God’s grace is a central theme in the Bible, manifesting itself in several different ways across different individuals. One particular example of God’s grace can be seen in the life of Josiah, one of the kings of Judah.
Josiah was known as a godly man who followed the Lord’s commands and laws obediently. Despite this, he inherited a kingdom that was steeped in idolatry and sin, with many of his predecessors having led the people astray. However, amidst all of this, God’s grace shone through and transformed Josiah’s life in remarkable ways.
This article aims to explore some of the divine acts that worked together to show God’s grace to King Josiah. By understanding how God showed His grace to Josiah, we can gain insights into how His grace continues to work in our lives today. So join us on this journey of discovery to learn more about the transformative power of God’s grace!
God Chose Josiah as His Instrument
The Background of Josiah’s Life
Josiah was born into a royal family, and his father was Amon who “did evil in the sight of the Lord” according to 2 Kings 21:20. However, Josiah turned out to be quite different from his father and began ruling Judah at the age of eight after his father was assassinated.
Despite his young age, Josiah quickly proved himself to be a wise ruler who sought after God and honored Him. He removed all the idols and false gods that his father had set up and attempted to cleanse the land of any remaining traces of idol worship. Moreover, he ordered a complete renovation of the Temple and instructed the people to observe Passover once again, something which they had not done for many years (2 Chronicles 34:8-22).
The Purpose of God’s Choosing
It is clear from Josiah’s actions that he loved and feared God with all his heart and soul. Nevertheless, there could have been other reasons why God chose him to lead Judah. Some theologians suggest that God may have chosen him because he was relatively young and thus less likely to be influenced by corrupt advisors or grew too complacent over time like older rulers tend to do.
Others speculate that God chose Josiah because he knew that Israel would soon face a punishment due to their continued disobedience, so He wanted a righteous king to help prepare the nation for this catastrophe. In either case, we see that God often chooses those who are willing to put their faith and trust in Him, regardless of their background or social status (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”
In the end, Josiah’s reign was relatively short-lived, but it left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of his people as a time when Judah was close to experiencing a true revival thanks to their righteous king. In addition to this lasting legacy, one can also see how God demonstrated His graciousness towards Josiah by choosing him for such an important position at a young age and enabling him to lead with wisdom and devotion to God.
God Revealed His Word to Josiah
Josiah was born into a family of idolaters. Despite this, he pursued God with all his heart and implemented reforms that radically transformed the kingdom of Judah. At the age of 26, God showed grace to Josiah by revealing his word to him.
Josiah’s Discovery of the Book of the Law
In the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah ordered the repair of the temple in Jerusalem. During the restoration, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law which had been lost for generations. Upon hearing its words read aloud, Josiah tore his clothes in repentance as it became clear that they were not following the commands of the Lord.
“When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.” -2 Kings 22:11 (NLT)
Josiah’s Response to the Word of God
Upon realizing their disobedience, Josiah led a national campaign of reform. He destroyed all idols, altars, and high places dedicated to other gods throughout Judah and Jerusalem. He reinstituted Passover and celebrated it with unprecedented zeal.
“Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.” -2 Kings 23:25 (NKJV)
The Implementation of God’s Word in Josiah’s Reign
Josiah’s radical obedience meant getting rid of anything that wasn’t consistent with God’s will. It also included implementing laws required under the covenant made between God and Israelites. He purged the country of all pagan practices and restored worship as prescribed in the book he had discovered.
“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.” -Andre Gide
Josiah wasn’t content with simply following God’s commandments. Rather, he believed that it was his responsibility to teach the people about God’s laws and how to live by them.
The Impact of God’s Word on the People of Judah
Through Josiah’s implementation of God’s word, Juda experienced dramatic social and religious reform culminating with renewed worship and devotion to God alone. Both native Hebrews and foreigners living in Judah embraced Yahweh as their only God in response to the king’s renewed emphasis on temple worship, scripture study, and prayer.
