Josiah became king at the age of 8 after his father King Amon was assassinated by his own servant. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the ways of his ancestor King David.
“Neither before now after King 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”
2 Kings 23:25
Suggestion on How to Read
Let’s read on end of an era!
…What are the events leading to fall of both kingdoms?
...What led to the downfall?
...Who are the Prophets and King at that time?
The story continues…
The book of 2 Kings is a continuation of the history of the 2 Kingdoms (Israel and Judah) and their many kings. It can be roughly divided into two main parts:
The history of both Kingdom from the middle of the 9th century until the collapse of the City of Samaria in 722 BC.
The history of Judah – what took place after the fall of Israel, right until the time Jerusalem was destroyed under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC.
How to read this book? Here’s a suggestion:
This book is made up of 25 chapters. These chapters are divided into the different phases that the people of God went through:
The Continuation of Kingship in Israel and Judah (Chap 1-17)
- The Story of the Prophet Elisha (1:8-15)
- The Kings of Judah and Israel (8:16-17:4)
- The Fall of Samaria (17:5-41)
The Kingdom of Judah (Chap 18-25)
- From King Hezekiah to King Josiah (Chap 18-24) [Take note of King Josiah’s reign (22-23:30)]
- The last few kings of Judah (23:31 – Chap 24)
- The fall of Jerusalem (Chap 25)
|Years (BC)||King||Years (BC)||King|
|931 - 914||Rehoboam||931 - 910||Jeroboam 1|
|914 - 911||Abijah||910 - 909||Nadab|
|911 - 870||Asa||909 - 886||Baasha|
|870 - 845||Jehoshaphat||886 - 885||Elah|
|853 - 842||Jehoram||885 - 885||Zimri|
|842 - 841||Ahaziah||885 - 880||Tibni|
|841 - 835||Athaliah||885 - 874||Omri|
|835 - 795||Joash||874 - 853||Ahab|
|796 - 767||Amaziah||854 - 853||Ahaziah|
|789 - 737||Azariah||853 - 841||Joram|
|737 - 721||Jotham||841 -813||Jehu|
|730 - 715||Ahaz||813 - 796||Jehoahaz|
|715 - 686||Hezekiah||798 - 782||Jehoash|
|697 - 642||Manasseh||792 - 751||Jeroboam 11|
|642 - 640||Amon||751 - 750||Zachariach|
|640 - 609||Josiah||750 - 740||Shallum|
|609 - 609||Jehoahaz||740 - 738||Menahem|
|609 - 598||Jehoiakim||738 - 718||Pekahiah|
|608 - 598||Jehoiachin||738 – 718||Pekah|
|598 - 587||Zedekiah||718 - 709||Hoshea|
Check out Elisha, who succeeded Elijah as God’s prophet, and his role in proclaiming God’s message to a people who have turned their backs on Him.
As you read, you may also want to pay special attention to the life of King Josiah. How did King Josiah respond to the Word of God?
Shaphan also said to the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king. (2 Kings 22:10)
The discovery of the scroll of the Law led to the reading of it before the King. What a dramatic encounter it turned out to be! The king’s first reaction upon hearing the law was to tear his cloth in despair (v11). Realizing the truth of the word he just heard, King Josiah knew that the Lord wanted to speak to him and to the people of his kingdom.
God’s Favour Sought
King Josiah asked the high priest Hilkiah to seek God concerning the word he heard earlier. The prophetess Huldah, when consulted, told the high priest Hilkiah that the LORD’s favour was upon King Josiah after seeing his genuine repentance. King Josiah did what was important first: He sought God’s favour in response to what he had heard from the reading of the Law.
Likewise, it is important for us too to seek God and consult with Him as we respond to what we hear and read from His Word. It is very important not to rely upon man’s wisdom but on God’s.
Pledge of Obedience
It is interesting to note how King Josiaj lived after hearing the Word of the Lord. He renewed the covenant in God’s presence. In this covenant, he pledged to obey the LORD by keeping all his commands, regulations, and laws with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant (23:3)
The King’s urgency and his prompt action made a difference to his own people. He led by example as Israel cleansed its temple of idols.
What might be missing in our lives today? Could it be our covenant or pledge to obey God after knowing His Word? Or could it be that we need to hear His Word afresh?
God’s Word: M.A.D!
It really Made A Difference! King Josiah having heard God, came before His presence and renewed the covenant with the Lord. King Josiah experienced the presence of His WORD as it was being read to him. The WORD changed him and Made A Difference to his life and to his people.
We can Made A Difference in our generation today as His WORD remains the same yesterday, today and forever. “The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
However, it can only happen when we take immediate ACTION upon hearing His Word. We need to seek His wisdom and favour as we respond to our world through His Word.
We also need to renew the covenant to obey all that is written in the Bible with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. The whole of life is to glorify His Name alone. The daily reading and meditating on His Word is in itself a step forward in renewing our covenant to obey Him.