Yesterday, I was reading in 2 Kings about King Josiah, I was stunned by the level of this man’s repentance. After hearing from the book of the law about how his nation had sinned and how God was going to bring judgment upon Judah, we can read of Josiah’s reaction and God’s response to him.
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.
Josiah had a tender heart and ripped his garment and cried tears as a sign of his mourning, but he did not stop there. In 2 Kings 23:2,3, we read how King Josiah gathered all the people together and read to them from the book of the law and then made a covenant before the Lord, that him and his people would walk after the Lord and keep his commandments. In the rest of this chapter, we can read of the many things Josiah did to show that he was serious about not only confessing but forsaking sin and living to please God.
-He took the vessels out of the house of God that had been used to worship Baal and other false gods and had them burnt – 2Ki. 23:4
-Got rid of the idolatrous priests – v. 5
-He took out the grove(I researched this some, and it was an idol called Asherah that the people had worshipped), burnt it and stamped it down to powder and sprinkled it on the graves of the common people. -v.6
-He broke down the houses of the sodomites that were by the house of the Lord – v. 7
-Got rid of the high places(where idol worship also went on) – v.8
-He defiled Topeth(a place where people would go to offer human sacrifices to the god Molech)-v.10
-He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had used in worshipping the sun. (From what I read, these hours were used for men to mount and meet the sun each morning.) v. 11
-Beat and broke down altars that were used in the worship of false deities. -v. 12
-Defiled the high places that had been used in the worship of Ashteroth, Chemosh and Milcom – v. 13
-Broke the images in pieces and cut down the groves – v. 14
-Broke down the altar and high places in Bethel – v. 15
-Broked down the high places in Samaria – v. 19
-Slew all the priests of the high places – v. 20
-Got rid of all those in Judah and Jerusalem that practiced witchcraft. Got rid of all idols and images. -v. 24
It’s interesting to me what the Lord has to say after this list of things that Josiah did.
2 Kings 23:25
And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
As I read about Josiah a Scipture from the New Testament came to my mind. It was something that John the Baptist said to the Pharisees and Saducees that had come out to see him baptizing. He told them to
Matthew 3:8 – “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.”
In other words, “If you are coming to me to be baptized, show me some evidence that you have truly repented.
I believe Josiah’s actions clearly showed that he had repented and was serious about living for God. His actions not only affected himself but also a whole nation. May we have the kind of repentance that is truly pleasing to God, a Proverbs 28:13 repentance.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.