Josiah — A King Like No Other

Just like Josiah, every leader and every believer in Christ has a purpose for their lives given by God. Like Josiah, if we continue to seek and obey the Lord, He will ensure His good purposes are fulfilled in and through our lives.

King David, a Man After God’s Own Heart

King David in the Bible worshipped the one true God! This is the same God of the Bible who said to the Israelites;

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

Exodus 20: 2-6

The Bible describes King David as a man after God’s own heart.

“He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'”

Acts 13: 22

God promised David through the prophet Nathan, that when his days were fulfilled, He would also establish the kingdom of his son. If David’s son were to commit iniquity, God said He would chasten him with the rod of men, but that His mercy would not depart from him as He had taken it from Saul. – See 2 Samuel 7:8 – 17. God promised David that his throne would be established forever.

“And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”

2 Samuel 7: 16

In saying this, God was referring not only to David’s household and his kingdom, but also to the eternal kingdom of Christ’s rulership; the Kingdom of God that would be set up when Christ the Messiah was born through David’s lineage.

“Has not the Scripture said that the Christ (The Messiah or anointed one) comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”

John 7: 42

But King David sinned greatly against the Lord. After committing adultery with Bathsheba and finding out she was pregnant, he sent her husband Uriah to the front lines of a battle so that Uriah would be killed and not discover what David had done.

But when Nathan the prophet confronted David with his sin, David did not run from God or try to hide his sin, but repented before the Lord and made his heart right with him. Though there were serious consequences for David and the generations that followed because of his sin, God said to David,

“The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”

2 Samuel 12: 13

King Solomon Neglects the Word of the Lord

After King David’s death, his son Solomon became King of Israel in his place. And God warned Solomon,

“But if you or your sons at all turn from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them; and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples.”

1 Kings 9:6 & 7

God had clearly instructed the Israelites that they were not to inter-marry with the people of the nations that He was going to enable them to dispossess, because they would turn their sons away from following the Lord – See Deuteronomy 7:1 – 6. But Solomon disobeyed God’s word.

“But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites – from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall NOT inter-marry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love.”

1 Kings 11:1 & 2

And Solomon’s wives did turn his heart after other gods!

“For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.”

1 Kings 11:4

“So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.”

1 Kings 11:9 & 10

King Jeroboam Rejects the Word of the Lord

Because Solomon had forsaken the Lord, God removed the kingdom from his son Rehoboam and made Jeroboam king over Israel in his place.

“Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.'”

1 Kings 11:11

The prophet Ahijah said to Jeroboam:

“‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you ‘(but he shall have one tribe for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), ‘because they have forsaken Me, and worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the people of Ammon, and have not walked in My ways to do what is right in My eyes and keep My statues and My judgments, as did his father David.'”

1 Kings 11:31-33

“Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you.”

1 Kings 11:38

This was an incredible promise from God! But Jeroboam did not believe the word of the Lord. Instead he became fearful of losing the kingdom.

“And Jeroboam said in his heart, ‘Now the kingdom may return to the house of David: If these people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn back to their Lord, Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah.'”

1 Kings 12:26 & 27

Jeroboam sought help from advisors, but his advisors also did not believe the word of the Lord. Not only did Jeroboam set up idols and high places of worship to other gods, but he appointed priests from ordinary men that God had not appointed, and caused the people to sin greatly against the Lord.

“Therefore the king asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, ‘it is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan. He made shrines on the high places, and made priests from every class of people, who were not of the sons of Levi.”

1 Kings 12:28-31

King Josiah was Foretold by God

But King Josiah’s birth and purpose had been foretold by a prophet of God. The prophet prophesied before Jeroboam, that Josiah would sacrifice on the altar, the priests of the high places who burned incense to foreign gods.

“And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the Lord, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the Lord, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you and men’s bones shall be burned on you.'”

1 Kings 13:1&2

Just like Josiah, every leader and every believer in Christ has a purpose for their lives given by God. Like Josiah, if we continue to seek and obey the Lord, He will ensure His good purposes are fulfilled in and through our lives.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”

Jeremiah 29: 11-14

King Josiah Sought the Lord Early

While he was still young (16 years old) Josiah began to seek the Lord.

