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Josiah: “There Was No King Like Him”

Introduction.  In most instances in 1st & 2nd Kings, David is the king who is the model of service to God.  For example:

•  Abijam (I Kings 15:3)

•  Asa (I Kings 15:11)

However, there is one king who surpasses even David (II Kings 23:25).   This morning I’d like for us to look at the life of Josiah and consider exactly why it is that the Bible tells us “there was no king like him.”

I.  Prophecy Concerning Josiah.

A.  During the reign of Jeroboam. 

1.  Idolatrous worship of calves at Dan & Bethel.

2.  Man of God comes to Jeroboam at Bethel  (I Kings 13:1-5).

B.  God is never pleased when people try to create their own religious practices (II Timothy 4:3,4).

II.  Josiah’s Early Life.

A.  Wicked kingdoms of Amon (father) & Manasseh (grandfather) - II Kings 21

B.  Death of Amon (II Chronicles 33:21-25). 

C.  Reigns at Eight years old.  (II Chronicles 34:1-2). 

1.  Didn’t continue in the wickedness of his fathers (II Chronicles 34:3).

2.  It is important to seek God.  Why we are here - (Acts 17:24-28).

3.  We don’t always understand as fully as we should how to do that.

D.  Josiah starts to seek God.  Four years later he began to purge Judah of idolatry (II Chronicles 34:4).

1.  He did this from a relatively naive understanding of what it meant to “seek the God of his father David.”  (cf. Apollos  Acts 18:24-28).

III.  Josiah’s Golden Moment. 

A.  Six years later, in the 18th year of his reign, an event took place which changed Josiah forever.

1.  Restoration of the temple (II Chronicles 34:8-10). 

2.  Hilkiah finds “the book of the Law of the Lord [given] by Moses”1 (II Chronicles 34:14,15). The Hebrew here reads literally “in the hand of Moses.”  Clarke thinks this might have been the autograph or original copy written by Moses, perhaps of the book of Deuteronomy.  Lenski understands it more in the sense of what was given to Moses.  Josephus refers to this in the plural, “holy books of Moses” (Antiquities of the Jews, Bk. 10, 4.2).  We observed in our study of How We Got the Bible that Scripture does not speak of the “books of the Law” but considers it five books that form a whole “book of the Law.”

3.  Shaphan reads the book to the king  (II Kings 22:10). 

4.  What would you do?  You realize your people (i.e. family have done wrong?  (Matthew 10:37,38).

5.  What Josiah does.  (II Kings 22:11-13).

B.  Huldah’s prophecy (II Kings 22:14-19).

C.  Josiah’s response to God’s word.      

1.  Calls the people to pledge to follow God’s word (II Kings 23:1-3).  God’s mercy calls us to teach others (Psalm 51:12-14).

2.  He worked to further remove idolatry.   This involved destroying idols and booths for ritual homosexual prostitution that were actually within the temple (II Kings 23:4-7). 

3.  Burned the bones of dead idolatrous priests and scattered their ashes over former places of idolatry (II Chronicles 34:4,5).  This defiled these places preventing any future idolatry in them. 

4. Valley outside of Jerusalem called “the valley of the Son of Hinnom.”  Josiah’s grandfather Manasseh had sacrificed his own children there, and practiced witchcraft and sorcery there as well (II Chronicles 33:6). Josiah “defiled” the place of sacrifice to Molech there called Topheth (II Kings 23:10). 

5. Fulfillment of the prophesy concerning him.  He destroyed the altar built by Jeroboam, and burned the bones of its priests over it (II Kings 23:15,16). 

6.  God’s word tears down falsehood (II Corinthians 10:3-5).  True worship - Passover (II Kings 23:22).

7.  God wants true worship (John 4:23,24).

D.  He died after being mortally wounded opposing Pharoah Neco at Megiddo and was lamented by all the people and the prophet Jeremiah (II Chronicles 35:20-27).

Kyle Pope 2010

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