After a long and turbulent period of kings, eight year old Josiah takes to the throne of Judah. As history has shown, things had obviously not gone well in the land of God’s chosen people. Israel had already been exiled. The evil hearts of kings and the people had Judah on the same path. Everything seemed to be falling apart. Living in the time of Josiah, I can only imagine thinking about God’s covenant and promises and wondering how they could ever withstand the atrocities of His people. Unlike most of the kings before him, Josiah was a man of God. He desired with his whole heart to lead the people in righteousness. He started the process of reform by repairing the temple that had been let go and defiled long ago. It was during this time that the Book of the Law was discovered. The Book of the Law was supposed to have been read frequently to remind the people of God of His commands. It had been covered up and forgotten in the mess of the temple. Josiah was rightly heartbroken when it was brought to him for he had clarity of just how far God’s people had strayed. He cried out in anguish and repentance and God was gracious to allow him to reign and die in peace as he led righteously.
Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.2 Kings 23:25
Josiah worked tirelessly during his reign to cleanse Judah of the idols and evil practices that had become social and cultural norms. However, as hard as Josiah worked and as much progress as he made, not even he was great enough to rescue the people from their sin problem and bring them into a persisting covenant with God. As we know, God is faithful and always keeps His promises. His story was not shattered by the habitual sins of the people. He had a plan to present to the world a King much greater than Josiah. One that had the power to reconcile sinners to the God who created them and sought after them. Let’s remember that God sent His Son as the greatest King of all, as the solution to the brokenness of sin. Like Josiah, let’s turn to the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and might. Part of turning to the Lord is spending time in His Word. Let’s not allow His Word to be set aside and buried by our worldly distractions. Let’s read and study it daily to be reminded of God’s great gift of reconciliation and then follow His commands with joy and thanksgiving.