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.”

2 Chronicles 34:1-3

At an early age (20 years old) Josiah began to fulfil the word of the Lord.

“In the twelfth year He began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images. They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and the incense altars which were above them he cut down; and the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images he broke in pieces, and made dust of them and scattered it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He also burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.”

2 chronicles 34:3 – 5

When we begin to seek the Lord, even at a young age, God begins to deal with our sin and the things that take the place of God in our lives. These sin areas are like altars and high places of worship to other gods. It can even be that we are wrongly still trying to serve the gods of our ancestors alongside the one true God. Or it could be that we are trying to serve a god of wealth or a god of fame. Perhaps the most subtle but destructive false god of all is the god of self.

We may believe we are serving the one true God, but can be deceived into serving our own agendas, our own way of doing things, or being ruled by our own understanding. Serving a god of self will dramatically alter our course, taking us far from the purposes of God.

But as we begin to seek the Lord and to dethrone and remove the wrong areas in our lives, we will begin to know a release to fulfil the purposes God has for our lives.

The sooner we deal with the areas that are holding us back, the sooner we will know a release into the purposes of God.

King Josiah Did what was Right

Josiah did what was right in the sight of the Lord. Josiah did not alter his course, but continued to follow the Lord.

“And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.”

2 Chronicles 34: 2

Josiah made a covenant before the Lord to follow Him and keep his commands, with all his heart and all his soul – See 2 Kings 23:3. He was not willing to compromise or to follow the ways of other nations, other kings, or the generations that had gone before him. Josiah removed every idol, every idolatrous priest, every altar, and every high place – everything that was an abomination before the Lord.

Josiah made an early decision that he would not follow anyone else or be like anyone else, but that he would wholeheartedly follow the word of the Lord. That should be our early decision also!

“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.”

2 kings 23:25

King Josiah Repaired the House of the Lord

King Josiah’s priority was to repair the house of the Lord. When we begin to know a release into the fulfilment of the purposes of God – the Lord’s people and repairing the house of the Lord will become our priority also.

“In the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of the city”, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God.”

2 Chronicles 34: 8

Josiah released others to oversee the work of the Lord. Because Josiah was able to trust his overseers, he was able to fully release them to do the work of the Lord. Josiah described his overseers as ones who ‘deal faithfully.’

“And let them deliver it into the hand of those doing the work, who are the overseers in the house of the Lord. Let them give it to those who are in the house of the Lord doing the work, to repair the damages of the house.“

2 Kings 22:5

“However there need be no accounting made with them of the money delivered into their hand because they deal faithfully.”

2 Kings 22: 7

Are you in a position of influence or authority? Are you an overseer, or doing the work of repair in the house of the Lord? Will you be proven a faithful steward when the Lord returns?

“Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

1 Corinthians 4: 1 & 2
  • To do well we must first come under the Lordship of Jesus Christ!
  • We must listen to Him and obey His word.

King Josiah Enquired of the Lord

In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. When the book of the law was brought to Josiah and he heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. He then sent the high priest to enquire of the Lord.

“Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

2 Kings 22: 13

Josiah realized when he heard the words of the book of the Law, that his ancestors had not obeyed the word of the Lord. He was distressed because of the greatness of their sin in following after and worshipping other gods. So Hilkiah the priest then went to Huldah a prophetess to enquire of the Lord. This prophetess then prophesied to King Josiah,

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants – all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read – ‘because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.’ ‘But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel; ‘Concerning the words which you have heard – ‘because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,’ says the Lord. ‘Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.’ So they brought back word to the king.”

2 Kings 22: 16-20

Because Josiah’s heart was tender as he humbled himself before the Lord; because he had a repentant heart and was distressed at the wrong that his ancestors had done before the Lord; because he then chose to enquire of the Lord, the Lord’s blessing was upon Josiah. In Josiah’s lifetime he did not see the calamity that the Lord would later bring on the nation of Israel, and he was gathered to his grave in peace.

