The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. (Isaiah 57:1 KJV)
That could have been written about Josiah. According to Huldah, that is the blessing God gave him for his humbleness before Him.
But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; 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 heard thee, saith the LORD. 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. (2 Kings 22:18-20 KJV)
Josiah worked hard to bring his people back to the Lord.
And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. (2 Kings 23:3 KJV)
The following verses tell us how he commanded that the vessels made to worship Baal be removed from the temple. Can you imagine our churches today filled with items intended to draw attention away from God toward idols.
Oh, wait a minute. It didn’t take long to come up with some examples, did it? Why do we wonder at so many wicked things happening in the Temple when we see similar things happening today. Worse yet, when Josiah had all those things removed, the law read before the people and them making their own covenant with the Lord, within a few short years, the Temple was destroyed and Judah taken captive. God knew it was going to happen and promised Josiah that his eyes would not see the destruction.
Josiah re-instituted Passover. And what a Passover celebration it must have been for the writer to say:
Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; (2 Kings 23:22 KJV)
Josiah’s relationship with God was outstanding.
And like unto him was there no king before him, that 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; neither after him arose there any like him. (2 Kings 23:25 KJV)
Nevertheless, Huldah’s prophecy was fulfilled. For all the good Josiah did, his people did not. God allowed Josiah to die before his kingdom returned to its old ways. When Jehoahaz became king, the son did not follow in his father’s footsteps, but of those kings before him.
And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. (2 Kings 23:32 KJV)
We’ve been told. How will we act?