Study from God’s Word… 2Kings 21: 17 – 22 [2Chron 33: 18 – 23]; 2Kgs 21: 25, 23: 26 [2Chron 33: 24]; 2Kgs 21: 24 [2Chron 33: 25]; 2Kgs 22: 1 [2Chron 34: 1]; 2Kgs 22: 2, 23: 25 [2Chron 34: 2]; 2Kgs 23: 26, 27 … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Kings 23: 25 … NIV 25 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, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
My Journal for Today: The scale of godliness/ungodliness must’ve bounced wildly during the times of Nahum’s prophesies, as did the leadership of Manasseh, Amon, and Josiah in those days. Manasseh had led God’s people astray, at which time God led him into captivity, where he repented, was set free provisionally, and tried his best to turn back to God. But God was then snubbed by Manasseh’s son, Amon for a short reign before Judah was once again ruled by a Godly King, Josiah. And in today’s highlight verse in Dr. Smith’s devotional lesson, we read a rather incredible historical/biblical testimony to the Godliness of this young King, Josiah.
In 2nd Kings 23 one has to be impressed by the extent to which this 16 year old King aggressively returned to the ways of God from the patterns of ungodliness which had preceded him during the reign of Manasseh and Amon. And then, in verse 25, our highlight passage for today, we read this historical tribute to Josiah, which is about as strong and positive a tribute a man could be from the very words of Scripture, invoking the words of the great Hebrew “Schema,” which is found in Deut. 6: 4-5, proclaiming that God, Yahweh, is the only God and that all who follow Him must give ALL of their hearts, minds, strength, and souls to worship Yahweh. And that is exactly what God’s word gave tribute to concerning Josiah.
Being a Christian we’re also reminded of the fact (from God’s word in Mark 12: 30), the proclamation of Christ Himself that the command to love God with ALL our heart, mind, strength, and soul is the greatest of all commands from God. But the problem is in that little word “ALL,” which makes following such a command essentially impossible for man, given our natural, human state (see Romans 3: 23). All of us fall short; and that’s why God sent His Son, Jesus, to become our atonement and the fulfillment of God’s Law. We may never be able to become completely what Josiah, anointed by God’s Spirit, became; but we can choose to be saved and follow the One Who could; and that was/is Jesus, The Christ.
So, reading this tribute today of Josiah, I’m led to desire to have a similar tribute said of me one day, when I stand before my Savior in heaven, and prayerfully I hear Him give me His tribute, “Well, done, My faithful servant. Enter into My Heaven.” I may not BE a Josiah; but I can aspire to be like him and even more so to become like Jesus. I can choose to do ALL I can to serve my Lord with ALL my heart, ALL my mind, ALL my strength, and yes, ALL my soul. And I know that in doing that one day my Lord will receive me to be with Him in glory.
My Prayer for Today: Thank You, Lord, for models of Godliness, like Josiah, and for Your presence/power in my heart to follow Your Schema. Amen