Happy New Year!
The Life and Legacy of King Josiah is worthy of our attention as we enter into another new year. The Bible describes this unlikely king with the highest praise: “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 the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him” (2 Kings 23:25).
The godliest kind in biblical history ascended to the throne at the age of eight (2 Kings 22:1). Eighteen years later, those refurbishing the temple “found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord” (v. 8), probably the Book of Deuteronomy. The king then gathered the leaders and people (2 Kings 23:1) and “read in their hearing all the words of the Book of Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord” (v. 2).
Next Josiah made a personal commitment “to walk after the Lord and to keep His commandments” (v. 3a). Following his example, “all the people joined in the covenant” (v. 3b).
Putting his commandment into practice, Josiah then directed the destruction of every implement used for idol worship (vv. 4 – 20) and ordered the observance of the Passover (vv. 21 – 23). He did all this “that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord” (v. 24).
Now that we know his remarkable story, we are not surprised by the biblical assessment that there was no king in biblical history as godly as Josiah (v. 25). However, his story was recorded by the Holy Spirit in Scripture not just to honor this faithful king but to lead us to emulate him.
As we examine the life and legacy of Josiah we can be easily reminded of the following truths for this new year:
1. Do not neglect to spend time “immersed” in the Word. Don’t let the busyness and distractions of a new year seduce you into taking your “eye off the ball”.
2. Make public your personal commitment to Jesus. Testify to the Truth of Christ as the Spirit leads you, knowing He will use your witness to lead others to join your faith.
3. Work tirelessly to align your life with values that glorify your Lord. Ruthlessly remove all that would dishonor Him in your personal life and stand publicly for Biblical morality wherever you have influence.
Singer and evangelist Keith Green comments, “This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on earth!” That is a powerful truth we must not forget.