2 Kings 22:18-19 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people – that they would become a curse and be laid waste – and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the LORD. …”
Josiah was only 8 years old when he was required to give spiritual and political leadership to the LORD’s Chosen Covenant People, after nearly six decades of their being led astray by the corrupt, godless, rebellious leadership of his grandfather, Manasseh, and his father, Amon. He would have had godly tutors and pious political leaders who influenced him during the early years of his reign, and at the age of 16 he began to take God into account instead of conforming to the idolatrous practices that were so prevalent in Jerusalem. When he reached the age of 20 his convictions were so firmly established that he used his royal authority to initiate a religious reformation.
The Scriptures record his most noteworthy achievements as the cleaning up of the Temple when he was 26, the finding of the long ‘forgotten’ Book of sacred Law, and the subsequent widespread spiritual reforms that took place as a result.
It is significant that the King began the reforms by first humbling himself before the LORD and confessing his own sin with a truly penitent heart. As we reflect on how our nation has rejected God’s Word, and continues to enact laws that deliberately oppose the truths about God and his will, especially his gracious and love-inspired provision of a Saviour in the Person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, do we respond, first and foremost with a humble, penitent heart as Josiah did, or do we slip subconsciously into a judgemental, condemnatory thought mode concerning ‘the wicked world’ around us?
– Bruce Christian