A History of Repentance

In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah’s obedience brought for the Israelites a release from bondage to idolatry and brought them into the freedom of God’s intended order. He restored true worship to the house of the Lord. This true worship to the one true God continued for the lifetime of Josiah’s reign.

There are three other eighteen year advents mentioned in the Bible, that also speak about the release from bondage into God’s intended order.

Because of their disobedience and this same sin of idolatry, the Israelites also went into servitude to Moab for eighteen years. But when they repented of their sin and cried out to the Lord, the Lord was faithful to deliver them.

“And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord.”

Judges 3: 12

“So the children of Israel served Eglon king of Moab eighteen years. But when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them.”

Judges 3:14 & 15

Again, because of their disobedience and the sin of idolatry, Israel was sold into servitude to the people of Ammon. But when they cried out to the Lord, once again the Lord delivered them.

“Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook the Lord and did not serve Him. So the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the people of Ammon. From that year they harassed and oppressed the children of Israel for eighteen years.”

Judges 10: 6-8

“And the children of Israel said to the Lord, ‘We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray.’ So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.”

Judges 10: 15 & 16

“So Jephthah advanced toward the people of Ammon to fight against them, and the Lord delivered them into his hands.”

Judges 11:32

One Touch From God Was all it Took

When Jesus Christ God’s Son was on the earth, He met a woman that had suffered with a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years.

“And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, ‘Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.’ And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”

Luke 13: 11-13

The Bible does not tell us why the woman became bound to a spirit of infirmity. The Gospel of Luke simply tells us that Jesus saw her, He called to her, and said to her, ‘Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity!’

God’s desire is always to release people from their bondage to sin and idolatry, and to bring healing from all infirmity through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever the cause and whatever the cost, our response to Him should always be, to repent of our sin and to cry out to Him.

  • When we humble ourselves and cry out to the one true God, He hears us, He delivers us and He heals us!

Prayer:

If there are any areas in your life that you need to put right with God today, please pray this prayer:

“Lord I come to You today in a spirit of humility. I acknowledge today that You are the only one true God. Your word, the Bible, says that I am to have no other gods before You. So before You today, I lay down all pride, I lay down my humanity and I lay down my life. I repent of any other god I have ever held in a place of worship before You, knowingly or unknowingly. The false gods of my ancestors, the false god of money, the false god of fame and the false god of self. (name any other false deities or counterfeits that God brings to your mind). I repent of serving all other false gods and for not giving You first place, as the Lord of my life. Forsaking all others, I now choose to serve You and You alone – the only one true God. I ask You to set me totally free from bondage to sin and idolatry today and that You would remove all sickness and infirmity far from me and my family. In the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

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When the mother of James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, asked Jesus if both her sons could be given a place in heaven at His side, Jesus said to her, “You don’t know what you are asking.”  – Matthew 20:22

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If you would like to have a relationship with God through accepting His Son Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please pray the prayer below.

Dear Heavenly Father. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I am sorry for the sins I have committed and I ask You to forgive me. I now turn away from all the things that I know to be wrong and I receive Your Holy Spirit and Your gift of eternal life. Thank You for this free gift of Salvation and eternal life. Help me to come to know and experience Your love for me more and more, and to now share the love You have given me with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

We would love to hear from you: If you have prayed this prayer for the first time, or have recommitted your life to Christ today I would love to hear from you to encourage you in your new walk with Christ. You can send me an email by clicking 'Get in Touch' on the yellow bar at the bottom of the Home or Articles pages.

What next: Once we have started our relationship with Christ – it is important that we continue to grow in our understanding of Him, and experience His love for us on a regular basis. God does this for us as we read the Bible, which I encourage you to do on a regular basis, asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand it and make it “come alive” to you in a very personal way. May I encourage you to do this every day, and to actively pursue those things that God reveals to you. We also need to be spending time with other like-minded Christians on a regular basis, who are also growing in their relationship with God. We gain encouragement from being with other growing believers. Ask God to lead you to a Bible-believing church (or Bible-believing Christian group) that will encourage your relationship with Christ and help to meet your needs. Ask Him, and trust that He will guide you to the place of fellowship that is right for you.

May God both work in you and through you, those things that He desires, as you continue to submit your life to Him each day.