2 Kings 22
Only A Child
Judah was living under the approaching retribution of holy God. Manasseh's sin brought retribution from the Lord and Judah's end was prophesied. However, the grandson of this wicked king would bring Judah a temporary reprieve from the Lord. Josiah was only a boy of eight years old when he became the king. This child would grow up on the throne and reign thirty-one years in Jerusalem. Josiah walked before the Lord in obedience and faithfulness just as David had done. Josiah led the last great reformation of the monarchy period.
At age twenty-six, Josiah undertook his most important project and began renovations on the temple. Josiah formed a committee of three led by Shaphan the scribe. Hilkiah counted the money which had been collected for repairs in and around the temple. The high priest Hilkiah was to distribute the money to the workmen who were in charge of the project and they, in turn, would pay the carpenters, builders, and masons for the supplies and the repairs. These were men honest and given complete control over administering the funds. While bringing out the money, Hilkiah made an incredible discovery. He found the Book of the Law. Hilkiah handed the scroll over to Shaphan who read enough of it to know that the book was exceedingly valuable, so he brought it to the king. He read the scroll before Josiah, and when he heard it, he tore his clothes to show his sorrow. The king appointed some men to investigate the implications. King Josiah wanted to know whether or not the threats which the scroll contained were to have an immediate fulfillment. Josiah recognized the sins of the nation. Given the grave threats which Moses had made against unfaithfulness, the king knew that the wrath of God would be poured out. The royal committee went to Huldah, a prophetess. Huldah sent a prophetic word back to the king. Josiah’s worst fears were substantiated. All the threats in the scroll would befall Jerusalem because Judah had turned from God. They had burned incense to other gods. They had constructed images with what appeared to be a determined effort to provoke the wrath of God. However, God took note of the piety of Josiah and the reformation efforts he had launched. Because Josiah humbled himself and was penitent when he had heard the message of the scroll, he received assurance that the destruction of Judah would not take place during his reign. Josiah would be gathered to his fathers in peace.
Things To Consider:
- What does Josiah show us about being young and following God?
- Why does consistency matter? Why is it so difficult to maintain?
- Why was it so important for Josiah to renovate the temple?
- What does Josiah's reaction to hearing the scroll read aloud tell us about the way he viewed sin?
- Is God's judgment something that should be considered today? Why or why not?
- Why was Josiah's humility and brokenness important?
- Are you surprised by God's response? Why?