Every time 2Kings 22-23 come up for reading, there is a model of life and leadership which evokes a desire to emulate.
Over and over again while reading through the books of Kings and Chronicles we are confronted with kings who do right in the eyes of the Lord and who do evil in the eyes of the Lord. It can become like the rocking of a ship on stormy seas. First one way and then the other in rapid fashion to the point of nausea.
The reading requires thoughtful meditation to get a grasp of what is happening over many, many years, yet in such a short time during our perusal. Instead of skipping over Josiah, stop and think about how revolutionary in his zeal, love, and life towards the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
When Josiah was eight he was appointed king. His father Amon was one of the good guys. It is the foundation which Amon laid which propelled Josiah to further build. The temple had fallen into disrepair. For sixty years it had been disregarded. At age 26, Josiah initiates a building campaign to remodel the temple, in an effort to return it to its original splendor.
Money is collected. Carpenters were hired. Lumber was felled and hewn. Masons are hired and stones were cut. No money was spared and we are told they didn’t even have to give an account for what they spent as they acted faithfully.
As part of the rebuilding process of the temple, the High Priest Hilkiah finds a Book of the Law buried in the rubble. The forgotten and lost guidelines for proper faith and practice of life had been absent from their lives for decades.
In learning what the rules and guidelines for blessing and cursing in ones life or country, Josiah receives conviction to destroy all of the wicked practices of those kings and people who preceded him. In a tearful repentance, Josiah renews the covenant between Adonai and His people.
With no remorse and steadfast resolve, Josiah, Hilkiah, and the leaders of the church begin to systematically disassemble all articles of worship made to Ba’al and Asherah.
He did away with,
He took, burned, He ground to powder, scattered,
He tore down, desecrated,
He pulled down,
He removed, smashed, thew, desecrated,
He smashed, cut down,
He demolished, burned, ground, burned, removed, and burned again,
He removed, slaughtered, burned and got rid of.
In a complete and thorough sweep of the nation, all high places were wiped clean. ”No previous king was like him, because he turned to Adonai with all his heart, with all his being, and with all his power” (2 Kings 23:25, CJB).
The dude had guts and conviction. What does it take for us to make decisions like this in our lives to recognize that the reason we are not blessed and prosperous is because of the sin we have allowed to creep in for decades?
Lord, search our hearts, find anything within us that does not please you, and help us to have the courage and plan to fix it.