2 Kings 22 Ė 23 part 14

 

Tonight we will we examine King Josiah.

 

2 Kings 22:1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah (ju-digh-duh) the daughter of Adaiah (a-dye-yuh) of Bozkath. (bahz-kath)2 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. ††

 

At the young age of 8 years old Josiah became king and he will reign for 31 years. If you remember his father Amonwas a bad king and only reigned for 2 years and once again we see our pattern repeated of the father being bad and now the son being good. If fact Josiah was so good that he earned the rare saying that he walked in the ways of his father David.

 

2 Kings 22:3 Now it came to pass, in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the scribe, the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the house of the LORD, saying:4 "Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money which has been brought into the house of the LORD, which the doorkeepers have gathered from the people.5 "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 --6 "to carpenters and builders and masons -- and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.7 "However there need be no accounting made with them of the money delivered into their hand, because they deal faithfully."

 

Josiah had already stated rebuilding part of the house of the Lord and now he wanting to the high priest to give these workers their money for their labor.

 

2 Kings 22:8 Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD." And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.9 So Shaphan the scribe went to the king, bringing the king word, saying, "Your servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of those who do the work, who oversee the house of the LORD."10 Then Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king.

 

So, as Hilkaih was looking through the treasures of the house of the Lord he makes a wonderful discover a book, which contained the Law of God. Apparently it hadnít been seen in some time. However, these people were not completely without Godís Word because the prophets were still around. First, Shaphan reads the book himself and then he reads it to Josiah.

 

 

 

2 Kings 22:11 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes.12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, (my-kye-uh) Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying,13 "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."

 

Josiah realizes that the words that are being read to him are from God and when he heard what God had commanded them to do and he heard about the consequences of facing Godís wrath if this commands were not kept this caused him to tear his clothes because he knew that they had not been keeping Godís commands.

 

I wish people today would be like Josiah so when the read the Bible and they realize that the way they are living their life or the way they are worshipping God is wrong that they would be distressed over it and not make excuses for what they are doing, but jump into action and change the way they are doing things based upon the word of God.

 

Josiah want Shaphan to inquire of the Lord about what he heard from Godís word, so he can see what he needs to do to make things right with God.

 

2 Kings 22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah (huhl-duh) the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke with her.15 Then she said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Tell the man who sent you to Me,16 "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 --17 '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.'

 

We have learned from this text that nothing is going to stop the punishment that Judah is going to face because they have already rebelled against God to much. However, we are about to learn that God is willing to postpone this punishment until after Josiah is dead.

 

18 "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 --19 "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.20 "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.

 

Since Josiah had a tender heart and humbled himself before God by showing his distress about how his people had not been keeping the Word of God, God was going to make it to where the calamity that would be wrought by Babylonians would not happen while he was still living. This shows us what a difference it can make when a person humbles themselves before God.

 

2 Kings 23:1 Now the king sent them to gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to him.2 The king went up to the house of the LORD with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem -- the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of the LORD.3 Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.

 

After hearing this news from the Lord, Josiah is determined for his people to serve the lord and so with his whole heart, mind and soul he proclaimed the mighty words of God so that all could hear and understand what God wants them to do. This is what preaching Godís Word is all about. Itís not about money our prestige its all about proclaiming Godís message so that everyone can understand and know what they must do to be pleasing to God. Next, we will be reading about how Josiah gets busy and how he is doing his best to remove all the false alters and gods from Judah.

 

2 Kings 23:4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, the priests of the second order, and the doorkeepers, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the articles that were made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.5 Then he removed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the places all around Jerusalem, and those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven.6 And he brought out the wooden image from the house of the LORD, to the Brook Kidron outside Jerusalem, burned it at the Brook Kidron and ground it to ashes, and threw its ashes on the graves of the common people.7 Then he tore down the ritual booths of the perverted persons that were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the wooden image.8 And he brought all the priests from the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; also he broke down the high places at the gates which were at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were to the left of the city gate.9 Nevertheless the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brethren.10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech.11 Then he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech, the officer who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.12 The altars that were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, the king broke down and pulverized there, and threw their dust into the Brook Kidron.13 Then the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, which were on the south of the Mount of Corruption, which Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the people of Ammon.14 And he broke in pieces the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images, and filled their places with the bones of men.

 

As you can see Josiah was a busy man who was doing his best serve God. You could easily call what he was doing a restoration movement. He was not concerned about what people thought about these false things because he knew they were an abomination before God so he destroyed them without hesitation. Let continue reading more of restoration movement.

 

2 Kings 23:15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, both that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and crushed it to powder, and burned the wooden image.16 As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs that were there on the mountain. And he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar, and defiled it according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.17 Then he said, "What gravestone is this that I see?" So the men of the city told him, "It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel."18 And he said, "Let him alone; let no one move his bones." So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria.19 Now Josiah also took away all the shrines of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the LORD to anger; and he did to them according to all the deeds he had done in Bethel.20 He executed all the priests of the high places who were there, on the altars, and burned men's bones on them; and he returned to Jerusalem.

 

This section is really interesting because Josiah is fulfilling prophecy and he wasnít even aware of it.

