"Josiah, the Child king of Judah. [1 - 2]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 34:1Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years."
Josiah took the throne of the house of Judah at the tender age of eight. He witnessed the end of the troubles of his father Manasseh, who took the kingdom of Judah to it's lowest point in idolatry. Josiah's own kin were offered on the fire altar to Moloch [Molech]. That wickedness in the kingdom of his father was brought down by God because of all it's wickedness. God tested King Manasseh for his sins, and Manasseh was made to humble himself before the Lord. In the end, Manasseh turned back to the Father, tore down the idols and altars to false gods, and brought the people back to the house of the Lord. When King Manasseh died, his son Amon took the throne, and when Amon tried to bring the kingdom of Judah back into idolatry, the people of the land wanted nothing to do with that idolatry. The people of Judah had seen how the curses of God came upon them when they were under idolatry.
This eight year old child with his young and tender heart was placed by the people to be their leader. Josiah was chosen king because he had not practiced the forms of idolatry of his fathers. Those that gave him counsel could guide him in his decisions and lead him away from Baal and grove orgies.
The placing of a child on the throne in Judah also took place after Queen Athaliah, the daughter of Jezebel tried to kill off all the sons of King Ahaziah, for this would give the kingdom over to her sons. The problem with her thinking and plans was that one of the sons of king Ahaziah lived. The baby Joash was alive at the bottom of the heap of his brothers, and in secret, Jehoshabeath his sister and a daughter of king Ahaziah stole Joash from beneath the heap of the king's sons that were slain.
Joash was six years old when he took the throne. He was raised in the Temple by Jehoiada the High Priest, and his life was kept a secret until the right moment in time. Jehoiada the High Priest was the husband of Joash's sister Jehoshabeath. When Joash became king, the decisions of the kingdom were controlled by his uncle Jehoiada, and we see that the mind of king Joash was to follow the ways of the laws of God as given to Moses, and the defending of the only home he knew, the Temple.
Just when it looked like Judah was headed back into the right before direction after Manasseh humbled himself before the Lord, he died. His son Amon took the throne and turn the nation right back in the direction of idolatry. When the king's servants saw that king Amon was trying to lead Judah back into the ways of Baal, these servants wanted nothing to do with those ways of idolatry and they killed Amon. So at Amon's death, the People of Judah made this young boy Josiah their king.
II Chronicles 34:2 "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left."
Under King Josiah's thirty one years of leadership, he sought to follow the instructions to the letter of the law from the Laws and Commandments of God. He wasn't harder on the people or softer than the Laws of God demanded. There was no favoritism shown, nor was there undue hardship on certain people. The Laws of God became the Law of the land.
At the founding of America, the Laws of God became the foundation of our Constitution and Laws. Down through the years many changes had been made, and under this present set of Laws that is going in force, God's laws are slowly being removed and replaced by "the Law of Precedence". Under the Law of Precedence, a judge is allowed to take another judges decision in a like case and make that ruling the foundation of his decision. In the end, we have a set of Laws that sway both to the right and to the left. The decisions all depends on who is sitting on the bench, and if his thinking is the direction toward God's laws, or the mind of the worldly ways. No wonder we see the many varied trial outcomes that are being given today. A bribe to one judges sets the standard for other decisions following that case. Under King Josiah, Judah was governed strictly by the Laws of God, for "he sought to do that which was right in the eyes of God" as written in His Word. There was no bribe taking and giving favors to the rich and famous under Josiah.
II Chronicles 34:3 "For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images."
By the eight year of this boy's reign, King Josiah made his move to have all forms of heathen religious practices and idolatry removed from the land of Judah. He led the way in cleaning up the temple and tearing down all the high places and the groves where those sex orgies took place. He removed all the man made images that would cause people worship. Think of it, a sixteen year old child leading his nation into changing their wicked ways. He didn't just send others to do the job, he went out and witnessed the destruction for himself.
II Chronicles 34:4 "And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them."
Notice the used of the phrases; "Brake down"; "cut down"; "brake into pieces"; "made dust of them"; and "burnt": to show the thoroughness of the work that Josiah was leading. He was cleaning up the land, and not leaving any of those wicked heathen worship forms in sight.
