Josiah Reigns in Judah
22 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 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.
Josiah Repairs the Temple
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the house of the LORD, saying, “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money that has been brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the threshold have collected from the people. And let it be given into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the LORD, and let them give it to the workmen who are at the house of the LORD, repairing the house (that is, to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons), and let them use it for buying timber and quarried stone to repair the house. But no accounting shall be asked from them for the money that is delivered into their hand, for they deal honestly.”
Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law
And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the LORD.” Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, “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.”
So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter), and they talked with her. And she said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, Thus says the LORD, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place.’” And they brought back word to the king.
2 Kings 22 Commentary
by Hank Workman
“Revival and spiritual awakening are marked by expressions of the conviction of sin.”-David Guzik
As we’ve read the countless stories of the kings and their rise and fall – it is a rare find to come across one who obeyed God completely. Josiah was only 8 years old when he became king after his father was assassinated. For 18 years he reigned obediently, then an unexpected thing happened. While performing the orders of rebuilding the neglected Temple, the Book of the Law was found.
This would have been the first 5 books of our Bible. More than likely under the previous evil kings had been lost, not looked upon or cared for. It possibly was even an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ aspect that is so common within our own human nature. It was simply put away and forgotten.
Josiah’s initial response was deep mourning. There was conviction of the sinful waywardness of the people and past kings. A spiritual work began in Josiah that was immediately transferred from his own life to the people of Judah. This was not simply a ‘transformation of information’ – it impacted and stirred a spiritual power unlike anything seen within that nation in years, possibly centuries. Realizing how corrupt his nation had become he wept. And so at 26, King Josiah began widespread spiritual reforms.
The discovery of God’s law, the reading of the Word changed the course of the nation. Conviction led to a national revival – which started with one individual.
Within our Western culture, most have Bibles. As they sit and gather dust, many don’t take the time or have the priority of spending time each day within the Word, which is a gift we have. Few are affected by the Truth that is found there. Not only is the Word the Sword of the Spirit, the only weapon of our warfare, but it is also what brings meaningful change to our lives. Like Josiah, it should bring conviction that leads toward immediate reform personally. The Word is our guide and also a tremendous help in living in the will of God.
The revival of the entire nation began with one person. It began with spiritual conviction that led toward an immediate change of course. The same is true for each and every one of us. We have burdens and longings and requests we are more than willing to lay at the feet of Jesus, but we need also to be transformed and renewed by the Word of God. What if spiritual revival over our own nation or within the burdens of people we pray for was contingent on our own reform first? It begins with one. Are you that person?
2 Kings 22 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
It is through the Word of God that we are able to see and feel the conviction our heart needs to change. For Josiah, it occurred during a tough time for the nation. Many times we feel conviction but do not act upon it. Josiah acts immediately. In fact, he tears his clothes signifying repentance and shame. There have been times in my past that I have felt convicted during a sermon or conference, but ultimately decided not to go to the altar. Again, this was not the case with Josiah.
It’s possible that copies of this book were destroyed during Manasseh’s evil years. No matter what, this hidden copy was meant to be found at the proper time. It would be during a time when Josiah set his heart upon the temple. Purging the nation of false gods and walking in the path of David, he would take upon the noble task of temple repairs.
Even when we have neglected the Word and destroyed our witness, God hides His truth in the hearts of believers. It may be weeks, or months, or years, but God is persistent in His seeking of those who have wandered and His seeds of truth are meant to be found at the proper time.
Josiah’s heart was fertile for the book’s words to land squarely upon it, and open it to the ways in which the nation had abandoned God. We should pray the same for ourselves.
I am struck by the abundant grace of God. Judah had tried to run as far away from God as possible. They had intentionally abandoned His instruction and ignored His presence. Yet, after they experienced the consequences of their betrayal, He was still there. He is still here with us as well.
If there was any reason to hit our knees, the past two chapters should be a great indication of how God’s extreme love always seeks to draw back those who have wandered.