Lessons from Josiah - Part 2

Josiah lived during a time that was very much like our own. The people of Judah were historically oblivious, and therefore bound to repeat the mistakes of Israel. They were also arrogant in worship, which blinded them to their impending judgment. God warned them before they entered the promised land that they should obey Him or face the consequences.
"But if you will not obey the voice of the LORD your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon  you and over take you (Deut 28:15)."
The ultimate consequence being that they would be exiled from their land.
And as the LORD took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the LORD will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it (Deut. 28:63).
During the time of Josiah,  there were 2 prophets that prophesied, namely, Zechariah and Zephaniah, who tried to warn them of their current state and their impending punishment but they refused to listen.

Jeremiah proclaimed,
The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: "Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? And I thought, 'After she has done all this she will return to me,' but she did not return, and here treacherous sister Judah saw it. She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretence, declares the LORD (Jer. 3:6-10)."
Judah had seen her sister go into exile, but somehow did not think that God would visit judgment upon them, she was being historically oblivious. The downfall of Israel should have inspired Judah to find the Book of the Law to make sure that they were following God's commandments and statutes,  instead it lay buried under the wealth and chaos of the Temple. This is very similar to today in the Western Church. We have watched mainline denominations stray from the Bible, and they have become irrelevant, exiled into the world, and of no real use. The evangelical denominations are going down the same path, but we are blinded to our predicament. Our self imposed illiteracy has left the interpretation of the Bible to only a few people. It is this during time of rabid sensuality, that we should be seeking God more than ever, but instead we are too busy.

Zephaniah proclaimed,
"I will stretch out my hand against... those who bow down on the roofs to the host of the heavens, those who bow down and swear to the LORD and yet swear to Milcom, those who have turned back from following the LORD, who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him (Zeph 1:4-6)."
At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, 'The LORD will not do good, nor will he do ill (Zeph. 1:12).' 
 The people of Judah were mixing their worship with God and other idols. They worshipped God on their own terms, and did not seek the Truth. Fear of punishment did not enter their minds, because they did not think God really cared. They worshipped the god of statistics, not believing that God intervened in the world. The parallel between Judah and the western church today is striking. Our worship is often arrogant, looking for God to come to us, instead of seeking Him.

Josiah was different. He had a desire to seek the Lord, and when he found the Book of the Law he was heartbroken. He immediately humbled himself and inquired of the Lord regarding the punishment of himself and Judah. Judah's "Bible" was not collecting dust on the bedside table. He read it, studied it, and followed it. The people of Judah had forgotten where they came from. They had forgotten that God had killed the firstborn of every child of Egypt, but had passed over their firstborns. This is eerily similar to today. Many of the church have forgotten that they have been saved from the slavery of sin and continue to live in idolatry. Josiah restored the Passover, and we need to restore remembrance of Christ death and resurrection for our sin, our Passover.

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