August 5: 2 Kings 22-23 & 2 Chronicles 34-35
8 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. 9 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.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king.
11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 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, 13 “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 Kings 22:8-13
Too Little, Too Late!
Josiah was only 8 years old when he began to reign over Judah, and yet he was probably the most remarkable king of all! Like his great-grandfather, Hezekiah he was a good king who feared the Lord. When Hilkiah, the priest, found the lost Book of the Law of God, he immediately took the book to Josiah and read it to him. The Book of the Law was clear that the destruction of Judah was imminent.
Have you ever thought of an early death as a blessing? This was certainly the case with Josiah; because of his love of the Lord, God withheld judgment until after the death of Josiah, at age 39. In his short time as the king he brought about remarkable reforms to the land of Judah, purging it (and even parts of Samaria) of all of the idols, mediums, necromancers, and things dedicated to false gods.
And he removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts. And he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.
When the land was cleansed, Josiah ordered that the passover be kept according to the commandment of God.
21 And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges who judged Israel, or during all the days of the kings of Israel or of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.
But, in all of this, it was still a case of "too little, too late." As we were reminded in yesterday's devotion, the time will come when the long suffering mercy of God to the unconverted will end. Have we reached that time again? Are we truly in the last days, nearing the time when Christ returns? That is a question many are asking?
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Luke 21:28, King James Version
God Bless You,
Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.