"Josiah's Reformation in Jerusalem"
This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
II Kings 22:1 "Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath."
Josiah was just a child when he started is reign, about the age of a fourth grader of today's standards. We will now see the type of mother that Josiah had, by the things that Josiah does when he is given the title king. Josiah will reign in Jerusalem for thirty one years. The name "Jedidah" in the Hebrew tongue means "one beloved of God." And she was, for even though she was married to Amon, her heart was good and her love and training for her son just. Remember his grandfather Manasseh was twelve years old when he began his reign. This then will be just the opposite for what happened when Hezekiah died, for the kingdom turned bad under Manasseh's reign, however we will see the kingdom turning from bad to good, under Josiah. This mother, Jedidah had a great deal to do with the conscience of Josiah, that turned his mind to the things of God.
II Kings 22:2 "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left."
This is the eighteenth generation in the long seed line of David his father. This boy was straight down the line according to the teachings of his mother. He followed the instructions he received to the letter of the law. He sought to know God and to please him in all that he did.
II Kings 22:3 "And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the Lord, saying,"
Josiah is twenty four years old when he sought to restore the temple.
II Kings 22:4 "Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the People:"
Keep in mind that we have had both Manasseh and Amon trying to wreck the temple and tare it apart, and now Josiah wants to restore all the damage that his father and grandfather had done to the house of the Lord. The Temple was full of foreign idols and altars, with all the other things that had taken place in the temple during the past sixty some years.
II Kings 22:5 "And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the house,"
So if Josiah is so righteous, why is he worried about building the walls and restoring the structure, rather than cleansing it of those heathen relics? There is a reason for this. We will see before the end of this chapter. So what is God trying to tell us here? In the spiritual level, recognize that God is the Father of each of them. Each of these men's thought processes were based on the input that they were allowed to receive from their youth. Thus, spiritually, God will lead each of us to the point of balancing our input of knowledge to bring us into the Millennium. That is what the Millennium is all about, the balancing the input of spiritual learning. As good as Josiah was, it is obvious that he had not received much spiritual training, for God's Word and the good priest had been murdered over the past sixty years for voicing their objections to those things that were going on.
Father is telling us that each of these persons has their own natural instinct, and one soul will allow certain things to happen, and his son will not. This gets to the point that each of us is either a child of the light or a child of darkness: Either sons of God, or sons of Belial [Satan the devil]. Each person is responsible for what we do and say ourselves, and not for the sins of our fathers, nor will the fathers answer for the sins of their children, and we will answer directly to our heavenly Father for their sins.
II Kings 22:6 "Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to by timber and hewn stone to repair the house."
II Kings 22:7 "Howbeit there was on reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully."
This is the second time that we have had a king ordering the restoring of the Temple and the money given directly to the workmen, because they were honest men. Anytime people are seeking to do work for the Father, they will be faithful to their task.
II Kings 22:8 "And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, "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."
For two generations the bible had completely disappeared and been forbidden to be read even by the priests. It was hid to the point that it was nowhere to be found. Yet here hid away by the high priest, was a single copy of the Word of God, and the high priest sent this copy over to the chief scribe to read it. Maybe this priest was afraid to bring the Word of God out in the light, and sought to have this layman stick his neck out before the king. Remember that all the other priests and prophets of God that had done this before were killed. So you see where this leaves Josiah, for there was no scripture in his life before this time, yet he still tried to please God in the only ways that he knew. There are many houses of God even today that our Word of God gets very little attention, and the people there are in the dark just as Josiah was here.
II Kings 22:9 "And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, "Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord."
Shaphan is reporting back to the king that the money has been delivered to the workmen, and the work has begun on the house of the Lord.
II Kings 22:10 "And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, "Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king."
Then in a matter of fact way, Shaphan brings out the fact that Hilkiah the priest had given him a book. Then Shaphan opened the book and started to read out of the book. This is the first time that this king had ever heard the words of the Lord, out of the Scriptures. Yet Josiah was a good man in the eyes of the Lord. Josiah was lead by the Spirit of God in all his ways, and Josiah listened to the Spirit's direction. Josiah is doing good and pleasing God, yet he has never heard the Word of God.
