Even with the godly reign of Josiah, Israel faced judgement. Manasseh had provoked him and brought that judgement to bear against Judah, but God delayed the judgement during tht life of Josiah, the righteous king. God promised to remove Judah as He had Israel. Josiah’s death was at the hands of Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. The pharaoh came to aid the King of Assyria in battle, and went through the land of Judah. Josiah withstood him at Megiddo, and was killed. His body was moved to Jerusalem, and he was buried in his own tomb. Jehoahaz his son was made king in his place.
This short passage says a lot. Mannaseh was a very evil king, perhaps one of the very most evil in all of Judah. His evil brought the wrath of God right to the edge of Judah. God promised to remove them and take them into captivity. Josiah, on the other hand, was one of the most righteous kings ever in Judah, and God gave Judah a reprieve while he was king. This shows the principle of sowing and reaping that is at work in this story. A litany of leaders had led Judah into idolatry. They followed that leadership into sin, and therefore they sowed idolatry and would reap judgement for it. However, the grace of God delayed that judgement for years, until Mannaseh finally pushed the envelope too far. God had place His name in Jerusalem and in the house of God, and He had defiled that holy place. However, because of Josiah’s holy reign, God held back that judgement for a time. But that judgement was still on its way.
God’s judgement rightfully should be poured out on our sinfulness and idolatry. However, the grace of God is extended to us through His son, Jesus Christ. The judgement is held back for a time. However, God wants to place His name in your heart, and He wants you to commit your house to Him. Don’t continue setting up idols in the house He has chosen for His name. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit that God desires. Let Him dwell in you and stay the judgement that you sin deserves. God wants to live within you!