When we start studying our Bibles for ourselves one of the things many of us start to is that things we grew up hearing don’t seem to line up with what we are reading. This is a good thing though because YHWH is removing the scales from our eyes and allowing these truths to be seen. It’s amazing how we can read the Bible so many times, yet come across verses and ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I see that before?” The next question is, what do we do about the things that are in our everyday life that YHWH is clearly against.
Let’s look at a king from the House of Judah named Josiah (Yoshiyahu) which means “whom YHWH heals.” We are going to focus on the story of Josiah found in 2 Kings 22:1 – 23:30 and also 2 Chronicles 34:1 – 35:27. Josiah became king at a very young age. He was only eight years old when he became the king and reigned for 31 years. In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, he had the money needed for workers to repair YHWH’s temple. Hilkiah (Ḥilqiyahu) the high priest at that time found the book of the law (Torah) in the Temple and gave it to Shaphan, the scribe, to read it. It was then taken before King Josiah and read in his presence.
2 Kings 22:11-13
Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law (Torah), that he tore his clothes. Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, “Go, inquire of YHWH for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of YHWH that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
Josiah saw the truth about the things in scripture and realized their fathers before them had not been obeying according to YHWH, and He wasn’t happy.
Hilkiah, the high priest, and several others went to the prophetess Huldah, who gave them a word from YHWH concerning this matter.
2 Kings 22:15-20
Then she said to them, “Thus says YHWH Elohim of Israel, ‘Tell the man who sent you to Me, “Thus says YHWH: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read— because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched. ” ’ But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of YHWH , in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says YHWH Elohim of Israel: “ Concerning the words which you have heard— because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before YHWH when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you, ” says YHWH . “Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.” ’ ” So they brought back word to the king.
Wow! The curses for disobedience were coming because now they knew the truth of YHWH’s word, but since Josiah humbled himself, tore his clothes, and wept before YHWH, Josiah would not see the disaster that YHWH would bring. What should be done after we have a repenting heart and a heart to follow YHWH? Let’s see what Josiah did.
2 Kings 23:1-3
Now the king sent them to gather all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem to him. The king went up to the house of YHWH with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant which had been found in the house of YHWH. Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before YHWH , to follow 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 this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.
Wow again! The people of YHWH renewed their covenant with Him after hearing His words and agreed to carry out all that was written in the Torah. Once they saw the truth and agreed to be faithful to YHWH, their life had to change just as ours should after we see these things. The next few verses go into detail about the things they changed. As you begin to read them think about the things in your life that you drastically changed or may need to change drastically today.
2 Chronicles 34:33
Thus Josiah removed all the abominations from all the country that belonged to the children of Israel, and made all who were present in Israel diligently serve YHWH their Elohim. All his days they did not depart from following YHWH Elohim of their fathers.
2 Kings 23:4-20 goes into a lot of detail about this account as well, but for the sake of space we’re not going to include it.
Josiah cleaned house and got rid of the things that YHWH calls an abomination. How do we apply this in our own lives today? Let’s keep going to see how He started to honor and worship YHWH.
2 Chronicles 35:1-19
Now Josiah kept a Passover to YHWH in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month (Hebrew month ~ Aviv/Nissan). And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of YHWH. Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord: “Put the Holy Ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve YHWH your Elohim and His people Israel. Prepare yourselves according to your fathers’ houses, according to your divisions, following the written instruction of David king of Israel and the written instruction of Solomon his son. And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of your brethren the lay people, and according to the division of the father’s house of the Levites. So slaughter the Passover offerings, consecrate yourselves, and prepare them for your brethren, that they may do according to the word of YHWH by the hand of Moses.” Then Josiah gave the lay people lambs and young goats from the flock, all for Passover offerings for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, as well as three thousand cattle; these were from the king’s possessions. And his leaders gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of YHWH, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred from the flock, and three hundred cattle. Also Conaniah, his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave to the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand from the flock and five hundred cattle. So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their divisions, according to the king’s command. And they slaughtered the Passover offerings; and the priests sprinkled the blood with their hands, while the Levites skinned the animals. Then they removed the burnt offerings that they might give them to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the lay people, to offer to YHWH, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the cattle. Also they roasted the Passover offerings with fire according to the ordinance; but the other holy offerings they boiled in pots, in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them quickly among all the lay people. Then afterward they prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy in offering burnt offerings and fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places, according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer. Also the gatekeepers were at each gate; they did not have to leave their position, because their brethren the Levites prepared portions for them. So all the service of YHWH was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of YHWH, according to the command of King Josiah. And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. There had been no Passover kept in Israel like that since the days of Samuel the prophet; and none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.
Josiah gave his heart over to YHWH after he saw what YHWH expected for His people. He truly loved YHWH and showed YHWH his love by giving everything up that he had always known and began honoring, worshipping, loving, and praising YHWH the way YHWH asked.
After seeing these events, you may be able to compare yourself to Josiah. Can we honestly say, after reading YHWH’s instructions, that we are giving up the things YHWH declared as sin and truly giving Him our all? If not then there is no day like today to make that decision.
In the words of Y’shua in Mathew 4:17…
“Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”