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.
- PREVALENT RELIGIOUS EVILS AT THE TIME OF JOSIAH – 2 KINGS 22:1ff.
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.