the Bible – God’s guide for life #6 Case example – King Josiah #1

case example – King Josiah            (See 2 Kings21-23 & 2 Chronicles33-35)

 

The genealogy of the kings of Judah, along with the kings of Israel: Saul David Solomon Rehoboam Abijah Asa Jehoshaphat Jehoram Ahaziah Athaliah J(eh)oash Amaziah Uzziah/Azariah Jotham Ahaz Hezekiah Manasseh Amon Josiah Jehoahaz Jehoiakim Jeconiah/Jehoiachin Zedekiah
File:The death of King Josiah.jpg
Death of Josiah (Josias) or Yoshiyahu (c. 648-609 bce), King of Judah ( c. 640–609 bc) – Old master painting oil on canvas

Josiah was the 16th king of Judah who reigned from 640-609 BCE/BC, dying just 23 years before the fall of the country to Babylon. Huldah, Jeremiah and Zephaniah were prophets during his reign.

 

I was just eight years old when my father, Amon was assassinated. Before I was crowned in his place those who killed him had been caught and executed. I knew very well that both my father and his father before him, Mannassah, had rejected the worship of the LORD, the God of Israel. Instead they set up idols for themselves, and some they put in the temple of God in Jerusalem. The used witchcraft and fortune-tellers – practices God specifically warned against. Mannasseh had innocent people killed and even sacrificed one of his own sons.

Not a promising start for such a young boy in such an important position you may think. Indeed I could have been prey to all sorts of people with evil intent, but something stopped me from going the same way as my father and grandfather. Perhaps it was because I had not been exposed to the evils of my predecessors for too long or that some of the bad influences had been removed after my father had been killed that I could start with a clean slate. Maybe it was the influence of my mother, Jedidiah, or because I listened to what Hilkiah, the High Priest, taught me. For whatever reason when I was 16 I decided I would seek the God of my ancestors, as David my great forbear had done.

At first I thought it was possible to worship him without it mattering what else I did, or what else I allowed to go on around me. But I learnt that you can’t only give God part of your life. So I began to take out of my life all those things God would disapprove of, and as King I had the responsibility to do this in the nation too. I started to purge the land of the images made by men to be so-called gods, and of their altars and the priests who ministered at them. Of course, it is not enough to stop doing the things you know are wrong, you have to do the right things too. So six years into this ‘cleansing’ I set about restoring the temple of the LORD that had fallen into disrepair. This was how a discovery was made that was to affect the rest of my life.

Clearing out one of the rooms that had been used to store the money for the works Hilkiah found the book of the Law that God had given to Moses[1]. Hilkiah gave it to Shaphan, the Scribe, who told me of the find. I was amazed! These words had been spoken to Moses who had written them down and instructed all the people about them. They had since been neglected and then lost during the reigns of my predecessors. And now my ears were the first to hear them for who knows how many years.

Shaphan read the book to me and I became appalled as I listened, for I realised that not just for years, but for generations no one had kept the commandments written here. Towards the end of what Shaphan read were a list of the blessings to be poured on those who kept what was written, but then there was a list of the curses for those who did not. The great God who had brought terrible plagues upon the Egyptians in the years of our ancestors must have been poised to bring even greater calamities on his own people because of our disobedience! I tore my own robes in grief and sent a delegation to Huldah, the prophetess, for me and for all the people, to learn what God would do.

Huldah told them The LORD would indeed punish Judah and its inhabitants for rejecting him, worshipping idols instead and for their wickedness. However, there would be peace while ever I reigned. Why? Because my heart was right before God and because I sought to humble myself before him.

I wanted to share this blessing with all my people, so I sent for the elders from throughout Judah and together with the inhabitants of Jerusalem went up to the temple and read to them the Book of the Law. Before everyone I made a covenant with God to follow him, to keep his commandments with all my heart and soul and to carry out all the words of the law, written in the book. Then the people also took the same stand. With this I had Hilkiah, the High Priest remove the image of Asherah and of Baal, whom they had previously worshipped, together with every last thing connected with false religion in the temple and told him to utterly burn them. Finally I made an end of all the altars and ‘high places’ dedicated to idols through out the country.

That same year, the eighteenth of my reign, we kept the Passover feast, as was written in the book of the Law. We celebrated God’s deliverance of Israel from the plague of the death of the first born in Egypt, and from slavery there. It was a wonderful time – the Passover had not been kept like this since the days of Samuel, judge of Israel! I and the leaders gave lambs and young goats from our flocks to the people of that they could join in the feast in the way described. And I thought of how God had ‘passed over’ me, that despite his anger over all that had been done he showed me mercy.

[1]           Probably the book we now know as Deuteronomy.

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Preceding articles

the Bible – God’s guide for life #1 Introduction

the Bible – God’s guide for life #2 Needs in life

the Bible – God’s guide for life #3 Fast food or staple diet

the Bible – God’s guide for life #4 Not to get the best from our diet– or from ourselves

the Bible – God’s guide for life #5 What is God like

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Additional reading

  1. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  2. God’s forgotten Word 2 Lost Lawbook 1 Who has still interest
  3. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  4. Running the battle
  5. Faithful to the listening ear
  6. God is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him
  7. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  8. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  9. Seven days of Passover
  10. Observance of a day to Remember
  11. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  12. High Holidays not only for Israel
  13. Festival of Freedom and persecutions
  14. A Passover for unity in God’s community

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Further reading

  1. The fall of Judah  from the article  biblical literature
  2. Encounters Lying in Wait: Owen Meany and Paper Moon
  3. The Hidden Book
  4. Judaism Also Had a Single Revealer: Josiah
  5. Josiah’s Reform (Advent I) – November 29, 2015 (NL Week 12)
  6. Promise Keeper — Part 1
  7. The Book of Hope
  8. Too Long; Didn’t Read
  9. Change with God or Conform with the World
  10. Ask, Seek, & Knock
  11. Bible 2015: 21 October Daily Bible Reading
  12. King Josiah
  13. #TieBlog #Bo
  14. The Offerings And Feasts 8 – The Feast of the Passover
  15. Shabbat Shalom! Bo

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8 thoughts on “the Bible – God’s guide for life #6 Case example – King Josiah #1

  1. King Josiah is a great example of why the Bible is the sole source of reliable and Godly theology. His predecessors on the throne lost their way and abandoned the faith of their fathers, passed down by Moses. Yet how did Josiah find his way back? Not by examining any human traditions, but by following the exact instructions laid down in the Torah (the Bible of that day).

    The history and experience of the nation of Israel was given to us by God as an example, as a type or shadow of our Christian walk. We should follow the example given to us by God of King Josiah’s reign. He and the nation of Israel was born again and prospered through following the living Word of God. Let us do the same.

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    1. This is exactly right. Today we can find too many people who prefer to follow human doctrine’s instead of Biblical doctrines. Much to often they do not see what is written black on white on the paper of the Holy book they have at hand, because they are blinded by the many books written by so called theologians. Instead keeping themselves to the Word of God Who declares Jeshua (Jesus Christ) to be His beloved son, they want to make Jesus into their god, making statues of him and bowing down in front of them, praying to all those pictures of gods and saints, which is an abomination in the eyes of God.

      Much more people should follow the orders of the son of man and son of God, the sent one from God, who has died for our sins and ordered his followers to go out into the world preaching the Good News of the coming Kingdom. Let us accept Jesus for what he is and has done, being pleased that he can be the mediator between God and man. That we ourselves stay truthful to the Word of God and bring others to come to know it better and to follow that Word instead of man’s words.

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