Josiah was eight years old when he became king. In his eighteenth year he had the temple repaired. They found the Book of the Law. In 2 Kings 22:10 it was read to Josiah. Verse 11 says, “Now it happened when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes.” In verse 13 he instructed five men to go and inquire of the Lord concerning what had been read to him. It says, “…for great is the wrath of the Lord…because our fathers have not obeyed…”
The five men went to Huldah the prophetess. She told them what the Lord said. Verse 18 says that He will bring great calamity. However verse 19 said that because Josiah’s heart was tender, and he humbled himself before the Lord when he heard the words, he tore his clothes, and he wept: he would not see the calamity in his day.
Let’s go back to Hezekiah. When he heard that calamity was coming, he was happy that it wouldn’t affect him in his day. Josiah received the same type of words, but he instantly humbled his heart. He went right to work to restore true worship. 2 Kings 23:3 says, “Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, “…And all the people took a stand for the covenant.” Josiah’s example influenced God’s people.
Josiah then commanded his servants to clean out the temple of all the idolatrous things. I love verse 12 which says, “…the king broke down and pulverized there, and threw their dust into the Brook Kidron.” He left nothing! That reminded me of Psalm 18:42. Here is David’s declaration of his enemies. “Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets.”
2 Kings 23:25 says, “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.” Josiah brought radical reform, because he heard God’s word and put it into action.
Does God’s word affect us the same way? When we read it does it so shake us that we instantly humble our heart? Does what we read bring reformation of our character? Consider this: if it doesn’t, then does the Lord bring trials specifically designed to affect our heart which affects our walk? Romans 5:3 says that our trials produce perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope. I’m still thinking about this.