Reading For Wednesday 2 Kings 23:1-20
The King called for a national assembly and read the book of the covenant that had recently been discovered. The king renewed the old covenant with God, which had been broken, and he pledged to walk in obedience. Josiah ordered the priests and Levites to remove from the house of God all vessels that had made for or dedicated to any pagan deity and removed the pagan priests. Josiah tore down the houses of the temple prostitutes. Josiah prevented the apostate Levitical priests that had been summoned to Jerusalem to approach the altar of God or to have any part in the temple ritual. In spite of Josiah’s efforts to reform the nation, the anger of God was not turned aside from Judah. At best, the reformation only gained a temporary reprieve for Judah. God had determined to remove Judah “from his sight” just as he had removed Israel.
When Jeroboam set up his altar, he in effect made that city a high place. The buildings connected with this high place were torn down by Josiah. From Israelite sepulchers, Josiah ordered human bones to be brought out and burned on the Bethel altar. By this action, he was unconsciously fulfilling the prophecy made by the unnamed man of God some three hundred years earlier. The king inquired about the significance of a pillar in the area of the tombs. He was told that this pillar marked the sepulcher of the man of God from Judah who had predicted the very things that Josiah had done to the altar. Josiah then ordered his soldiers to leave undisturbed that particular sepulcher and the bones of the two prophets that were buried inside.
Josiah’s army roamed at will throughout the former territory of the northern kingdom destroying and defiling places of pagan worship and killing the pagan priests that served in these heathen shrines.
Things To Consider:
- Why did the king call the people for a solemn assembly?
- Do you think we should still hold solemn assemblies? Why?
- Why is the scripture essential for repentance?
- What kind of message do you think was communicated by the king when he renewed the covenant? How can leaders today encourage others to repent?
- Why should we act decisively and ruthlessly toward sin?
- Is there a sinful pattern in your life that needs mortification?