A Nation of Reform
Josiah became a king when he was just 8 years old, a seeker of God at 16, one who purged Idolatry at 20, and a humble servant of God at age 26. His great spiritual growth and leadership resulted from listening to God's Word and obeying what he heard. While the temple in Jerusalem was being repaired and purified, the Book of the Law was found and read aloud to young King Josiah. It had been lost! When he heard it, he humbled himself, tore his robes, and wept in the presence of God (2 Chronicles 34:19, 27). vs19 - “Thus it happened, when the king heard the words of the Law, that he tore his clothes.” vs27 - “because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord."
Josiah realized the great sin of those who had ruled the nation before him. He decided if there would be lasting change, it had to begin with him. This renewal of the covenant and His commitment to follow the Lord and keep His commands ignited an entire nation to serve God and not turn from Him (vss. 31-33). The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord - to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book. Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their fathers." I know there is a lot wrong with our nation today. Greed? Violence? Corruption? Indifference toward God? How long has it been sinking into moral and Spiritual decay? Although we would love to see our leaders do something similar as Josiah, we can still do our part to change what is within our capabilities. We do not need to feel too young, too old, or too powerless to serve God with all our strength. If there are to be changes made, it will begin with us.
Josiah - a seeker of God, reformer, God’s servant, a king in his 20’s who wept for his people - has shown us a powerful example.