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Imagine if the Bible disappeared—lost to history, with no surviving copies to be found. How would you know how to relate to God? How could you tell if you were obeying His will?
That was Judah’s dilemma when Josiah took the throne at the age of eight. The Book of the Law had not been seen or read for generations— perhaps not since Hezekiah, the last good king of Judah (and Josiah’s great-grandfather). Since then, Judah had sunk to new lows, particularly during the reign of Manasseh, who sacrificed humans and defiled the Jewish temple—only to be humiliated when the Assyrians took him prisoner.
Josiah was the reformer King, who changed everything for the better. Josiah had reigned for eight years when he decided to turn things around and follow God. Still a teenager, he implemented top-down reforms with zeal, obliterating pagan worship sites and repairing the temple. But with no Book of the Law to guide him, how would Josiah know what else needed to be done?
While cleaning the temple, a priest named Hilkiah rediscovered the Book of the
Law. It was brought to Josiah and read aloud—but rather than celebrate, Josiah lamented. Its words were a painful reminder of how far the Israelites had wandered from God’s ways. Even worse, the prophetess Huldah announced that it was too late for Judah to escape judgment. The only consolation for Josiah was that he would not live to see its demise.
This, however, did not discourage him from pursuing reform. He ordered the Book of the Law read aloud to the people, renewed the covenant with God, and reinstated the Jewish feast. Unfortunately, Josiah’s untimely death in battle meant the throne passed to his son, Jehoahaz—who lasted just three months.
Josiah followed God, even though he knew his country was doomed.
His legacy of faithfulness is recorded for all to read in the scriptures. Josiah’s life serves as a reminder of the value of unwavering devotion to God, even when the whole world seems to be moving in the opposite direction.
- This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by Bukola.