Josiah...The Boy King
According to 2 Chronicles 34, verse 1, "Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem". "And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left". As a little boy, I remember this story well! I remember dreaming what it would be like to be a king. I wondered if I would have pleased God like Josiah, or done in evil in the sight of the Lord like so many other kings.
The statement, "he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left", made a profound impact on my life. Those words were emblazoned on my heart, and I have strived to live by them. Mind you, I have not always been successful. I have turned aside at times. I have turned to the right and to the left, straying from the straight and narrow path of righteousness. Never the less, by the grace of God, I have always managed to get back on track. I have gotten back up, to continue the race; I have not abandoned the good fight. Thank the Lord for His Holy Spirit, Who comforts us! Without the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, I KNOW I would have never made it this far! I would not have only fallen...I would have never gotten up again!
Looking further into the text of 2 Chronicles 34, we learn that "in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to SEEK THE GOD OF HIS FATHER DAVID". THIS is the key to Josiah's success as a God pleasing king! From what we read, he was not concerned with girls and golden goblets, as many kings before him were. He was concerned with knowing the heart of God! He was concerned with leading the kingdom toward the REAL KING! As he sought God's heart, he also began to TAKE ACTION! In verse three it says, "in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images. They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke into pieces, and made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and cleansed Judah, and Jerusalem. And so he did in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, as far as Naphtali and ALL AROUND, with axes. When he had broken down the altars and the wooden images, had beaten the carved images into powder, and cut down ALL the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem".
The purging that Josiah implemented was not an easy thing. It took boldness. It took courage. It took a heart that was more concerned with what God thought, than what man thought! I'm sure there were many people in the kingdom who disagreed with Josiah's stance. They probably liked their wooden and molded images. They probably enjoyed burning incense to their false gods. They probably revered the bones of the priests who had sacrificed on the altars of the Baals. However, to Josiah, it simply did not matter. HE HAD BEEN PLACED IN AUTHORITY...UNDER GOD! He was going to GLORIFY GOD AT ALL COST!
We too have a Holy Spirit given authority over sin! Like Josiah, we have a choice to seek God, or SELF. "God blesses those who TRUST in HIM". Josiah KNEW God was real, and wanted desperately to please Him. Do you know God is real? Are you desperately seeking to please Him? Are you daily seeking His face? Have you gotten rid of the idols in your life? Have you in effect "beaten them into powder"? Do you purposefully live your life for Jesus, in spite of what others may think?
We are to walk as Jesus walked. We are to be messengers of TRUTH and LOVE. We are not to tolerate sin in our own lives, or wink at it in the lives of others! We are to "speak the TRUTH in LOVE". We are to be set apart from the world's way of doing things. We are to seek a higher way; the way of JESUS. The bible says, "there is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death". We must not follow our emotions, our logic, or our heart. We must instead, like Josiah, follow GOD'S HEART! We must take time to seek the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We must cast down any "vain imaginations". We should be "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5 b). Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood...we MUST realize this, and fight the good fight of FAITH. We WILL OVERCOME the evil of this world..."through the blood of the LAMB (Jesus), and the Word of our testimony".
Here are some questions to ask yourself today:
1. Am I pursuing the things of God the way Josiah did? If so, how? If not, why?
2. How do I address sin in my life?
3. How I do I view the sin of others?
4. In what ways could I better seek the heart of God?
5. When do I propose to better seek the heart of God?
Pray about these questions and their answers. Be honest with yourself and God. And like Josiah...TAKE ACTION! Until next time, may you be blessed with God's BEST!
Your Partner In Ministry,