Saturday, May 24, 2014

Journal Through the Bible: Week 67 Thursday

II Kings chapter 23

Spiritual revival broke out in Judah beginning with the king himself!

Does God issue any commands?

  • No, but Josiah set out to implement the commands that God had given Moses in the book of the law. He cleansed the Temple of all idolatrous furnishings and fired all of the idolatrous priests. He destroyed idols by burning them. He destroyed the sodomite houses next to the house of the LORD. He defiled all of the high places where incense had been burnt. He defiled Tophet where people made their children pass through fire as a sacrifice to Molech. He took away the animals that were dedicated to the gods of celestial bodies. He cleansed the Temple of all altars to gods that his grandfather had made. He took down the high places which Solomon had made for his foreign wives. He also cut down the ceremonial groves and made them cemeteries. He also extended his reforms into the territory of the former nation of Israel by destroying the altar and high places made by Jeroboam and the pagan shrines in Samaria. Those that practiced sorcery and were familiar with spirits were also put away.
  • After the cleansing of the nation of idols Josiah implemented positive reform by instituting the Passover once more.

Does God make any promises?

  • God had promised that the altar at Bethel would be polluted by burning dead men's bones on it and that is just what Josiah did. (See I Kings chapter 13, especially verse 2.)
  • God was pleased with how Josiah sought Him with his whole heart but it did not make retribution for the sins of Manasseh. God promised that judgment would still come.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • The lesson of Josiah turning to God with his whole heart and delaying the judgment upon the nation shows that man cannot atone for sin. Only God can atone for it! Josiah could not do anything about the wrong that had been done before his rule as king but God could not ignore it either. God never ignores sin unless Someone who is perfect takes the penalty for it. As good as Josiah was, he could not atone for the sins of his predecessors! Only Jesus could do that and He did! Humanly, they were his predecessors, too.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Just as in the time of Josiah, there could be a time of revival in the world where many serve the Lord, at least outwardly. This could be the time of the Millennium,  prior to when Satan raises an army out of those who come through the 1,000 year reign of Jesus on the earth. Then judgment comes and those who are not true to God will be taken captive. This reign of Josiah prior to the Babylonian captivity could therefore be compared to the reign of Jesus in the Millennium prior to the final captivity of Satan and the enemies of God.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)