Thursday 23rd November 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-25 Work Hard to Reform
The king of Judah, Josiah, he wanted a change, he longed to live a upright life, and he wished to make things right. He did a lot of things for God, but sadly he died at a young age of 39 years. Today’s chapter talks about his life and explains the reason that he could not finish well.
V2-3 ‘The king went up to the house of the Lord 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 the Lord. Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord 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.’ Everyone went up to the House of God to listen to the teaching of God, Josiah wanted to make things right, he wanted to quickly fix the problems, but he forgot that it was supposed to be the responsibility of the High Priest to read out the Law of Moses to the people.
V25 ‘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.’ Josiah was young, he was passionate about destroying all the idols, false gods, and their prophets. Everything he did was good, and there had been no king like him. The Bible also acknowledged what he did, so what went wrong?
Josiah was so focused on his ‘doing’ that there was no Work of God in everything he did. Josiah read the Law of Moses, then he carried out everything by himself, he seemed to be following the Law, but where was God in all these? There was also no record of him inquiring from the prophets or the priests. A lot of Christians are passionate about doing this and doing that for God, but when we focus too much on our ‘doing’ we will end up living in legalism. Instead of seeking God, we become self-seeking and attention-seeking. The teachings of the Bible are important, but discipleship is also very important. If we only make Bible a book of knowledge and instructions, then we will always be reading the 2-D Bible. If we want to make Bible 3-D, we must live it out and learn from the lives of others.
For king Josiah, his life is black and white, he wanted to make everything right by his doing. It was not wrong, but when he was carrying out all these things, getting rid of everything and everyone that was unholy but did he give an opportunity for the people to turn back, to stand in the right position, and to make things right? We are all sinners, who receive grace from God. No one is more righteous than another, only God is righteous, He is also merciful and compassionate. Josiah saw the wrongdoings of the people of Judah, he wanted to make things right, but he became self-righteous.
II Kings 22:12-13 ‘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 the Lord 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 the Lord 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.”’ The reason behind Josiah’s behaviour was fear, he was afraid of the wrath of God therefore he worked so hard to make things right in order to stop God’s anger to arose upon him.
Section Two V26-30 Wrong in Pridefulness
Josiah was really a king and a ruler, because he controlled everything. But he was not a good leader, because he did everything instead of leading others. God said in II Kings 22:19, ‘because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord 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.’ Everything Josiah did was for himself, he wanted to make things right, but he did not help the people he was leading. He did not teach, and he did not help the prophets and priests to stand in the right position, and he did not help the people of Judah to receive the same grace and mercy he received. Whatever flow of blessings stopped in him; Josiah did not let the blessings go through him to the people following him.
V29 ‘In his days Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went to the aid of the king of Assyria, to the River Euphrates; and King Josiah went against him. And Pharaoh Necho killed him at Megiddo when he confronted him.’ Josiah went to help the king of Assyria that he forgot about God’s prophecy to punish Assyria. He only did what was in the Law of Moses but did not listen to the prophecy spoken by the Prophet of God. Josiah was rebellious, he did not seek God and he overestimated his own ability. David sought God in everything he did in life, but Josiah only sought his own righteousness. He thought he was doing the right thing to draw a line between himself and his forefathers.
Section Three V31-37 Total Loss
Josiah did not seek the prophet or the priests, he went to fight Egypt and ended up being killed. His action also influenced the next generation. V33-34 ‘Now Pharaoh Necho put him in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. Then Pharaoh Necho made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Pharaoh took Jehoahaz and went to Egypt, and he died there. that the Egypt Pharoah captured his son.’ It was supposed to be God, who appoints the king, not the Pharaoh.
It’s never by our doing, but only by love and mercy, then we can draw closer to the heartbeat of God.
列王纪下 23 – 错在起跑线
约西亚没有寻问祭司或先知就想自己阻止在攻击亚述的埃及，结果一败涂地，影响了自己的下一代，一手摧毁了神本来给他的祝福。埃及法老不仅杀了约西亚，还抓了他的儿子约哈斯，又将他的另一位儿子以利亚敬立为犹大王，并且“给他改名叫约雅敬”。立王这件事本该是神而不是法老来做的，但因为约西亚没有finish well, 一生没有真正的爱神爱人，只想做他觉得对的事，结果落到祸及子孙的下场。