Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jesse Tree Day 20 - Josiah

Then the king directed that all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem should be gathered to him. The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him went all the people of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. All the people joined in the covenant.  - 2 Kings 23:1-3

So many times in the Bible as well as in real life people who are stinkers have great kids and people who are great have kids who are stinkers. Josiah was the great-grandson of Hezekiah and a very worthy descendant he was. Hezekiah son and grandson however were real stinkers. All the good Hezekiah did as far as restoring the Temple and the worship of God was negated in those two intervening generations. Josiah gained his crown at the young age of eight and it took until he was twenty for him to rid himself of the advisors his father set up for him as well as the corrupt priests and other crooks who led the people back into syncretism. Like Hezekiah, Josiah cleaned up the Temple and in repairing and reconstructing a scroll was found. It wasn't just any scroll; it was the scroll of Moses, the Torah.

The scroll was brought to Josiah who asked to have a reading from it. The reading turned out to be prophetic, a warning of punishment to those who failed to do what God required. Josiah realized what he was hearing and sent  a message to the closest prophet, a prophetess named Hulda, for confirmation and clarification. It was confirmed that Judah would be overthrown because of the sins of false worship, unrighteousness and the like, but because Josiah was a godly man who was repentant and sincerely tried to lead the people to righteousness, he would die before such tragedy occurred. It happened just as the prophecy foretold. Josiah was wounded in battle and brought back to Jerusalem where he died. Before too many generations passed  the rest of the prophecy would come to pass.

What can I learn from Josiah?  Being the child of a good or a bad parent doesn't necessarily make me good or bad, it's how I live my life.  Choosing to do good has rewards just as doing wrong has punishments, maybe not instantaneously but at some point in time. It is a good thing to get confirmation from a wise person when trying to discern what something means or what action to take. It's also a very good idea to live so that when I die people remember what good things I did and mourn me with love instead of holding me to my wrongdoing .

Live righteously.

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