II Chronicles 34:5 "And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem."
Those priests of Baal that had died were being worshipped and their grave sites were made monuments. This form of angel worship stopped when Josiah dug up the graves and turned the dead remains to ashes. Then he destroyed those monuments to where there would be no more monuments of focus for angel worship of the dead.
II Chronicles 34:6 "And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about."
Remember that the House of Israel had been scattered about hundred years prior to this time of Josiah. The people of the house of Israel were removed from off their lands and replaced by five other captive heathen nations of the Assyrians. The remnant that was left behind from the tribes of the House of Israel had their monuments also destroyed and Josiah burned those remains. From Simeon's land in the extreme south, to Naphtalia in the land of Hamath in the north: These lands were cleansed of the forms of idolatry. The "mattocks" are their ruins. It didn't matter if the town still existed or not, if there was a monument praising a man, it was taken down and it and the bones under it were destroyed. There would be no prayers to the dead, or angel worship in Judah or Israel.
II Chronicles 34:7 "And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into power, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem."
This project of cleaning up the land of Israel and Judah from all forms of idolatry took six years, and when it was finished, King Josiah returned to Jerusalem to reign.
II Chronicles 34:8 "Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God."
Just like the child Joash, the six year old that grew up in the house of God; Josiah wanted the house of God rebuilt and made as God had ordered it to be build. The king ordered the repairs on the house of the Lord his God. The priests that lived and worked in the house of God never made the move to repair the Temple, but the child kings forced the move to repair. Josiah is following the same path that Joash did many years prior.
II Chronicles 34:9 "And when they came to Hiliah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem."
The King Josiah sent out Shaphan and Maaseiah the governor of Jerusalem to collect the money for the construction. These men went not only to the people of the House of Judah, but also to the remnant of the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. When the money was in hand Joah the recorder was required to account for all the money. The money collected was then taken to the Temple and given to Hiliah the High Priest, to see to it that the job was done right, exactly as God required it, as given by God to King Solomon.
II Chronicles 34:10 "And they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the Lord, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and amend the house:"
This work on the Temple of God was not expected to be freely donated, but skilled craftsman were hired and the job was done right. Professional stone cutters were used for the stone work; masons for the brick work; carpenters for the wood work; and so on. The details of every part of the job was as God commanded it to be done and given to Solomon. No shortcuts: If more money was needed, it was collected and each man on the job was paid for his labor.
II Chronicles 34:11 "Even to the artificers and builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to floor the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed."
The destruction of the House of God was done by orders given by Josiah's father and grandfather, and now Josiah is seeing to it that repairs are made and things will be put back in order. When a wicked king rules over the land, then the people and the House of God will suffer, but when a God fearing man or woman is on the throne, there will be respect for God and house of God. It's no different today than it was then, for as we look at the nations around us today, each nation is a reflection of the king or queen, or government that rules it. Even when Communism ruled over half the world, it fell in three days as the hand of God.
II Chronicles 34:12 "And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and other of the Levites, all that could skill of instruments of musick."
Notice here that all the work done in the Temple had a member of the Levites being responsible for his part of the Temple, overseeing their part of the job. Remember that the Kohathites were set over the keeping of the sacred things within the house of the Lord, the Merarites was the family of Levites that did all the heavy work. The sons of Aaron tended to the altar and holy of holies, and represented the people before the face of God. This rebuilding of the Temple was done in a business manner, and those over a job were held responsible for the work done under them.
II Chronicles 34:13 "Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and were overseers of all that wrought the work in any manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters."
Though the skilled work was hired, the four families of the Levites were there to oversee the heavy work, and take care of the duties of their office. When they were doing their job, they were paid, for each man is worthy of his hire.
Think of it: What you pay your preacher or spiritual leader is what you think of him or her. He [or she] has all the same bills that each member of the congregation has and is required to pay their taxes too. Yet, many church house think that somehow their pastor or teacher is substandard, and should give of their time free. Pay the man or woman what is required of him or her to do the job of the congregation, so his (her) mind will be on the service of the Lord to the congregation. This was the standard that Josiah set for those doing the work in God's in Judah
II Chronicles 34:14 "And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses."
