Monday, September 22, 2008

Josiah - A Good King II Kings 22

II Kings 22:1-2 "Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right and or to the left."

We go from Hezekiah, a good king, to Manasseh and Amon who were bad kings then to this boy of eight years old who was a good king.

What makes a boy turn out to be a good king when his father and grandfather were the worst kind of kings? It tells us in the first verse. Josiah's mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. We can go back to Joshua 15:39 and see that his mother was a descendant of Caleb. Caleb was the faithful spy who reported the truth about Canaan to Moses and said that they could take the land.

Joshua 15:16 "And Caleb said, He that smitteth Kirjath-sepher and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. v18 "...and Caleb said unto her. What wouldest thou? v19 Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs and the nether springs. v39 Lachish, Bozkath, and Eglon." Bozkath is Boscath.

I concluded from reading this that Josiah's mother must have had a great influence on Josiah and directed him to honor the LORD as he grew up.

In his eighth year as king when he was sixteen. He sought the LORD and when he was twenty started changing things in Judah.

II Chronicles 34:3 "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 be began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places and the groves and the carved images, and the molten images."

He started work on repairing the house of the LORD in v8 by directing the money to the workers.

While they were working, the book of Moses was found and it was read to the king. Upon hearing the book he realized that Judah and Israel had displeased the LORD very much and he clothed himself in sackcloth and prayed and cried to the LORD. Then he read the book to the people. Before this happens in the next chapter, Josiah sought to understand and directed the priest to enquire of the LORD.

It is is sad commentary on Judah that the book was lost in the first place. Then sadder still that the priest did not understand what it meant. They went to a prophetess for understanding. She confirmed the prophecy that much distress would fall on the people and nation because of their sin. She did convey to Josiah a message though:

v19 "Because thine heart was tender and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes and wept before me, I also have hard thee saith the LORD. v20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace, and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again."

Mercy comes in different forms. Josiah was a good king and sought to please the LORD but the people had followed after strange gods and so were under the judgment of God. In tender mercy, the LORD would spare Josiah from seeing it by letting him die.

Psalm 39:4 "LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am."

Keywords: Bible study, Old Testament, Kings, Judah, Josiah. Josiah is a good king who was spared the desolation of Jerusalem.

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