II Kings 22:11 "And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes."
This was the first time that he heard the Word of God, and he repented for all his sins in true repentance.
II Kings 22:12 "And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's saying."
II Kings 22:13 "Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us."
This faithful man has heard God's Word and the condemnation of those that would turn their backs of God, and he knew that God's wrath was kindled against him and the people of Judah. He is now searching earnestly to find the truth that God would have him do, concerning those things that were written in His Word. Josiah wants to hear directly from a man or woman of God just how it all applies to him and to the people. So he is going to the chief prophet of that day to find out the truth.
II Kings 22:14 "So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her."
This prophetess or woman, was the daughter of the keeper of the wardrobe room at the local college at Jerusalem. She is considered the prophetess that would most likely know the answers of the king. According to many churches today, woman are to keep silent in the church and not be heard, yet this lady is the spokesman for God before the king at this time. Remember all the other prophets and priests of God were murdered by Josiah's father and grandfather. The Word is not taught in the church, or the people would know that there have been many women prophetess from God. They don't know because they have been listening to the tales and traditions of men, guarding their jobs. They surely did not want this woman to keep quiet for she knows exactly what is going to happen in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. She was God's representative to His people at this time.
II Kings 22:15 "And she said unto them, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, `Tell the man that sent you to me,"
So here the king, the chief scribes and the priests are going to this woman and asking her what they should do to keep God's wrath from falling upon them. They all sat back when God's people were being slaughtered and did nothing, and now that the curse is upon them, they are coming before this little woman to seek guidance. According to most preachers today, God is not going to talk to her, yet here God is speaking to her and she is speaking for God.
Notice that there can be no mistake that all these men were sent by the king to inquire of Heldah directly. "Heldah" in the Hebrew means "weasel", and that is what they thought of this woman that the king sought answers from. It was no accident that these high officers of the church were coming to this woman, for they had no contact in the world with the things and matters of the Lord. The were off in their own church systems.
II Kings 22:16 "Thus saith the Lord, `Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:"
Josiah was twenty six years old when he finally heard the truth that came out of the words of the book. The news is not good news to him for God is saying that "I will bring evil upon this place, Jerusalem and upon the inhabitants thereof." This is the same message that God sent to Hezekiah, the last good king before Josiah.
II Kings 22:17 "Because they have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore My wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.' "
God is telling them because they have done all this sin against Him, and brought all the evil into the House of God, I will not change My mind, they will be removed from Jerusalem.
II Kings 22:18 "But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the Lord, thus shall ye say to him, `Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, `As touching the words which thou hast heard;"
Huldah is telling Shaphan to go and tell Josiah the king, though God will do this to Jerusalem and to the people, God still heard you prays and he saw you rent your clothes in repentance.
II Kings 22:19 "Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before Me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord."
Because your heart was merciful and you cared for the things of God, and humbled yourself before God, He will be merciful toward you. The point that God is stressing here is that it doesn't matter how bad the world is, or your family is, when you humbly seek the Lord in repentance, God hears you and he forgives you. God loves all those that love Him and humbly seek after the Father in repentance, and His wrath is not directed towards you. That is why it is important to let God know that you love Him, and repent through His Son Jesus Christ. God will not let the wrath that He brings on this world harm you one little speck, when he moves to bring His wrath on this world.
II Kings 22:20 "Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again."
This was a bombshell that hit Josiah's court for the prophetess has just told him that the entire kingdom, including all the people and structures would be destroyed after he died and was gone. Sure this was good news to him personally, but stop and think of how this good man would take it that all those people of his kingdom would perish after he was dead and gone. This prophetess woman told it like it was, and held back nothing. Her nation was going to be destroyed, and she withheld none of the bad news from the king. Was she the one that said it? of course not, it was the Father's Words.
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