Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah. His heritage through his dad and granddad was not good. In fact, Isaiah had prophesied against his dad, Amon, for the wickedness he practiced. It is not good for a king to be prophesied against by a prophet of God! We can only assume that other men or women of God began to influence Josiah because at age 26 he instructed the high priest to begin a refurbishment of the temple in Jerusalem.
Sounds like many of us – The heritage through our earthly fathers may or may not be good. In some cases it works out well – a dad is a good businessman and the son follows in his shoes. In another case, a dad is an alcoholic and his son follows in his footsteps. Some 75% of long term prison inmates in TDCJ have followed in their dads’ footsteps whether they actually knew him or not! A man will tend to reflect the heritage of his father until something happens that validates or invalidates his choices in life.
As the work on the temple proceeded, Hilkiah the high priest found the Book of the Law and gave it to Shaphan the secretary. Shaphan then read it in the presence of the king and when Josiah first heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He was filled with sorrow, grief and conviction as he was introduced to his Heavenly Father. At age 26, Josiah realized he had a new heritage he was responsible for passing on.
Get Josiah: “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.” – 2Kings 23:25. Turned to the Lord – in tearing his robes, Josiah was grieved for the state of God’s people and convicted to take a stand with them as a man of God. With all his heart he turned to his Heavenly Father with personal repentance; with all his soul he turned efforts toward being an influence upon those in the kingdom; and with all his strength he desecrated monuments and practices in contradiction to the Most High God. Wow! Josiah came clean personally, read the word of God publicly and took God-honoring action against popular practices.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for being my Father and for the example of Josiah. Help me to turn to You as he did. I confess passivity as the God-glorifier You call me to be. Soften my heart to Your love, that I may reflect it in every relationship. Keep my soul under the influence of Your word, that I may live under it where You have me. And grant me strength to take God-honoring action in the circles where You call me to be an influence, first in family and second in church and beyond. With all my heart, soul and strength, this day I begin replacing passivity with action that honors You O God. Amen.
A faithful father gets Josiah by rejecting passivity and taking God-honoring action.