God showed grace to godly Josiah by revealing His word to him, allowing him to implement His commands and lead a successful national campaign of reform. This story serves as an example of the transformative power of reading, internalizing and obeying God’s word.
God Enabled Josiah to Lead His People in Righteousness
Josiah was only eight years old when he became king of Judah. Despite his young age, Josiah’s reign was marked by unprecedented moral and religious reforms that he enacted throughout the kingdom with God’s help.
Josiah’s Reforms in Worship
Upon taking the throne at a very young age, King Josiah immediately began cleaning up the idolatry that had crept into the worship practices of the people of Judah. He destroyed all the idols and altars dedicated to other gods, including those found in the temple itself.
“The prophets were speaking out against everything we were doing, warning us of devastating consequences if we continued our idol worship,” 2 Chronicles 34:21 (MSG)
Josiah went as far as desecrating the altars built by the kings who came before him, long-dead monarchs whom the people still worshipped. In the process, he discovered an ancient book containing the laws given directly by God through Moses himself. Upon discovering this book, which scholars believe may have been the original copy of the Torah, purportedly written by none other than Moses himself, King Josiah realized how far the nation had strayed from the path God intended for them and repented with deep anguish.
“Don’t take lightly God’s anger on account of what happened to Manasseh son of Hezekiah. The minute you set foot in these ruins and read what is written here, you will be moved to get right with God,” 2 Kings 22:19 (MSG)
Josiah’s Reforms in Social Justice
In addition to purging Judah of its false worship practices, King Josiah also worked hard to right social wrongs and bring justice to people who had been oppressed by their fellow men. He specifically ordered the caretakers of the Temple to return wages that some lone laborers had previously not received.
“Turn loose the funds you collected to pay for Temple repairs and hand it over to the foremen in charge of the work. They, in turn, will give it to the workers,” 2 Kings 22:7 (MSG)
His social reforms extended to matters of the court as well. Josiah introduced more transparency to the legal system, drastically reducing corruption by only appointing honest judges who would judge people fairly without showing favoritism to the rich or giving false testimony.
“Appoint judges who know what they’re doing—men from your tribes, competent and honest—and reappoint them when their term is up. Don’t twist justice; don’t play favorites; take a stand for the defenseless and the powerless; prosecute those who exploit them.” Deuteronomy 16:18-19 (MSG)
Josiah’s diligence toward establishing true justice in society won approval from God. The Bible verifies this time and again by saying things like “thus says the Lord” at the end of most passages regarding his reforms. King Josiah led a massive resurgence towards holiness and righteousness among his people because God enabled him to do so. Through him, Judah experienced one of its best eras of spiritual growth while seeing the highest level of prosperity. When he died tragically young in battle against an invading force prophesied by Nahum, Josiah left behind a legacy of faithfulness, reverence, and reform inspired by the grace of the Almighty himself.
God Protected Josiah from His Enemies
Josiah was one of the few kings in Judah who honored God throughout his reign. He sought to rid the country of idol worship and reinstitute true worship of Yahweh. Despite this, Josiah faced numerous enemies determined to stop him from carrying out God’s will.
Josiah’s Victory over Pharaoh Neco
One of the biggest threats to Josiah came in the form of an invading Egyptian army led by Pharaoh Neco. The two forces met at Megiddo for a fierce battle that tested Josiah’s faith. But despite being vastly outnumbered, Josiah refused to back down. He put all his trust in Yahweh and led his army into battle with the same conviction he had used to cleanse the temple of idols.
“Josiah did not consult the Lord regarding tactics before engaging in the battle but rather trusted in his own righteousness and bravery.”
Despite the grave danger he faced, Josiah emerged victorious that day. By God’s grace, he was able to withstand the enemy’s onslaught and protect his people like a good shepherd. This victory ignited a spark of hope among his fellow Israelites who saw that their king was truly committed to Yahweh.
