Tuesday Morning Early Start – Important Doctrines
“Because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. (2 Chronicles 34:27)
The life of Josiah was remarkable for anyone living during the turbulent times of Judah. Israel to the north had been devastated by the Assyrians. Josiah’s father was assassinated when he was eight years old following the death of his grandfather when he was six years old. Now he was king of the remaining tribes of God’s people who were being torn to pieces by the caustic influence of idol worship. How Josiah could have a heart of righteousness is difficult to understand. Could it have been those formative years of life under the influence of his grandfather Manasseh? Like Josiah Manasseh became king at a very early age (twelve years old) ruling fifty-five years. Josiah would reign for thirty-one years before making a fatal mistake of fighting a battle he was warned to avoid.
There are four significant events in the life of Josiah. He became king at the age of eight and in the eighth year of his reign he began to seek the Lord. At the twelfth year of his reign he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the idol worship that was destroying the people. When he was twenty-six years old the Book of the Law was found during repairs to the Temple. It was this event that changed his life.
Huldah the prophetess was sought out by Josiah to know what to do and how to avoid the anger of the Lord for the failure of the people to keep the Law. It is in the answer by the Lord that we find a wonderful sermon of character instilled in the heart of Josiah.
THE HEART OF JOSIAH WAS TENDER. Unlike his father Josiah deeply cared about righteousness and truth. His life was filled with a love of God as he sought to walk in the ways of his forefather David. He did not turn from the right or to the left. His heart was fully devoted to God. Our faithfulness must begin with a tender heart.
HE WAS HUMBLED BY THE WORD OF GOD. It is remarkable how the word of God impacted Josiah. It was not just an ancient document found by chance. These were the words of the Almighty God. How many Bibles do we have? What impact does the reading of the word of God have on our lives? Has it become an ancient document that we may read when we have time? The mind of God has been given to us and it must have a deep impact on our lives. Josiah tells us that we need to be humbled by the words contained in the Bible.
HE HUMBLED HIMSELF BEFORE GOD. Josiah knew the land had suffered for the famine of the word of God. He also understood the penalty of not listening to the word of God. His tender heart had prepared him for the reading of the words of Jehovah God and He was willing to follow what God said. When we fail to humble ourselves before God we reject His word. “Thy will be done” is the only way we can read the Bible. It is not a book of selection where we can choose which parts to keep. Humbling ourselves under the mighty hand of God means we listen to him.
HE TORE HIS CLOTHES AND WEPT. There was true repentance in his life. Josiah’s heart was crushed because of the reading of God’s word. He could see God’s love, mercy and justice in the Book of the Law and his life was changed. We need hearts of repentance today that will respond the gospel message of redemption in Jesus Christ. God’s people need an awakening. Times of refreshing are needed from tender hearts that will be humbled by the word of God.
Thank you Josiah. You have given us a great sermon to live by.
How many times one has laid the Bible aside in favor of what seemed more real and compelling … only to be driven back to it again by the great hunger to let the measured dignity and beauty of its language stir in him an emotion like that which comes in listening to classical music or in seeing a finely proportioned building. (Douglas V. Steere, Prayer and Worship, 1938)