INTRODUCTION: The purpose of any reformation is to rectify the bad, deplorable or deteriorating situation of things – in this case, in the religious lives of the people. Josiah’s reform began as a result of the discovery of the book of the Law when the repairs of the temple in Jerusalem was being carried out.

    a. Josiah mounted the throne at the age of 8 years. He reigned for 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidiah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. His ways were right in the sight of the Lord comparable to his father David.
    b. 18 years into his reign, he ordered Shaphan the scribe to go to Hilkiah the high priest to collect the money brought into the house of the Lord by the people.
    c. The purpose was so that they would deliver the money into the hands of carpenters, builders and masons to buy the things necessary for the repairs in the temple.
    d. When Shaphan returned, he brought back the money given to him by the high priest; but he then said to the king: “Hilki′ah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.” (2 Kings 22:10).
    e. When the king heard the words which was read to him, he tore his clothes. Then he sent Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asiah one of the king’s servants, with an instruction to “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” (2 Kings 22:13).
    f. So they all went to Huldah the prophetess the wife of Shullam. She returned the following words to the king: “God says, I will bring evil upon this place and the inhabitants; I will bring upon them all the words of the book which you the king of Judah has read. I will do it because they have forsaken me and have burned incense to other gods, thereby provoking me to anger with all the work of their hands, so that my wrath is be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched.
    g. But because, you, the king of Judah, who sent them to inquire of me, your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord, when you heard how I spoke against this place, and its inhabitants, you tore your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you.
    h. Behold, I will let you die in peace, so that your eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place.’” (2 Kings 22:16-20).

NOTE. (1) This NOTE is in four parts: to be taken twice a week for two weeks. This is the first part. (2). We have learned in this part that; (i) If God calls someone, He will equally put in him or her all the resources required to accomplish the task at hand, like Josiah. So, exercising fear should not arise. (ii) Young people must be determined to denounce everything evil in the society; that is the only way they can stand firm and strong, and be able to fulfill whatever assigment God, and even man has given them to do.
i. In an attempt to continue his reformation, king Josiah deemed it fit for him to carry out reformation, not only in his immediate abode, but also in the Northern kingdom.
ii. The altar at Bethel, which was erected by Jeroboam at the high place, he pulled it down and broke in pieces its stones, crushing it into dust, also burned the Asherah images.
iii. He sent and removed the bones out of the tombs on the mount, and burned them upon the altar as prophesied by the man of who foretold the reformation.
iv. He equally ensured that all the shrines of the high places in the cities of Samaria made by the kings of Judah to provoke the Lord to anger, Josiah removed them.
v. Upon the altar, Josiah ordered them to kill the priests who burned the bones of men upon it.
vi. When Josiah completed his reformation in the Northern kingdom, he returned to Jerusalem.
NOTE: Depending on how proactive a leader is, sometimes, our reforms (leadership influence) may go beyond our sphere of influence, traversing places we never thought it would reach. (b) That is why it is good that whatever we must be guided by the Word of God; and we must have a good heart, instead of being driven by ego.
i. There are so many areas that requires reformation in the religious affairs of Nigeria.
ii. Like in the days of Josiah, there are so many second-rate Priests/Pastors/Prophets/Imams, who need to be put out of their offices. This is necessary because they are imposters, they are not called.
iii. If we take time to go to so many of our so called churches and mosques, we will witness a lot of despicable practice which are not commanded by God. This must be condemned and dealt with appropriately.
iv. Just as there were male and female religious prostitutes during the time of Josiah, today, there are prostitutes who are parading themselves as angels of light, whereas they are synagogues of Satan.
v. There should be genuine national repentance. Everything Josiah did began with genuineness of purpose and intention. We need national repentance like the people of Nineveh did. They cried out to God with genuineness of heart, and He heard them, and turned around their fortune l.
vi. Ministerial work should not go to the highest bidder and by desire: it must be by genuine call. Getting into the ministerial office without an authentic call is to make a mess of ones life, and at the same time help in ruining the lives of others.
vii. Ministry placement should not be for material acquisition. ‘A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of what he possesses.’ Those who should be allowed to continue in ministry should be those who are prepared to seek first the kingdom, and allow God to add the rest blessings unto them, and not vice versa.
viii. There should be no hesitation in bringing to justice anyone is believed to have misused his position as ordained by God, even to the point of death sentence.
NOTE: (a) In the first two parts, we learned two lessons; I hope you have not forgotten. (b) We have seen that reformation could go beyond our immediate environment. (c) If we are genuine in our pursuit of religious reformation, God will not hesitate in granting our request. (d) Religious practices that are despicable is not of God; they should not be tolerated; they should be sought out and be destroyed.
ASSIGNMENT: Mention the name of your church, and then, state two practices you dislike in the church, and how you think they can be reformed.