It is strange but when Hilkiah the high priest got to the bottom of the money box, there was a Book of the Law as God gave it to Moses. Remember under king Manasseh, he thought he had destroyed all the books of the Law, yet God had allowed this book to appear at just the right time. The Temple was rebuild, and all the priests and Levites were anointed and sanctified to do their job. Then just at the right time God placed the book of the Law before them. This book was without doubt the book which Moses himself wrote, the original copy of the Pentateuch, as we read in 2 Kings 22:8.
Many times when we plant the seeds of truth of the Word of God in someone's mind, or give out a bible or tract; and it will be years later before the fruit of that effort takes hold.
II Chronicles 34:15 "And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord." And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan."
When Hilkiah found the book at the bottom of the money box, he had Shaphan the account of the king take it to him immediately.
II Chronicles 34:16 "And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, "All that was committed to thy servants, they do it."
Not only did Shaphan report that the reconstruction job of the Temple was completed, he was reporting that at the bottom of the money box the book of the laws of God was located.
II Chronicles 34:17 "And they have gathered together the money that was found in the house of the Lord, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and to the hand of the workmen."
When the job was finished, every worker received his full pay for his labor.
II Chronicles 34:18 "Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, "Hilkiah the priest hath given me a book." And Shaphan read it before the king."
Hilkiah the high priest gave the book to the scribe Shaphan, and told him to take the book to the king. When it was given to Josiah, he told his scribe to read the book.
II Chronicles 34:19 "And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes."
Many things are done in ignorance to the Word of God, and when they are brought to light, it humbles the person to know what he has done in ignorance. No God will not hold that person responsible when there is true repentance of those acts. As the Laws and Ten Commandments were read before the King, the Spirit of God touched this man's heart and he repented. Remember that he did not have the law to this point in time, for King Manasseh had tried to destroy all the records of the Law and the Ten Commandments. Yet he still tried to do that which was right by his knowledge in the eyes of the Lord. However now Josiah has the Law and the Ten Commandments, and there is no ignorance to his actions, and Josiah humbled himself before the Lord.
II Chronicles 34:20 "And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asiah a servant of the king's, saying,"
II Chronicles 34:21 " "Go, enquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book."
Now that Josiah knows of the blessings and cursings of the law, and the details of those offerings and sacrifices that are required for sin. He sent Shaphan the scribe back to the High Priest to prepare the sacrifices and offerings that are required under the Law. However even the High Priest was not aware of those offerings and sacrifices that were required under the law, so they all went down the road to the seamstress Huldah the prophetess house. She worked as a wardrobe keeper, but she had and kept the Word of the Lord in her heart and mind. The people knew she was a prophetess, a teacher of the Word, and now the entire kingdom is seeking direction from this woman.
Today many preachers and denominations, and church bodies think that only the man can take the role as leader in the church, but here in Judah and Jerusalem, only Huldah could instruct in the ways of the Lord.
II Chronicles 34:22 "And Hilkiah, and they that the king had appointed, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college:) and they spake to her to that effect."
Even the King went down to Huldah the prophetess' house for instruction, for she lived on the grounds of the college where she worked in Jerusalem.
II Chronicles 34:23 "And she answered them, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, `Tell ye the man that sent you to me,"
When Huldah asked the Lord for instruction and guidance and God gave her exactly what was to be said, and Huldah the prophetess hid nothing. She called a sin a sin, and gave the king exactly what he came to hear.
II Chronicles 34:24 " `Thus saith the Lord, `Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah:"
Huldah told the king that great trouble is coming on the land of Judah, and it will be exactly as you have read under the curses of the book of Moses. You wanted the truth, and you have read that truth from the Word of God. God was warning the King Josiah and the people to expect those things that you have read to come upon you, for you have sinned and there has been no blood sacrifice for those sins.
II Chronicles 34:25 "Because they have forsaken Me, and have burned incense upon other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore My wrath shall be poured out upon this place, and shall not be quenched.' ' "
For many years the people and royalty of Judah have turned their backs to the Laws and Ten Commandments of God, and sought their own pleasure. They did what was right in their own eyes, and tried to make their own pleasures and call it correct ways. We see this going on today in all levels of our society and government. They call for the separation of church and state, and then when the Bible is removed, those of a heathen mind think that they can redefine what is right and wrong, good and bad, love and hate, and it just doesn't work that way. God is being removed from the schools, and the courts, and all the other areas of our community, and then the people can't figure out why they have all the trouble in their community. Kids running wild in the streets, people killing one another; and crime in the streets being covered over in the courts by bribes, as well as our jobs leaving our land.
