Who Was Josiah?
Josiah was only 8 years old when he became King.
His story is found in the Bible. He was the 16th King of Judah.
He reigned in Jerusalem for 31 years and was a direct descendant of King David.
Josiah's father Amon was assassinated by servants who conspired against him 2-years into his reign.
Josiah had reigned for 18 years when he ordered a work project to repair the LORD's temple.
His secretary Shaphan returned from the temple with a book.
The priest Hilkiah had found the Book of the Law in the temple and given it to Shaphan.
Josiah is horrified as the book is read to him. He rips his royal clothes agonizing over what he is hearing.
He had been leading the nation for 16 whole years without any input from God's Word.
He is aware that disaster is looming over the nation he is leading. They have strayed so far from God.
Josiah sends 5 men throughout the land to find someone, anyone who hears from the LIVING God.
A prophetess is found in the land by the name of Huldah.
This is the message the LIVING God sends back to Josiah...
"I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.... But because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and it's people that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD... your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place."
(2 Kings 22 & 23)
How Josiah Responds!
10 things Josiah did in response the message he received from the LORD:
1) He gathers all the people (the least to the greatest) in the kingdom. And reads in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant found in the temple.
2) Josiah renews his personal commitment to the LIVING God in the presence of the entire nation he was leading. The people follow suit.
3) Josiah ordered the priests and doorkeepers to REMOVE from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts that his grandfather Manasseh had set up in the LORD's house.
4) Josiah BURNED all the idols outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley.
5) Josiah DID AWAY with the pagan priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah.
6) Josiah TORE DOWN the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes which were in the temple of the LORD and where women did weaving for the false god Asherah.
7) Josiah DESECRATED Topheth, so that no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech, anymore.
8) Josiah REMOVED from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, and BURNED them.
10) Josiah GOT RID of the mediums and spiritists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem.
10) The king also DESECRATED the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption--the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the people of Ammon. Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones.
What Josiah Is Credited For
The Bible tells us, that "Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did--with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength."
Josiah caused the angel of death to pass over the nation of Israel.
Josiah destroyed ALL centers of idol worship in Israel.
Josiah restored true worship in Israel.
Josiah reinstated the Passover.
Josiah returned the nation back to the LORD.
The Hebrew Name Josiah Means