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And Josiah was only eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD ( 2 Kings 22:1-2 ).
Now at this point you need to read the prophecy of Jeremiah, because here is where Jeremiah began his prophecies. And Josiah was a good king as far as spiritual reforms went. However, at this point, the people have been so corrupted as the result of Manasseh that with the people, the born again movement became a popular movement because the king said he was born again. And so it became a popularized movement among the media, but it wasn't a genuine movement within their hearts. It wasn't a true experience.
And so the temple was all of a sudden full of people again. Everybody, it was the popular vogue thing to do, to go to the temple. And so God said to Jeremiah, "Go down to the temple, the gate of the temple and as the people are passing through it in the temple, cry out, 'Trust not in lying vanities saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these. The lies, emptiness.' They're not really serving God." And of course, Jeremiah got into all kinds of trouble, because of the things God told him to tell these kings. Thrown in dungeons. Thrown in the prison. Ran into a lot of difficulty, but this is when Jeremiah began his prophecy, and now to the end of the kingdom unto the four kings. Jeremiah prophesies under Josiah here, and then unto Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, actually. But Jeremiah doesn't mention Jehoiachin because his reign was so short.
So this is the period in which Jeremiah is prophesying, and so when you read Jeremiah, you got to bring your mind back to this point in history so that you'll understand better the...you know, as you go through the Bible more and more, as you start to put it together, it helps in understanding. You'll understand Jeremiah better if you can put it with this portion of history and you'll understand this portion of history better if you'll read the commentary on it by Jeremiah. So that's where the Bible starts to come in together and the cumulative knowledge of the Bible begins to really develop. And you really begin to understand the thing a lot better as you take these pieces of the puzzle and you start fitting them together. You begin to get the whole picture. You know, as long as you're just looking at one little piece of the puzzle, you're saying, "I don't know where that goes. How does that fit? It's a weird shape and those are weird colors." And you study it and you can study for a long time and still not understand it very well.
But when you start putting and linking the pieces together and the faces and everything begins to take shape, it's, "Oh yeah; see that, alright," you know. And it begins, but you've got to start putting up the pieces together. So when you get to Jeremiah, put it back to here or jump ahead. It won't hurt you to read Isaiah and Jeremiah this week. If you take the time that you're going to spend this week reading the daily newspaper, you can probably read both books.
Now what you're going to gain from reading the daily newspaper is deep depression and discouragement and despair as you see what a mess the world is in. But if you read Jeremiah and Isaiah, you'll get all kinds of hope. You'll see that even in the darkness God is there; God is working and God is promising a light at the end of the dark tunnel.
So Josiah began to reign. He began in reforms, the rebuilding of the temple. The temple, of course, under Manasseh have been you put all these altars in the courts and in the temple itself, and they tore all these things out. They started cleaning up the temple. They took the money that was brought into the temple and they used it to begin to repair the breaches that were in the house of the Lord. And as they were repairing the temple, they came across the copy of the law of the Lord. Now the law have been lost for a long time. They didn't even know the law of the Lord. And some guy came across a copy of the law of the Lord. And so the priest began to read the law of the Lord, and as they began to read, they realized, "Oh, how we have disobeyed the law of God!"
Came to pass, when the king heard the words of the book of the law, that he tore his clothes. He said, Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, for all of Judah, concerning the words of this book that you found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened to the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us ( 2Ki 22:11 , 2 Kings 22:13 ).
So they came to Huldah the prophetess who was there with the college of prophets.
And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD the God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, upon the inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken me, and they've burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger and all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and not be quenched. But to the king of Judah which sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD the God of Israel, As touching the words which you have heard; Because your heart was tender, and you have humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation, a curse, and you have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil that I'm going to bring upon this place. And so they brought the king the word of the Lord ( 2 Kings 22:15-20 ).
So Josiah, he heard the law and he tore his clothes; he wept before God. Real repentance. "Oh God, you know, what have we done. What have our fathers done?" And so inquiring of the Lord through Huldah the prophetess, he received this message that the nation was going to fall. However, not in the time of his reign. So he ordered that the people be gathered together and that they read the law of the Lord to all of the people. "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Kings 22". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany