Josiah’s Reforms (2 Kings 22:3 – 23:25; 2 Chronicles 34-35)

Shaphan the scribe brought a report to Hilkiah the priest that the work of restoring the temple, and the collections for the work were going well.  They also discussed a book the scribe had found.  They brought the book to Josiah the king, and when he heard the reading of it, he tore his clothes and declared that the word of the Lord must be honored.  They took it to a prophetess who declared that judgement was coming to Judah, but that it would not happen in Josiah’s lifetime, because he had humbled himself before the Lord.

Josiah then gathered Judah and read the law at the pillar of the temple and made a covenant before the Lord to keep His commandments and testimonies.  All the people stood in covenant with him.  They cleared the temple of all the idols and burned them in the fields of Kidron outside Jerusalem.  He removed the idolatrous priests from all across the land and continued purging the land of idols and high places.  He removed the idols that Manasseh had placed in the house of the Lord.  He even went back and removed some of the high places King Solomon had built for his wives.  He took out the rest of Jeroboam’s idols and high places.  He took bones from a tomb to desecrate the idolatrous altar at Bethel, then came upon a gravestone and asked whose grave this was.  The inhabitants of the city said this was the grave of the prophet who declared that a king would do exactly what Josiah had just done to the altar.  He told them to leave his bones alone.  He even went into Samaria (Israel) and removed their shrines to idols and killed the priests.

He finished the purge and then called for Judah to observe the Passover.  He put away mediums and spiritists and all the abominations of Judah.  There was no king like him or since, who purged the land and obeyed the law of Moses.

God, give our pastors and leaders the spirit of Josiah.  Give our leader in the world and our countries the spirit of Josiah, that we might purge the land of evil and restore the worship of the true God.  Lord, in a time when it is uncertain where we as a nation may end up, help the godly remnant to rise up in prayer and fasting and in personal purging and reform and raise he standard of godliness and holiness again!

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