2 Kings 22

What reforms did Josiah initiate early in his reign?
[A] In the twelfth year of his reign, Josiah “began” to destroy all of the idolatrous things that had been reintroduced by his father. He purged Jerusalem and Judah “of the high places, the Asherim, the carved images, and the molten images” (2 Chronicles 34:3 and 34:6-7). He led the people to tear down every vestige of idolatry. He had all of the idolatrous images and items ground to powder and scattered the powder “on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them” (2 Chronicles 34:4). Furthermore, “he burned the bones of the priests on their altars (this was the fulfillment of a prophesy uttered 360 years earlier – see 1 Kings 13:2), and purged Judah and Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 34:5).

[B] He began the work of restoring the house of the Lord, “which the kings of Judah had let go to ruin” (2 Chronicles 34:11), during the eighteenth year of his reign (2 Kings 22:3 and 2 Chronicles 34:8). A building fund offering was collected and delivered to the workmen (2 Kings 22:4-7 and 2 Chronicles 34:9-11). While this restoration work was taking place (2 Chronicles 34:12-13), “Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of the Lord given by Moses” (2 Chronicles 34:12). “Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan who read it” (2 Kings 22:8 and 2 Chronicles 34:15). Shaphan gave Josiah an update on the progress of the work, he also reported to him that Hilkiah had found a book (2 Kings 22:9-10 and 2 Chronicles 34:16-18). “And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king” (2 Chronicles 34:18).

Practical Consideration: Our attitude toward God determines our attitude toward sin.
Josiah began seeking the Lord when he was sixteen years old. By the age of twenty he began a reformation that would purge Judah of the sinful things his father had done. Josiah loathed idolatry because he sought to know and serve the Lord. Our attitude toward God determines our attitude toward sin. The more we love God the less tolerant we are of sin. The more we love sin the less tolerant we are of God and anything godly.

What was Josiah’s response when he heard the words of the lost book?

Josiah “tore his clothes” (2 Kings 22:11 and 2 Chronicles 34:19) and asked the priest and some men to inquire of the Lord concerning the words of the book (2 Kings 22:12-13 and 2 Chronicles 34:20-21). Josiah was fearful because the lives of the people did not match the message of the book. The delegation sought the counsel of a prophetess named Huldah who lived in Jerusalem (2 Kings 22:14 and 2 Chronicles 34:22). Huldah confirmed that the nation would indeed be judged for its sin (2 Kings 22:15-17 and 2 Chronicles 34:23-25), but that Josiah would not experience the coming judgment because of his tender heart and humility (2 Kings 22:18-20 and 2 Chronicles 34:26-28).

After receiving Huldah’s message, Josiah called all the people of Jerusalem to the house of the Lord where he read to them “all the words of the book of the covenant, which was found in the house of the Lord” (2 Kings 23:1-2 and 2 Chronicles 34:29-30). Josiah then made a covenant to faithfully follow the Lord and all the people made the same covenant with him (2 Kings 23:3 and 2 Chronicles 34:31-33).

Practical Consideration: We should not treat the Bible like a lost book.
When Hilkiah found the lost book of the law in the house of the Lord, it changed the course of events in the life of Judah. We are fortunate to have Bibles in our homes. We treat the Bible like a lost book however, when we fail to read, study, and obey its message.

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