2 Chron 34
Straight away at the beginning of this chapter, we see what kind of King Josiah was v2 – ‘And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.’
Wow what a description – I’m sure that’s how we’d like our lives to be described too!
I was challenged when reading a devotional this week that said – ‘imagine if your life was recorded (reality tv show style!) as people watched it, what would the message of your life be?
This really challenged me and I wondered what people might say – I would hope for an answer like Josiah ‘and she does what is right in the eyes of the Lord, walks in His ways and did not turn to the right or left’ However, I’m pretty sure that would not be the case!
So how did Josiah come to have this description written about him in the Bible with us reading it thousands of years after his death? What did he do that made this the message of his life?
Well we can see 5 things that He did that caused him to live this godly life, lasting as an example to us so many years later.
He sought the Lord (v3a)
Prayer. So key to our walk with God. How can we live in a way that is ‘pleasing in the Lord’s sight’ (v3a NLT) if we don’t have a relationship with Him? To have a relationship we need to talk to Him. As we look throughout the Bible and for many of us our own lives we can see the difference that prayer makes.
He purified the nation (v3b – 7)
Josiah got rid of everything in both Judah (and Israel – where he wasn’t actually king!) that was causing people to worship other gods. What idols might we have in our lives that are distracting us from God and that are taking the place as first love? It could be anything: money, relationship, success, possessions, social media, TV/films – anything that is pulling us away from God needs to go!
He restored the temple (v8-12)
Josiah ordered that the temple was restored and repaired and he made sure that this happened. For us now we are God’s temple – the temple of His Holy Spirit living inside of us (see 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19). Are we looking after our bodies properly to care for God’s temple? Are we eating right, exercising and resting to protect and look after what God has given us – where His Spirit dwells?
He knew the power and importance of God’s word (v18-21)
When the book of the law was found in the temple restoration, Josiah took it very seriously. He realised how they hadn’t been living completely the way God wanted them to and so he mourned and got the priests to seek the Lord. Josiah understood the importance of the scripture as God’s word. Do we treat the Bible with the same respect and importance in our lives – knowing that it is God-breathed? Or do we sometimes forget to read the word or quickly read to check off like a to do list and in doing so not give it the time we know we should. I’m learning more and more the power of spending time meditating on one verse rather than reading a whole chapter without reflecting.
He was committed (v31-33)
Josiah made a commitment before all the elders to follow what it said in the book of the law and encouraged them to do the same. This meant that the people ‘And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the Lord, the God of their ancestors.’ (v33 NLT) Wow! Josiah’s commitment to God didn’t just personally impact his own life but the lives of a nation! It goes back to the story I shared at the beginning – what message is our life giving to those around us? Is our commitment and love for God evident?
Wow God has challenged me with this today!
This is all about getting back to our first love as Andy preached on at the beginning of the year.
Why not spend some time with God today and allow Him to lead and guide you back to Him, as your first love.
ps we got muddled with our contributions, so watch out for another one later today!!!