READING: 2 Kings 22-23, John 4:31-54
“He did what was right in the Lord’s sight.”
2 Kings 22:2
It is almost hard to believe all Josiah had to do when he called the people to reform after Hilkiah found the Book of the Law in the Temple. Having heard the word from the book, the king immediately “tore his clothes” in grief (2 Kings 22:11) and set about renewing the covenant and clearing the Temple of false worship. He burned artifacts dedicated to false gods, and then got rid of priests who had led the false worship. He burned other articles of false worship, tore down houses of male prostitution, eradicated high places, destroyed horses dedicated to the gods, and smashed pagan altars. Further, he “removed the mediums, the spiritists, household idols, images, and all the detestable things that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem” (2 Kings 23:24). So thoroughly evil had the nation become that Josiah’s reform had to be all-consuming and radical.
What catches my eye, though, are the descriptions of Josiah in this story. He was only eight years old when he became king, but he continually “did what was right in the Lord’s sight and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn to the right or the left” (2 Kings 22:2). In addition, we are given this unmatched description of Josiah: “Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his mind and with all his heart and with all his strength according to all the law of Moses, and no one like him arose after him” (2 Kings 23:25). Josiah apparently did not waver in his commitment to God. He focused solely on God, gave all of his being to Him, and did not let his heart turn.
And, he remained this faithful even in the midst of thoroughgoing idolatry around him. Somehow, he did not stray even though culture surely pulled against him. False worship surrounded him, but he worshiped God alone. In a decidedly wicked day, Josiah must have stood out as a beaming light in that darkness. Thus, he is an example to us as we, too, strive to live godly lives against the backdrop of an increasingly rotten world. He reminds us that it is possible to stand for righteousness even if you stand alone. The darkness may descend around us, but darkness is no threat to believers who love God with all their mind, heart, and strength.
- Determine that you will stand for right today, even if you stand alone.
- Let no evil enter your heart today.
PRAYER: “God, make me a follower who loves You with all my being.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 24-25, John 5:1-24