Sep27WedSeptember 27, 2017
If you’ve been following along with our Daily Scripture Reading, the Lord has led you through a journey of studying the various kings among God’s people, Israel. Currently, King Josiah is in focus. His story is quite remarkable and worth of reflecting upon.
Josiah inherited a terrible heritage from his father and grandfather. His grandfather, Manasseh, was king over Israel for 55 years...a commendable length of time. Yet 2 Kings 21:9 tells us that he led God’s people to do more evil than the pagan nations had done. He encouraged God’s people to worship the stars, seek fortune-tellers, bow to pagan idols and even had his own son burned as an offering to a heinous god (2 Kings 21:3,6). The son which followed Manasseh as king, continued these practices and left young Josiah with a spiritual mess when he died. But, Josiah sought wisdom from the Lord and lived a very different life.
Whether or not you come from a Godly heritage and home life, this week I invite you to consider Josiah’s habits of faithfulness. After all, two entire chapters have been given by the Lord for us to consider! Perhaps his example may prompt you to revisit some ways to strengthen your legacy for the Lord.
First, Josiah restored the systems of worship and the study of God’s Word, once the Scriptures were rediscovered (22:3-19). He desired to be known as a leader who led God’s people back to the core elements of their faith. Worship and Word helped to establish a Godly heritage and such elements are necessary for us as well.
Secondly, Josiah sought out to remove the many idols which his grandfather and father had established and worship. This would have been a difficult, but clear task in his time. For us, such tasks are more difficult. Sometimes it can be very hard to determine the idols which exist in our family life or in our personal lives. The involvement of Scripture helps to remove the blinders from our eyes. However, we also need to be quick to remove idols in our lives once they become evident. Josiah modeled this well.
Thirdly, Josiah reestablished the celebration of the Passover, a time to remember the mercy of God through the shedding of blood from the sacrificial lamb. This celebration was to foreshadow the crucifixion of Jesus. Therefore, the mercy of God, Jesus in our place, should also be a regular event of remembrance, not just in our church but also in our homes.
Finally, Josiah looked back several generations to King David in order to revisit healthy habits of Godly leadership. David certainly was not perfect. However, David’s constant return to the ways of the Lord was a characteristic which Josiah wanted for his life and legacy. This real-life example helped Josiah make faithful living a priority. It can be really hard to follow God if we don’t have a physical example to study and imitate.
Have you been handed down any of these habits? If so, take some time to praise the Lord! There are many in our world who have not had such a heritage.
But regardless of what you’ve been given, how are you practicing these Godly habits in your life? As Paul Walles highlighted on Sunday, faithful living doesn’t just happen. Yes, we are saved by grace. But cultivating a faithful legacy takes a lot of work! But it’s work worth doing. Which habits of faithfulness flow from your life? How do they compare to Josiah’s example? May we become a people whose legacy is worth recording and remembering for generations to come!