Josiah’s Journey

highplace

A high place in Petra, like that which Josiah destroyed.

 

We often talk about our lives as being journeys, especially the spiritual aspects, if you even can separate that out. We embark on a lifelong trek and we hope and pray that we mature along the way. We learn new truths about YHWH and discover fresh applications of that in our lives. Continuous learning.

As much as we say with our mouths that we have not yet arrived at our destination, that we still have so much to learn, I feel that many people, even I, lack the full humility to embrace life-altering revelations in stride. It is a blow to our pride to be confronted with the realization that we are not all that YHWH has intended. We should know this by now, and it really shouldn’t come as a shock. I am sure it is something we have had to learn and relearn a thousand times over on this journey.

Our Father is not finished with us yet, so we should expect him to be radically transforming us all the time. In light of the great distance that is still between us and our desire to conform to the likeness of the Son, I pray that we accept the grace bestowed on us and wholeheartedly embrace all truth that YHWH is revealing to us.

Like King Josiah.

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of YHWH, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

2 Chronicles 34:1-2

This is child-like faith. Josiah did what was right and did not turn to either side. He knew the God of his fathers, and walked in their way. But interestingly, he didn’t know the whole story. Faith is step one. Without a full belief that YHWH is who he says he is and a commitment to follow wherever he leads, it’s hard to walk his path. So first we must have faith.

2 Chronicles goes on to say that when Josiah was 16 he began a massive campaign to tear down all the idols and high places of worship of other gods. He rooted everything out. That was step two; rid our lives of anything that may be separating us from YHWH.

That still wasn’t the end of the road. Josiah was convicted to keep pressing on. Ten years later, when the land was finally clean, Josiah began to repair and restore the house of YHWH. During this time the Book of the Law, the Torah, was found. It is not as though it had been lost, because it was still in the house of YHWH. It had merely been neglected. So neglected that no one remembered the words that were written in it.

When King Josiah heard the Scriptures read before him he wept. He tore his clothes in mourning. This is step three. Mourning over our lack of obedience to the Word of YHWH.

 And when the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his clothes.

2 Chronicles 34:19

There is still one more step. The last part that is so significant to me is that he didn’t deceive himself into thinking that he was fine where he was. He didn’t think that his faith and walking in the way of his father was enough. He didn’t rely on the fact that he had just spent years destroying every abomination in the land. Yes, he had walked an amazing journey so far, but YHWH had still more to show him. There was still more to learn. Step four is inquiring of YHWH and the Word.

 “Go, inquire of YHWH for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found. For great is the wrath of YHWH that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of YHWH, to do according to all that is written in this book.”

2 Chronicles 34:21

What is the result? What happens when Josiah inquires of YHWH? The God of Israel hears him, because his heart was tender and humble. Wow!

But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of YHWH, thus shall you say to him, Thus says YHWH, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares YHWH.

2 Chronicles 34:26-27

Then, in faith, putting away all strongholds, with a humble and tender heart, and after searching the Word of YHWH, Josiah takes action. He makes a covenant to obey YHWH, and to continue to walk this path according to YHWH’s way.

And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before YHWH, to walk after YHWH and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.

2 Chronicles 34:31

In obedience to the Torah, in that very year Josiah reinstates the Passover. He gathers all the people together and they worship as YHWH had commanded. The celebration was so great that Scriptures say it was unlike any Passover ever observed since the time of Samuel.

And Josiah never turned away from following YHWH.

 

Over and over on this journey we call life, just like King Josiah, we must humbly repeat these steps as we follow after YHWH;

1. Walk in committed faith to YHWH, even without full revelation.

2. Continue to root out everything we know that separates us from YHWH.

3. Search the Scriptures, especially the neglected ones, and mourn over our disobedience, whether blatant or unintentional.

4. Inquire of YHWH and take action in obedience to the Word.

 

I’m praying that all who truly seek YHWH will have tender, humble hearts to continue to learn as YHWH teaches, that our journey would lead us toward a deeper understanding and stronger commitment to the ways of our King.

…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…

Hebrews 12:1-2

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