Josiah’s Death in Battle against Egypt
Josiah’s triumph would be short-lived. In another battle against Egypt years later, Josiah lost his life. Though it may seem confusing why God allowed Josiah to meet such a tragic end, we must remember that God’s ways are higher than ours. Sometimes, our understanding is limited, and we cannot see the full picture. Nevertheless, we must trust in God’s wisdom and sovereignty.
“The LORD gave Josiah victory over the Egyptians at Megiddo, and afterward he was killed when he went to fight them again. “
Josiah’s humility and wisdom led him to seek God at every step of his reign. And even though his life ended abruptly in battle, we can find comfort in knowing that Josiah lived a meaningful and purposeful life. He showed us what it means to trust in Yahweh even in the face of insurmountable odds.
Throughout his life journey, God protected Josiah from his enemies as long as he trusted in Him. This is a valuable lesson for us all: if we continue to remain faithful and put our trust in God, no matter the situation or circumstance we’re facing, He will show us grace and guide us through.
God Gave Josiah a Heart of Humility and Repentance
Josiah was one of the righteous kings who ruled over Judah. He ascended to the throne when he was only eight years old, after his father Amon was assassinated. Despite his young age, Josiah sought to honor God by removing all forms of idolatry and false worship from his kingdom.
It wasn’t until the 18th year of his reign that Josiah experienced a transformation in his heart towards God. This was due to the discovery of the Book of the Law during renovation works at the temple of the Lord (2 Kings 22:8-13). When Josiah heard the words written in the book, he tore his clothes as a sign of repentance and sorrow for not obeying God’s commands (2 Kings 22:11).
The story of Josiah is an example of how God can work in the lives of those who seek Him with humility and repentance. Let’s take a closer look at how God showed grace to this godly king.
Josiah’s Humility before God’s Word
When Josiah heard the words of God’s law, instead of allowing pride or arrogance to creep into his heart as a powerful king, he recognized that he and his nation had failed to follow God’s commandments. His response highlights his true humility before God’s word. “Great is the LORD’S anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us” (2 Kings 22:13).
In order for us to grow spiritually, we need to humble ourselves before God’s word. James tells us, “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21).
Josiah’s Repentance for the Sins of His Nation
When Josiah realized that his kingdom had transgressed God’s law, he responded with tears, mourning, and repentance. He took direct action to address what was wrong within Judah. One example is found in 2 Kings 23, where Josiah commanded the priests to remove all the articles that were used for Baal worship from the temple of the Lord. He defiled high places and statues that represented other gods as well.
In addition, Josiah called for a national Day of Atonement to seek forgiveness for their transgressions against the Lord. It is essential to note that Josiah didn’t stop at just feeling remorse or guilty for the actions of others but instead brought about genuine change and sought redemption through acknowledgement, confession, and prayer.
The Blessings of Humility and Repentance for Josiah and His People
God rewarded Josiah’s humility and repentance by promising him peace both during and after his death (2 Kings 22:20). Josiah and his people experienced a time of unprecedented revival during his reign. “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did – with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses” (2 Kings 23:25).
We too must remember that when we humble ourselves before God, confess our sins, and turn away from them, He blesses us with spiritual awakening and restoration because it aligns with His will and character.
The Legacy of Josiah’s Humility and Repentance in the Bible
Jeremiah 22:15-16 summarizes Josiah’s humble leadership, “King Josiah…judged the cause of the poor and needy then it was well with him. Was not that to know me? saith the LORD.” Josiah’s character serves as an example for us all on how we can lead our lives by seeking God’s will rather than embracing our prideful tendencies. When we commit ourselves to humbling ourselves before Him, He honors and rewards us beyond measure.
“The first step towards grace is humility” – Ireneus
Josiah’s story demonstrates how one person’s heart – when surrendered to God – can impact an entire nation. Through humility, repentance, and obedience to God’s Word, Josiah was able to change Judah’s course from certain destruction to spiritual revival. As a result, he set his people on a path back to righteousness where they were blessed abundantly by God’s grace.