In the Law of Moses in his last speech before the Israelites entered into the promise land: Moses told the people as recorded in in Deuteronomy 28 of the blessings that they could expect when they followed the Laws and Commandments of God. Moses told them of the cursings that would come upon them when they did not. The people had over one hundred years of removal of the Laws and Commandments of God, and just like today, they had set their own ways of living. God has told the King, and the People that you now know the truth, and when these things come upon you, you know why. Huldah held nothing back for it was her people that these curses were coming down upon.
If we think that we can somehow condone Sodomy today; the murder of the unborn; the removal of the Word of God and His Commandments from our communities and nation, then expect those curses. When we redefined good and bad, right and wrong, and so on, then this message is for us also. Expect all the curses of Deuteronomy 28:15-65 to come right down on your head, and that of our nation, our military, our schools and into our homes and lives. It is coming and God has just told you to expect it. God will protect those that do follow His ways, and by knowing what is coming our way, we are to prepare for those times.
II Chronicles 34:26 "And as for the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the Lord, so shall ye say unto him, `Thus saith the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which thous hast heard;"
II Chronicles 34:27 "Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest His words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before Me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before Me; I have even heard thee also,' saith the Lord."
Did you get this message? God is telling the king, and each person that has heard the Word of God, understands it, and humbles him or herself before the Lord through repentance; that he will bless them for their repentance. God promised King Josiah that he would live a peaceful life and die in peace. He would not die as his fathers did before him, of sickness and murder.
II Chronicles 34:28 "Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same.' ' "
When Huldah finished giving King Josiah the message from God, it changed his entire life. That same message will change any person that hears the truth with understanding and repentance. So what did Josiah do with that understanding? He acted upon what he now knew to be the truth from God's holy Word.
II Chronicles 34:29 "Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem."
II Chronicles 34:30 "And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the People, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord."
The King demanded that the people of his kingdom all hear the truth from God's Word. He had the Word of God read to each person. The Word of God is the truth that was spoken in the House of the Lord, not some flower words as is spoken in many of the so called churches of today. King Josiah had become the defender of the faith of the true God, and the people of his kingdom will know the that faith.
II Chronicles 34:31 "And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Lord, and to keep HIs commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book."
This revival started with the king standing in the House of God and making a Covenant before the Lord and his people to keep God's Commandments and all the Testimonies or writings [Laws] that were written in the book of Moses. He swore this oath "with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book."
II Chronicles 34:32 "And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers."
Then after Josiah took this oath to follow all that was written the the Laws of God, he asked the people to do the same. Think of it, here some thousand years after their forefather swore this oath before Moses in the wilderness, standing at the edge of the Jordan ready to enter into the promise land; Josiah and his people are taking the same oath. They are telling God that they as a nation will follow His Laws and the Ten Commandments of the land, and make those Commandments part of their everyday living.
II Chronicles 34:33 "And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, evn to serve the Lord their God. and all his days they departed not from following the Lord, the God of their fathers."
When this oath was taken by King Josiah and the people, God took away all the abominations that he promised would come upon for their sins. The people sinned, and God was going to punish them for their sins; But when the people saw their wicked ways, repented and offered their sacrifices to the Lord, God heard their prayers, say their humility and sincerity, and forgave them of their sins: and healed their land.
God will do this same for us today living in these end times, either as a nation, or individually. Today there is no animal blood sacrifices required to be given, for our Lord Jesus Christ has paid that price, but when we humbly repent of our sins, and in repentance seek forgiveness from the Father through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is forgiveness. As we seek guidance from our studies in His Word, God's Spirit will guide us in our lives through His Word, and we will see the blessings and protection under His hand, when we ask for it. Jesus told us to come unto Him with our problems that are to heavy to handle, and he will give us rest from them and peace of mind; but it requires faith on your part to turn over those things that you simply cannot handle.
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