Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord. Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to arouse his anger. So the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.”
As for the other events of Josiah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo. Josiah’s servants brought his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in place of his father.
We’ve come to the end of Josiah’s story. Is that it? He did all that hard work repenting and God still turned his face away from Judah? Josiah tore down all the idols of the false gods and his people were still taken by Nebuchadnezzar into Babylon!
It’s a bleak story, but it isn’t the last story. Throughout the Old Testament we read again and again of the Jews breaking the covenant with God, making sacrifices to renew it, only to break it again. The only possible outcome seems to be God abandoning Judah just as he had abandoned Israel. The Jews are subjects of the Egyptians, of the Assyrians, of the Babylonians, and eventually the Romans. Their attempts to repent are too little, too late.
Finally, a King arrives and frees His people. The King is a descendent of David, and reunites Judah and Israel. He is able to satisfy God’s wrath for more than one generation, but for all generations. His victory is not Israel defeating Rome, but Life defeating death, and the beginning of the Kingdom of God on Earth, which we are called to build. So what does revival mean? Revival means repenting of our sins, accepting our identities as subjects of the king, and beginning the work of Kingdom building.
Pray: King Jesus, we thank You for the sacrifice You made to save us from death. We broke the covenant with God, and we needed You to take the punishment that we couldn’t. We repent our sins and ask for the revival of our church and The Church as we build Your Kingdom on Earth. Amen.