God Honored Josiah’s Faithfulness with a Legacy of Blessing
Josiah, the king of Judah, was one of the few righteous kings in the history of the nation. The Bible records that “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2).
Despite being just eight years old when he became king, Josiah loved God and sought to restore true worship in Israel. He ordered for the Temple to be repaired, finding the Book of the Law during the process. Upon reading it, Josiah realized how far from God’s commands the kingdom had been and began implementing reforms to bring it back on track.
Josiah went on to purge the land of idols, burnt offerings to false gods, and anything else associated with pagan worship. In all this, Josiah remained humble before God and recognized that any success he enjoyed came only from God.
“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did–with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, according to all the Law of Moses.” -2 Kings 23:25
The End of Josiah’s Reign and the Babylonian Captivity
Unfortunately, despite Josiah’s faithfulness to God, the end of his reign would come at the hands of the Babylonians. Josiah went out to confront Pharaoh Neco II, hoping to thwart his advances towards Assyria. Unfortunately, a stray arrow struck Josiah, mortally wounding him. His death plunged Judah into despair, but it was nothing compared to what awaited them under the Babylonian rule.
After Josiah’s death, his sons took over the throne. However, they did not follow in their father’s footsteps and deviated from God’s ways. In 605 BC, the first Babylonian invasion of Judah occurred, with subsequent waves following until nearly all of Israel had been taken captive.
The Prophetic Fulfillment of Josiah’s Reign in the Messiah
Despite the tragic end to Josiah’s reign, God remained faithful to his covenant promises. The prophets had predicted a coming King who would sit on David’s throne forever, establishing peace and righteousness throughout the land. Even though it seemed like the Babylonians had destroyed any hope of that prophecy coming true, God’s plan was never thwarted by human actions or events.
We know that the fulfillment of these prophesies came in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the true King of kings who defeated sin and death through His sacrifice on the cross, paving the way for eternal life for all those who believe in Him.
“The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” -Isaiah 7:14
The story of Josiah reminds us that no matter how dark things may seem, God remains faithful to those who seek Him and obey His commands. Josiah’s legacy also shows us what kind of impact one person can have when they choose to serve God wholeheartedly. Who knows what kind of blessings await us if we too choose to honor God with our lives?
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the significance of God choosing Josiah to be king?
God chose Josiah to be king because of his faithfulness and willingness to follow God’s commands. Josiah’s reign was a time of spiritual renewal for Judah, and he worked to restore the worship of God in the land. God used Josiah to bring about a period of peace and prosperity for the people of Judah.
How did Josiah respond to the discovery of the Book of the Law?
When Josiah discovered the Book of the Law, he was deeply moved and realized how far Judah had strayed from God’s commands. He immediately took action to implement reforms and restore the worship of God in the land. Josiah’s response to the Book of the Law shows his faithfulness to God and his desire to follow God’s commands.
What were some of the reforms that Josiah implemented in Judah?
Josiah implemented several reforms in Judah, including the restoration of the temple, the reinstitution of the Passover feast, and the removal of idols and false gods from the land. He also worked to reform the priesthood and eliminate corrupt practices in the temple. Josiah’s reforms were aimed at restoring the worship of God in Judah and bringing the people back to a relationship with God.
What was the impact of Josiah’s reign on the people of Judah?
Josiah’s reign had a profound impact on the people of Judah. He worked to restore the worship of God in the land and eliminate corrupt practices. His reign was a time of spiritual renewal and a return to the true worship of God. Josiah’s leadership brought about a period of peace and prosperity for the people of Judah.
How did Josiah’s faithfulness to God lead to God’s grace upon him?
Josiah’s faithfulness to God led to God’s grace upon him. God saw Josiah’s heart and his desire to follow God’s commands. Because of his faithfulness, God blessed Josiah with a long and prosperous reign. Josiah’s faithfulness also brought about a period of spiritual renewal and a return to the true worship of God in Judah.