King Josiah of Judah, who was eight years old when he became king, reigned 31 years (640 B.C. — 609 B.C.) before his death on the battlefield. In the eighteenth year of his reign, something happened that, at least for a while, changed the history of God’s people.
Read 2 Kings 22:1-20. What lessons can we learn from this incident?
Scholars have long concluded that the “Book of the Law” (2 Kings 22:8) was Deuteronomy, which apparently had been lost to the people for many years.
“Josiah was deeply stirred as he heard read for the first time the exhortations and warnings recorded in this ancient manuscript. Never before had he realized so fully the plainness with which God had set before Israel ‘life and death, blessing and cursing’ (Deuteronomy 30:19) … The book abounded in assurances of God’s willingness to save to the uttermost those who should place their trust fully in Him. As He had wrought in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, so would He work mightily in establishing them in the Land of Promise and in placing them at the head of the nations of earth.” — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 393.
All through the next chapter, we can see just how seriously King Josiah sought “to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul” (2 Kings 23:3; see also Deuteronomy 4:29, Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 10.12-13). And this reformation included a cleansing and purging of “all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD” (2 Kings 23:24).
Deuteronomy was filled with warnings and admonitions against following the practices of the nations around them. The actions of Josiah, and all the things that he did, which included the execution of what must have been idolatrous priests in Samaria (2 Kings 23:20), revealed just how far the people of God had strayed from the truth entrusted to them. Instead of remaining the holy people who they were supposed to be, they compromised with the world, even though they often thought, We are just fine with the Lord, thank you.
What a dangerous deception.
|In our own homes or even in church institutions, what things might we need to purge thoroughly in order truly to serve the Lord with all our heart and soul?|