Read II Kings 23:21 -- 25
In Today's Reading:
Passover restored; destruction of Jerusalem and Temple foretold; death of Josiah; fall of Jerusalem; captivity of Judah
Josiah was the last godly king of Judah before the destruction of Jerusalem, and he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD (II Kings 22:2; II Chronicles 34:2). He destroyed all the idolatrous practices in Jerusalem and Judah. The king went up into the House of the LORD . . . and he read . . . all the words of the Book of the Covenant which was found in the House of the LORD. And the king . . . made a covenant . . . to walk after the LORD, and to keep His Commandments. . . . And he broke down the houses of the sodomites (male cult prostitutes) . . . and defiled the high places (broke down the shrines) (II Kings 23:2-3,7-8).
Josiah went beyond Judah, into the Assyrian-controlled former northern kingdom to Bethel, where Jeroboam had built one of the golden calves. And he broke in pieces the images, and cut down the groves (Asherah idols). . . . Josiah . . . sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres (tombs), and burned them upon the altar . . . according to the Word of the LORD prophesied almost 300 years earlier (23:14-16; I Kings 13:1-3)
And the king commanded . . . Keep the Passover to the LORD your God, as it is written in the Book of this Covenant. . . . Moreover the workers with familiar spirits (mediums), and the wizards (spiritists), and the images (household gods), and the idols, and all the abominations (detestable things) that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the Law . . . found in the House of the LORD (II Kings 23:21,24).
The last four kings who followed Josiah were all evil, puppet rulers, appointed by and subject first to Egypt and then to Babylon. Finally, Nebuchadnezzar marched his army into Judah and destroyed Jerusalem.
The destruction of the once-glorious kingdom of Judah and Solomon's Temple is a grim reminder that reformation alone will not bring lasting change in people; there must be repentance and renewal within the heart of a people, as well as a nation. Even the greatest present-day nation on earth, with all its wealth, military might, and nuclear defense, cannot survive — regardless of how much the people may pray — if its people continue to ignore the Word of God (see 23:25-27). He that turns away his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer shall be abomination (Proverbs 28:9).
Through the Passover (II Kings 23:21-23), which was a type foreshadowing how Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, keeps us from spiritual death by His blood shed on the cross (Matthew 26:28; John 1:29; I Corinthians 5:6-7; I Peter 1:18-19). I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death (Revelation 1:18).
25:12 husbandmen = farmers; 25:16 without weight = beyond measure; 25:27 lift up the head = release from prison.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Josephine Pantano · BPM Staff: Rita Guerra · Government Official: Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) · Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy · Major languages: Italian and Latin · Religious freedom · Approximately 100% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for the Lord to give you the right words to share Christ with others (Matthew 10:18-20).
Optional Reading: Romans 13
Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 3:16