A Word that opens eyes
With new leadership comes change. Change in procedures, mindset, and attitude. In my 25 years of teaching, I’ve worked under many principals so I know this from experience. Some have changed the school for the better, some not so much. The same is true in politics which is why I pray for our nation and the upcoming election.
Second Kings 22 & 23 tell the story of King Josiah and the sweeping changes he issued. Josiah took the throne at the tender age of 8 and ruled 31 years. Eighteen years into his reign he turned his attention to repairing the temple of the Lord. I wonder what he knew about God. His father and grandfather’s reigns were marked by ungodly practices while his great-grandfather Hezekiah sought after God but that was years before his birth.
Did he know much past the fact that Israel was God’s chosen people? Did he know of Hezekiah? Did he hear the stories of his ancestor David? Maybe, maybe not.
In the process of cleaning out the temple, the Book of the Law was discovered. After reading the Law penned by Moses, the priest took the book to Josiah and so began a movement of reform.
Once his eyes were opened to the teaching of God, Josiah realized the extent to which Israel had fallen and sinned. Josiah’s mission and focus then became returning Israel to the Lord. He removed all the pagan articles from the temple, repaired the structure, and then went across the nation destroying all things ungodly. He removed the male temple prostitutes, pagan priests, and the women who wove for Asherah. He removed the pagan places built by Solomon when he strayed from God. Josiah then reinstituted the Passover to celebrate all God ha done for his people. Never before in Israel had such reformation taken place.
As I consider the events of Josiah’s live, I’m reminded of the importance of God’s Word. Paul wrote that
“Through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:20
Yes, we live under grace and not the Law. We are not required to follow the hundreds of regulations in the Old Testament, yet we can learn so much from the Word, Old AND New Testaments. We learn the character of God, we learn of his great love even for a group of people who repeatedly turned away from him, and we learn how we are to walk. But if we never open it, how will we learn?
Josiah’s heart was pricked by the Spirit as the Law revealed just how much they had sinned. Without the revealing through the Word, Josiah may have continued to live a good life, but would it have been a godly life? Would he have made an impact on thousands of people like he did with the changes he ushered in?