Highlights In Today's Reading:
Passover is held after years of disregard. Note Josiah's desire that he might perform the words of the Law (23:24). The people see Josiah's religious reforms in three decades of peace and prosperity, but Josiah dies in battle (23:29-30). Then history sadly records a string of very evil kings, the nation is defeated, and Jerusalem and the Temple are destroyed.
Josiah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left (22:2; II Chr. 34:2). More than three hundred years before Josiah was born, his birth was prophecied and even his name foretold (see I Kin. 13:2). About 125 years before the Northern Kingdom had been deported to Assyria, it was also prophecied that his kingdom would go beyond the border of Judah to Bethel, in the former Northern Kingdom territory, where Jeroboam had built one of the golden calf worship centers. The altar that was at Bethel . . . and the high place he brake down. . . . Josiah . . . took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar . . . according to the Word of the Lord which the man of God proclaimed (II Kin. 23:15-16; see I Kin. 13:1-2).
Josiah was the last godly King of Judah before the destruction of Jerusalem. He destroyed all the idolatrous practices in Jerusalem and throughout Judah (II Kin. 23:2-20) during his religious reforms (23:24). He was one of the best kings in the more than 450-year history of the monarchy.
Josiah was thorough in his efforts to restore true worship to the One True God. But many continued to practice the evils promoted by his father Amon and his grandfather Manasseh during their combined 57-year reign. Consequently, after his death, the people . . . took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah . . . and made him king. . . . And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (23:30-32).
The death of Josiah ended the prosperity of Judah. Just three months after his death, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was defeated by the Egyptians, who then placed Jehoiakim (Eliakim) on the throne (23:29-34). The last four kings who followed Josiah were all puppet-rulers, controlled first by Egypt and then Babylon. During the reigns of these kings there were a series of deportations.
By His judgment on His chosen people, the Lord has warned us that He will not let sin go unpunished. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7).
Thought for Today:
Because we are Christians, there is no guarantee that our children will be also. We must train them in the Word of God for them to know the way (Prov. 22:6).
Through the Passover (II Kin. 23:21-23), which, as a type, foreshadowed Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Passover Lamb, who delivers us from spiritual death through His sacrificial death. I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18).
25:12 husbandmen =b> farmers; 25:16 without weight =b> beyond measure; 25:27 lift up the head =b> release from prison.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Government Official: Rep. Dean Heller (NV) • Country: Luxembourg (429,000) in western Europe • Major languages: Luxembourgish and German • Religious freedom • 84% Roman Catholic; 2% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and give thanks to the Lord for your brothers and sisters in Christ (Col. 1:2-3).
Optional Reading: Romans 13
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:20