Spirit of the Living God, fan into flame the burned-down embers of my faith, and set me ablaze with Your fire.
Read 2 KINGS 22:1-20
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The social environment around Josiah was harsh and the previous half-century marked by apostasy, violence and corruption. However, Josiah’s behavior shows us it is still possible to follow God in such times.
Josiah, Judah’s last good king, sought God when he was 16 and at 20 initiated the religious reformation of his kingdom (2 Chron. 34). Now age 26, he begins to repair the Temple desecrated by his royal grandfather and father. Seemingly, the previous two kings had deliberately confiscated manuscripts containing the written oracles of God. Providentially, Josiah must have heard about God and committed his life to him as a result of faithful oral transmission of his truth by his worshipers.
When for the first time he heard the lost words of the book of the Law which had been found in the Temple, he was shocked (11). We are unsure exactly what this book was (many scholars believe it was some or all of Deuteronomy). What is certain is that the rediscovery of that portion of Scripture struck the fear of the Lord into Josiah’s heart in an unprecedented way. This spurred the young king on to introduce more sweeping reforms for the spiritual purging and restoration of his kingdom, even though, according to the prophetess Huldah, Judah’s doom was inevitably sealed (16-17).
The word “revival” is often used, and perhaps sometimes abused or at least misused, in Christian circles. It seems that, historically, true revivals are when, by the sovereign action of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is rediscovered and proclaimed with burning zeal, resulting in the salvation of many people. That Word is one that warns of God’s awesome anger coming upon sin and offers forgiveness to repentant sinners by God’s amazing grace. Such momentous events as the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation in Europe or the eighteenth-century Great Awakenings in North America are good examples. How much we need a Josiah moment in our time!
Imagine a rediscovery of God’s Law today, similar to that in Josiah’s time. What impact would it have on you and your country? What changes does it involve for you?
Lord, I am reminded that Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. I thank You for Your encouragement in hard times.
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