Jul. 19. Josiah Turns Judah back to God

II Kin. 23:1-25; II Chron. 34:29-35:19

Upon hearing the words of the Book of the Law or Covenant, Josiah called for a general assembly of all of the people of Jerusalem, “both small and great.” He proceeded to read the complete book in their hearing and made a covenant with the Lord, “to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies…that were written in this book.” All of the people took their stand with him. (It would be great if our nation and all of the world’s nations had leaders who followed the word of God as their guide.)

At the king’s command to Hilkiah the high priest the work of clearing out and destroying everything that pertained to the worship of idols in the land was begun and accomplished. Assyria’s power had weakened in what had been the Northern Kingdom of Israel. That enabled Josiah to even destroy places of worship in that area. Some of those places of worship had been in existence since the days of Solomon and Jeroboam hundreds of years earlier.

With the purging of idol worship and the people’s desire to also please God, Josiah ordered the resumption of observing the Passover. That feast had been absent since the days of Hezekiah when he had restored its celebration after being long neglected. The Ark of the Covenant had been placed in its rightful position in the Most Holy Place. With all things in order, the Passover was observed on the fourteenth day of the first month. “Such a Passover surely had never been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah.” There was great joy, happiness and singing during the Passover celebration.

“Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.”