Good King Josiah was an anomaly amidst the kings of Judah. Taking the throne as an 8-year-old, it would appear that His mother, Jedidah, and/or his counselors taught him the truth of God. However, the fact that he stuck to that truth at eighteen is even more impressive.
Seemingly, his first official act as king was an attempt to repair the Temple and during the process the high priest found “the Book of the Law” (2 Kings 22:8). The sad testament of the children of Israel under the idolatry of his grandfather, Manasseh, was that God’s Word was so neglected that they actually lost the Book. When Hilkiah, the High Priest, found it and gave it to Shaphan the scribe, he “read it before the king” (v. 10). Josiah’s response was mature beyond his years: “Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes” (v. 11).
Immediately, King Josiah instituted a massive restoration of right religion, destroying his grandfather’s idols and worship places. “Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant” (2 Kings 23:3).
From the Christians of the first century to the restoration movement in these United States, even to this very day, people around the globe and throughout all history have been choosing whom they serve (Deuteronomy 11:26ff; Joshua 24:15; Matthew 12:30). The ancient prophets still plead from of old, “Come now, let us reason together…” (Isaiah 1:18) and “rend your heart, and not your garments” (Joel 2:13). Josiah initiated a revival that briefly delayed God’s righteous indignation against a rebellious people, but only because “all the people took a stand for the covenant.”
Our freedoms are being forfeited and our liberties being lost because we, as a country, have left God. Worse, the blood-bought church of our Lord Jesus Christ is being destroyed from within by complacency and compromise, ignorance and apostasy. We, in the church and in this country, are in dire need of a people who will take a stand for the Covenant. Only an honest and sincere return to the Word of God in our country and, especially, in the church, will delay destruction. Are you willing to take a stand?