Thursday, October 8, 2020

Why Josiah Was A Good King

2nd Chronicles 34:1-14, 21 and 27, “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images. And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them. And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about. And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem. Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God. And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem. And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the LORD, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the LORD, to repair and amend the house: Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and other of the Levites, all that could skill of instruments of musick. Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters.  And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. ... Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book. ... Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.

From the preceding intriguing passage of Scripture we learn several important lessons from the life of Josiah. Josiah was a good king because of his:

  1. PATTERN - Josiah patterned his life after king David. Everyone needs a mentor! In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul was a pattern to follow, because he follow Christ. 1st Corinthians 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Barnabas befriended the Apostle Paul, somebody that he could bounce ideas off. Timothy was Paul's project, someone whom he could invest in. We all need these three things in our Christian life: a pattern, a peer and a project. And pizza, praise God! Jesus is our ultimate pattern! Amen!
  2. PRIORITY - Josiah's priority was the Word of God. Notice in 2nd Chronicles 34:14 that Hilkiah the priest had found “a book,” but realized in verse 35 that it in fact was “THE BOOK”!!! The Bible became a priority to Josiah. Our priority should alway be THE BOOK, not the TV or internet! What you do with the Bible will determine what God does with you! Amen! God doesn't use religious people to do His work, He uses people of THE BOOK! And that precious Book is the inspired King James Bible!!! Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” The sure way to GOOD SUCCESS is to obey THE BOOK!!! Here is a helpful MP3 sermon by Pastor Jack Hyles called: “I Don't Want To Be A Success!
  3. POSITION - We read in 2nd Chronicles 34:27 that Josiah was humble before God. That was Josiah's position, he was humble! Isaiah the prophet was also humble. Isaiah 6:5, “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” God only uses humble people! James 4:6 and 10, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. ...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
  4. PURGE - The first thing Josiah did as king was purged the land if its idols and witchcraft. I remember in 2004 when I bought a home on Guam (which I later lost when my former wife abandoned and divorced me in 2006), that I destroyed the massive Roman Catholic shrine to Mary in the front lawn. Statues of Mary are sinful idols! I took a sledgehammer to that shrine, but couldn't do more than break a few chip off of it. It was hardened concrete! So I hired a local contractor and paid them $1,000 to remove that 7 foot high, 8 foot wide idol from my front yard. Two workers quit the job! It was hard work. The third guy used a jackhammer, destroying that shrine to Mary, and I was so happy to be the one to get rid of it! There won't be any idols on my property. Even though I lost the home, I am so glad that I did exactly what Josiah would have done, tear down the idols!!! Josiah purged the land of all the paganism. 2nd Chronicles 34:33a says Josiah took away all the abominations, “And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel...”
  5. PASSION - Josiah had a passion for the house of God. 2nd Chronicles 34:30, “And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.” Psalms 73:15-18, “If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.” By the way, watching sermons on YouTube is NOT the same as attending a local church. It is the difference between talking to your girlfriend on Skype, versus actually going on a date with her! We've got to be there!
  6. PAST - The various Jewish feast celebrations reminded the people of the past, specifically the Passover. 2nd Chronicles 35:1 and 6, “Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. ...So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the LORD by the hand of Moses.” Don't ever forget where you came from. Don't ever forget the day you got saved! For me it was a glorious Sunday morning, at age 13, on a summer day in Chicago. I was saved in the Northland Baptist Church on Chicago's northside! I don't remember anything that the pastor preached that morning, except that he said if you don't have the indwelling Holy Spirit convicting you about sin in your life, you're not saved! I knew I wasn't saved, and for the first time in my life felt scared. The best I knew how, from my pew, I trusted Jesus as my personal Savior, believing that He died on the cross for my sins, was buried, and resurrected from the dead. I was communicating with Him for the first time in my life, asking Him to save me. I didn't know back then that I didn't have to “ask,” we can simply BELIEVE. Amen! John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” Josiah remembered the past and honored the Lord, celebrating the Passover (which is Jew's most holy holiday celebrating the blood of the Lamb that saved them from death).
  7. PRIESTS - Josiah encourages the priests in the house of the Lord. 2nd Chronicles 35:2, “And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD,” Preachers need encouragement! Josiah encouraged the men of God. We are living in a day and age when it has become open hunting season on pastors and preachers! 2nd Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Pastor Danny Castle rightly said: “God pity the preacher that the world don't hate!” Jesus said that something is very wrong when everybody thinks highly of a preacher! Luke 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” If you have a man of God as your pastor, who preaches the truth without apology, you should support and encourage him as Josiah did! Behind every pulpit is a human being.
May we all be a lot more like Josiah.

1 comment:

  1. "that I destroyed the massive Roman Catholic shrine to Mary in the front lawn"

    "I" destroyed? You'd think, if you were really a godly man, doing God's work, wouldn't God have helped you swing that sledge? If you were doing what the omnipresent being wanted, why wasn't one, single blow sufficient?
    Weird, huh?

    ReplyDelete

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