A third day in the same chapter! But Josiah’s story has so much to think about.
We’ve looked at what Huldah prophesied in 2 Kings 22:19-20 – Josiah’s choice to serve God was acceptable and he would not live to see the punishment in store for his people. He continued in chapter 23 to “walk after the Lord.”
Why? It would make no difference to his people. Yet he commanded the high priest to remove the items made for Baal. They were being used in the temple! He put down idolatrous priests who “burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.” The people did not believe there was one God who deserved their worship. Josiah did.
Josiah made the choice public.
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 people stood to the covenant, but didn’t stand by the covenant. It was the one given to the Children of Israel before entering the Promised Land.
I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3 KJV)
This is what Christ described in Matthew:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:36-38 KJV)
The people of Judah broke that first commandment before Josiah, and his example was not sufficient for them to return to the Lord. Huldah prophesied to Josiah that he would not see the destruction of his nation, but he knew it was coming.
So, why didn’t he give up? Don’t we give up when it appears our witness is being ignored? How many of us have walked away from our ministry, our church, our friends – yet Josiah kept right on keeping his covenant with the Lord. We’ve known people like him, haven’t we? We’ve had pastors as dedicated to the Lord as this king was, haven’t we? Friends who continue to love the Lord in spite of those around them, haven’t we? Do we?
From this day forward, we can do the same. It really doesn’t matter who walks with us as long as we walk with the Lord. He is in control, His will is what will be accomplished. When you think the job, the day, the hour is overwhelming, remember Josiah’s lifelong choice.
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 hand or to the left. (2 Kings 22:2 KJV)