Saturday, May 11, 2013

Josiah’s Choices Are Ours

To get to why this is my subject today, you really need to have read yesterday’s post – but this one can stand alone because we all come to crossroads in our lives. We’re faced with decisions that really do determine the rest of our lives. In 2 Chronicles 34, King Josiah had made several decision from the age eight that led him on a path to God and doing God’s will. Even though there was punishment for his nation in the future – direct consequences for their omitting God from their lives – God heard Josiah’s remorseful prayers and there was a promise for the king:

Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants of the same. So they brought the king word again. (2 Chronicles 34:28)

According to 2 Chronicles 34:8, he was twenty-six when he began rebuilding the temple and the Book of Law, the Torah, was discovered, read to him. His prayers were heard and God responded with a promise there would be peace until Josiah’s death.

Christians aren’t promised as much. We’re told to expect persecution and being misunderstood. But, Josiah had peace before him, as long as he lived. Sounds like a formula for “happy ever after” doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, our lives have many crossroads, many decisions along the way that can keep us on God’s path – or shorten our paths, definitively.

Chapter 34 also tells us that Josiah reigned thirty-one years. From the age of eight, that would make him thirty-nine. So, for thirteen years, from the age of twenty-six, Josiah rebuilt the temple and served the Lord. Until:

After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. (2 Chronicles 35:20-21)

We are not told that Josiah sought counsel to see if Necho spoke the truth, though the next verse says Necho’s words were from the mouth of God. Instead, Josiah headed in disguise for the thick of the battle – in the valley of Megiddo.

And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. (2 Chronicles 35:25)

We still do the same. Those of us who seek God do find Him. We continue to have crossroads in our lives, as Josiah did. At first we are as he:

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left. (2 Chronicles 34:2)

I have not done Josiah’s story justice. It is a picture of where we were, where we are and what can become of us based on our choices.

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