and 23 along with the parallel accounts in 2 Chronicles 34 and 35. As you do, you will notice these take-aways from Josiah’s life:
- He exercised godly leadership at a young age: By the age of 16, Josiah was actively seeking the Lord and by age 20 he had already begun to cleanse Judah of its idols (2 Chronicles 34:3).
- He humbled himself before the Word of God: When he was 26, God’s Word was found in the temple (where it had been forgotten for several decades). Upon hearing the commands of the Lord, Josiah was overwhelmed with guilt and sorrow for the way in which the nation had been sinning against the Lord. He accepted God’s commands immediately (beginning in 2 King 22:11).
- He brought the word of God into the public square: Josiah did not maintain a private, individualized faith. He took the Word of God to the people and had it read to everyone (beginning in 2 Kings 23:1).
- He applied the Word of God to life: In response to the Word of God, Josiah embarked on a passionate campaign to rid the land of all the things that pointed people away from God. He purified not only himself, but the land, as a result of his conviction under God’s Word (beginning in 2 Kings 23:4).
- He celebrated the Lord like no one else ever had: Josiah’s vibrant faith did not stay sorrowful, but journeyed to overflowing joy. The Passover feast, celebrating God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt, had been neglected and underemphasized for decades. Josiah essentially issued an “executive order” that the Passover was back and that it would be bigger than ever (beginning in 2 Kings 23:21).
You can be a Josiah as well by not using your youth as an excuse, by knowing and submitting to the Word of God and by celebrating the Lord. How will you step up in 2018 and be a leader in the realms of influence that God has given to you?
Questions or Comments? Contact Pastor Leo Barnes.