Since Israel split in two after King Solomon died (1 Kings 11 and 12), the two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south, there were many kings. Every single king in Israel was bad, and most of the kings in Judah were bad, with a couple of good ones sprinkled in. What do I mean by good and bad. The Bible answers this question. Bad king: He did what was evil in the Lord's sight. example..... 2 Kings15:9 Good King: He did what what pleasing in the Lord's sight. example .....2 Kings 15:3 The king had a lot of responsibility, including leading the people according to God's law. When the king went away from the Lord..... the whole country did the same. When the king followed the Lord.... the whole country did the same.
Many years before this, God told Moses. "If you sin, I will scatter you among the nations." Well since Israel was led by one bad king after another, God finally did what He said He would do. In 2 Kings chapter 17, God swept the Israelites from the land. Assyria attacked Israel, set up their own kings, and sent many of the Israelites out of the land. God had warned them over and over, but the Israelites refused to turn back to Him. Since Judah was led by a good king every few years, God held off scattering them.... for now.
At the end of 2 Kings 21, we meet the new king of Judah, Amon. He was a bad king, however, he only reigned for 2 years because a few of his servants killed him. So the people made Amon's son king. His name was Josiah and he was a good king. But the amazing thing was his age. How old do you think Josiah was when he became king? He was 8 years old! Some of you reading this are probably older than that right now! The Bible says that Josiah did not turn to the left or the right when it came to following God's law (2 Kings 22:2). Then when he was 26 years old, Josiah had a plan to restore the Temple of the Lord. The temple had been neglected for many years because the people just didn't care about the things of the Lord.
When the king heard what was written on the scroll, he became very, distressed. The scroll said, "If you sin, I will destroy the city and I will scatter you among the nations." Right away King Josiah called the High priest. "Go to the temple and pray to God for me and for all the people of Judah."
In those days, the high priest had direct access to God, Now through Jesus, we can go directly to God in Jesus' name. Josiah not only prayed for himself and guidance, he also prayed for all the people of Judah. What a great example for us!
When Hilkaih the high priest returned after praying in the temple, he had this message from God for Josiah. "When you heard what I said in the scroll about destroying the city and scattering the people , you were very distressed and filled with repentance. I have heard your prayers and I will not bring judgement on Judah while you are still alive.
Josiah called all the leaders, all the priests and all the people of Judah together. He read the whole scroll to everyone. Josiah pledged to follow the entire scroll with his whole heart soul and mind. When the people heard what was written and Josiah's pledge, they pledged as well.
Right away Josiah ordered that anything to do with idols and false gods be destroyed. He traveled to entire land looking for anything that went against God and destroyed it. Then the land of Judah celebrated the Passover, just as the scrolls had stated.
We are so blessed to have the Bible. All of God's Word in one book! The more we read His Word, the more our hearts and minds are transformed. Then we will have a desire to remove all ungodly things from our lives, just as Josiah cleared Judah of the ungodly things. Being good, as we saw earlier, is doing things that are pleasing in God's sight. The Bible speaks to our hearts in such a way, that we know what is pleasing to the Lord. (Heb 11:6) (Rom 12:1) (1 Thes 2:4) (Phil 4:18)