Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Temple is repaired and what 'treasure' do they find (vvs 14-16)? Don't miss God's promise to the king and the king's covenant with the Lord. Josiah's testimony is honorable (35:24-25) but, after him, Judah falls within the next 25 years and is taken captive.
Josiah reigned on David's throne for thirty-one years. It was the last surge of political independence and religious revival before the disintegration of the southern kingdom which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem.
Josiah's religious leadership ranked him with David, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah as an outstanding godly ruler, for he took a firm stand against idol worship and other evils that had permeated his kingdom (34:1-7). Moreover Josiah kept a passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem: and they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. . . . sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the Word of the Lord. . . . And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem (35:1,6,18). Josiah's love for God and his righteous example of spiritual leadership has been a blessing to many thousands of us since that time.
Josiah's leadership was abruptly ended when he attempted to stop Pharaoh Necho's plans to attack the Assyrians. From the time of Manasseh, the Kingdom of Judah had been under control of Assyria. Josiah could have felt obligated to withstand the invasion of Pharaoh Necho. It appears that Josiah did not believe that Necho received a message from the One True God since he was a worshiper of many false gods. (Neither would I.)
If our God wanted to stop Josiah, He would speak to him, not to an idol worshiper. There is a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3:2). Josiah was a godly man and it is a fact that all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28). Furthermore, there was no reason to believe that God was displeased with Josiah. Compare that with Solomon and others. Josiah died a young man and so did Stephen and Jesus. The thirty-nine year old king was fatally wounded at Megiddo. He fulfilled the will of God who spared him from the tragedies that were to soon come upon Jerusalem and the Temple and God welcomed him home. There are few people during biblical history that it is said concerning: He (Josiah) did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left (II Chronicles 34:2).
Thought for Today:
Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they . . . may enter in through the gates into the city (Revelation 22:14).
Through the messengers of God who were rejected by His people (II Chronicles 36:15-16; compare Isaiah 53:3; Mark 9:12). Jesus came unto His own (own people), and His own received Him not (John 1:11; also Matthew 21:42; Mark 8:31; 12:10; Luke 9:22; 17:25; 20:17).
35:13 sod =b> boiled; 36:3 put him down =b> deposed him; condemned =b> taxed; demanded tribute; 36:10 brother =b> uncle; 36:15 rising up betimes =b> early every morning, again and again.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash and in memory of Rose Reyner and Letha Hash • Government Officials: Del. Madeleine Bordallo (Guam) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA) • Country: Sao Tome and Principe (155,000) two larger and several smaller islands in the Gulf of Guinea, 125 miles off the western coast of Africa • Major language: Portuguese • Religious freedom is fairly new • 83% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 2% animist • Prayer Suggestion: Continue to watch and pray with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 2:2