King Josiah no doubt had his task cut out before him because of the past wickedness of his father’s (kings and leaders of the nation). But during Josiah’s reign the entire nation of Israel experienced a revival unprecedented in their history.
“And there was no Passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” 2Ch 35:18
We would think that God would be pleased with all that Josiah did and performed magnificently for Jehovah God. God did promote a time of blessing and prosperity and the people came back to God, but there was some unfinished business that God had to take care of. Little do we know about the Law of Sowing and Reaping, or The Law of Cause and Effect but, it was an established law that is conveniently overlooked every day we live.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:7-10
Who is it that keeps score on our past, present, and future? Is it Allah? Is it Buddha? No, it is our very creator, Jehovah God. And just because a person doesn’t believe this law doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Nobody wants to keep the score on every human being because they don’t pertain to us on someone on the other side of the world, I for one wouldn’t. We just brush it aside and say, I don’t need some else’s problems, I have enough of my own. But, guess what, Jehovah God does. Little do we know that what others do, no matter their geographical location, has some effect on you and I. We are all interlocked together on this globe and we feel the effects of others from the past and present which in turn has grave effects on our future. For example, just look at our judicial system alone. Many of those laws where integrated and adapted from antiquity from Grecian law, Roman law, and Germania law. In short, what the past ages produced is being projected into our lives as we live each day. Whether we like it or not is irrelevant, there are consequences for our actions and we will affect somebody somewhere along the way, it guaranteed by the Word of God.
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2
This one of the reasons we need to study the Word of God because we can learn from the mistakes of others. There are great Biblical truths to be discovered when we read the Bible and it does have an effect on our lives in this day.
Back to the subject of Josiah, I feel that most of his motivation was to right the wrongs of the past. But just how would one go about setting things right? Sacrificing a million lambs should suffice, shouldn’t it? It is well recorded that he spent every waking hour re-establishing the worship system for Jehovah God that was well neglected by his father’s. This should work shouldn’t it? Let us reason for a moment.
As I mentioned before, Josiah’s father’s committed horrible, abominable, hideous, sins of Idolatry, infanticide, and sexual perversion with no remorse or regret. It sounds a little like today, doesn’t it? Who do we think God will hold accountable for those actions. Well, the individual of course, we might say. But God goes further with this reasoning, much further than we realize and are comfortable with. God also will look to the congregation, or nation of which collectively took part in the debauchery. In short, everyone involved partook of the same sin cup without doing anything about it. It is sin by association and sin by omission.
Josiah and his generation partook of some very good times and walked in the light of God, but God in His infinite wisdom soon decided it was time to take Josiah out of the way to pave the way of justice and righteousness of the land itself. We have forgotten about the little ones, the innocents, the babies, sacrificed to pagan gods. God hears there screams and cries of anguish coming up from their horrendous deaths. The land itself was reeking of the blood of innocents and God was going to do something about it and is going to do something about it.
“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.”
Yes, the day of God’s judgment and restitution was nigh. And to bring it on, God had to remove his righteous man to do it. We don’t see or much less understand God’s time table or the big picture of all eternity past and present, but God sees all and knows all and therefore acts accordingly to the very laws He established so very long ago, long before you and I arrived to see the damage already done.
“After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.” 2Ch 35:20
“And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his goodness, according to that which was written in the law of the LORD, And his deeds, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.” 2Ch 35:25-27
Can we learn something about this? Can we see the impact Josiah had on his people and the land itself? Can we see that there are repercussions for our actions or our apathy and complacency? Can we see that despite what we think or believe, we will reap what we sow whether our actions are good or bad? Can our president and leaders invoke God's wrath upon our nation? Is there really such a thing as Free-will, or is it the God given privilege of making the right choices? It is for each of us to decide and be ready to live by it, in light of being judged by it, one day soon.
“Free-will carried many a soul to Hell, but never a soul to Heaven” Charles Spurgeon