2 Kings 22-23
After two evil kings, a good king takes the throne, Josiah at 8 years old. Josiah walked in the ways of the Lord and did what was right in his sight. He set out to repair the temple, and while doing so found the book of the law. When the book was read to him, Josiah tore his clothes. He knew God was bringing disaster for both Israel and Judah’s lack of obedience. He knew the curses from Deuteronomy 28 were soon to take place. After seeking godly counsel, Josiah had the book of the law read to all of Judah and made a covenant to live according to God’s commands. This set forth a sweeping reform as Josiah had all the idols and high places torn down throughout the land. Josiah even made sure the Passover was celebrated, which was the first time since the time of Joshua.
What we see in Josiah is a man who served the Lord with great zeal. When he heard the book of the law, he knew exactly what he needed to do, in hopes of saving his people from the wrath God was about to inflict upon them. Everything he did is what should have been done decades and centuries ago. But, what we also see is we cannot legislate godly living. Even with Josiah’s removal of the places of worship and idols, it did not change the heart of the people. That is why things went back to the way they were after his death. For us, we have to remember the same. While it is right to want to see God’s ways put in place everywhere, without a changed heart people will still walk in darkness and sin.
What reforms have you made in your life to facilitate godly living?