Bible Readings for November 9th
Josiah is the final great king of Judah. Despite being the grandson of Manasseh, who was Judah’s most wicked king, Josiah’s heart is inclined to Yahweh all the days of his life. Josiah even goes so far as to remove the high places in Judah (2 Kgs. 23:5, 8, 13, 15, 19, 20), something that not even the godliest kings of Judah did (1 Kgs. 15:14, 22:43; 2 Kgs. 12:3, 14:4, 15:4, 15:35).1 Josiah is given one of the strongest commendations received by a king throughout all the books of 1 and 2 Kings: “And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left” (2 Kgs. 22:2).
Josiah’s most significant reforms come as a result of directing the priests to use money given to the temple to make repairs, and it is in the midst of this work that Hilkiah, the high priest, finds the Book of the Law (2 Kgs. 22:3–8). Hilkiah gives the book to Shaphan, the secretary of the king, who reads the book aloud in the presence of King Josiah (2 Kgs. 22:10). When Josiah hears the words of the Book of the Law, he tears his clothes as the word of Yahweh reveals to him the full seriousness of the sins of Judah. Josiah commands his officials, “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 Kgs. 22:13).
Josiah’s repentance models for us the goal of true ministry. While many desire for religious experiences to be primarily positive and encouraging, Josiah sees the magnitude of his people’s unrighteousness condemned by the Book of the Law, and he mourns the great wrath that has been kindled because of their sins. It is only in his humble repentance—not through shallow positivity regarding his condition—that Josiah finds Yahweh’s favor (2 Kgs. 22:18–20).
What is your response to the word of Yahweh? Does it cause you to mourn your sin and to flee to Christ in faith, trusting in his salvation alone for your sin? Where our sin—and therefore, Yahweh’s wrath—is great, our Savior Jesus is greater, so that all those who look to him in faith will be saved to the uttermost. Follow in the footsteps of Josiah by throwing yourself completely on the mercy of Jesus.
1 The only exception was Hezekiah, who had also removed the high places (2 Kgs. 18:4).
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.