 

1 Kings 13:1 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.2 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.' "

 

This prophecy was made to Jeroboam when he had set up this alter at Bethel. Notice the name of the person that would defile this temple was Josiah. Once again, we can see a prophecy that was made by unnamed man of God came to pass and it was a very specific prophecy as it gives us the name of Josiah who is now doing exactly what this man of God said he would do.

 

2 Kings 23:21 Then the king commanded all the people, saying, "Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant."22 Such a Passover surely had never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah.23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was held before the LORD in Jerusalem.

 

Not only has Josiah destroyed these false alters and God he has restored the Passover. Now we have detailed account of this Passover in 2 Chr. 35, which shows why it said that a Passover like this one has not been held since the days of the judges. Now, this is not saying that there hasnít been Passover during this time because we know that Josiahís great grandpa Hezekiah held a Passover, but it wasnít like the one that Josiah did because Josiahís was done at the right time and was done by the letter of Law. Also we learn in 2 Chr. 35:18 that all of Judah and all those from Israel that were left over were there to observe the Passover.

 

2 Kings 23:24 Moreover Josiah put away those who consulted mediums and spiritists, the household gods and idols, all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might perform the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD.25 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 was a great example for us to follow because he was dedicated to serving God with all his soul and his might. There was no other king that had done so well to serve God according to His Law. Now, his great grandpa Hezekiah had something similar said about him, but his statement was focused in on his trust in God. As we have seen, Josiah was a great king.

 

2 Kings 23:26 Nevertheless the LORD did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath, with which His anger was aroused against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked Him.27 And the LORD said, "I will also remove Judah from My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, 'My name shall be there.' "

 

While Manasseh is specifically pointed out, we can know that it wasnít just his acts alone that caused Godís wrath to come upon on Jerusalem, but by the time Manasseh started ruling, the sins of Judah had been piling up and after all the wicked things that Manasseh did was what pushed them beyond Godís grace. Even though God heard Manassehís prayer during his affliction and allowed him to come back to Jerusalem, there were still going to be consequences for his actions and for the all the past actions of Judah. In fact, things were so far gone for Judah that Jeremiah said that not even Moses or Samuel could change the fate of Judah (Jer. 15). Next we are going to learn how Josiah dies, but we are going to read 2 Chr. account as it gives us more detail.

 

2 Chronicles 35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him.21 But he sent messengers to him, saying, "What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you."22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.23 And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, "Take me away, for I am severely wounded."24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.25 Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel; and indeed they are written in the Laments.26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what was written in the Law of the LORD,27 and his deeds from first to last, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

 

Here we have another interesting section of scripture because it shows that Josiah took his fate in his own hand and made his death of peace not come to pass. Here is what happened. The Egyptians were going to fight against the Assyrians in Carchemish, but whatever reason Josiah decided to go against the Egyptians.

 

Now Josiah is sent a messenger from the Egyptians that said God has asked the Egyptians to go against these Assyrians and that their fight is not against Judah so leave them alone least God destroy you. Now, some might have a problem with God working through these Egyptians, but it shouldnít be one because God used foreign nations several times to carry out his will.

 

So for what ever reason, Josiah decided to go against this warning and he conceal his identity and fight against the Egyptians anyway and he get shot with an arrow. In this instance, he went against Godís warning and so he died from this arrow and thus he did not die a peaceful death. The Bible teaches us over and over again that we will reap the benefits of Godís promises if we remain faithful, but if we go against God those promises will not be kept and we will have to face the consequences of our actions just as Josiah faced the consequences of his actions.

 

Now, we need to keep in mind that this was just one thing recorded for us that he did wrong because everything else shows that overall he was always faithful to God and kept his Law. I wish we had more information on why he did this at the end of his life, but we do not. At his death, we can see that the people and Jeremiah all wept at his passing because he was a great leader and servant of God. Now, letís finish up our chapter as we take a quick look at 2 more kings that were sons of Josiah.

 

2 Kings 23:31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.32 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.33 Now Pharaoh Necho put him in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.

 

Jehoahaz was not a good king and he only reigned for 3 months. The Egyptians were in control over them now and the Pharaoh locked Jehoahaz up so that he could not reign and he made Judah pay a tribute.

 

2 Kings 23:34 Then Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Pharaoh took Jehoahaz and went to Egypt, and he died there.35 So Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give money according to the command of Pharaoh; he exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land, from every one according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Necho.36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zebudah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.37 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done.

 

Now, the Pharaoh decides to make Eliakim the next king and he changes his name Jehoiakim. This son isnít any better than Jehoahaz as he did evil in the sight of the Lord as well. He reigned for 11 years, but just like his brother this was just an honorary position because the Egyptians were the ones in control and Judah continued giving money to the Pharaoh.

 

Well, it wonít be much longer now until Judah is destroyed and taken into Babylonian captivity. In, fact we just have one lesson left in the great book of the Kings.

 

This lesson has shown us how humbling yourself before God can make a difference, but at the same time it shows that there is a limit to God Grace and mercy. Once a nation overfills its cup with sin, they will have to face the wrath of God and that exactly what we are seeing with Judah.

 

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