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Sunday: Under the Rule of Josiah — 15 Comments

  1. Read 2 Chronicles 34:32-33. What do these verses tell us about the power of a good example, especially among people in positions of power and influence?
    Like Abraham we should first of all each should have intimate relationship with our LORD as an individual and as a family, THEN have a rich and personal and family devotion or worship with God and ultimately it should translate into a personal and family daily walk, work with our LORD according to His Will and Purpose for us and that can only happen with being well versed and conversed individually and as a family in the Bible and SOP.
    Think long and hard: What influence do your words and actions exert on others?
    Thus we must not be found to be living a double standard life personally for it won't work with our family and church then on to society what we want them to do. We should be living doers of the WORD of the LORD AND NOT ONLY believing without doing it. So our influence in words and actions impact people within our sphere of influence. Let us revive our spiritual lives and reform our spiritual life, journey and relationship with our LORD through the Holy Scriptures so the work can finish for the world awaits the children of God to live out the WORD of God in our words and actions to the glory of God.

  2. An Attorney friend of mine asked a primary school teacher to define "education" and the teacher failed hopelessly in defining the word "education". Then the attorney said "I will define the word 'education' for you" and he said,Through the system of education you will ultimately qualify enabling you to differentiate between right and wrong. Josiah in this case chose to do the right things to the honour and glory of God. When we depend on the holy spirit we can be instructed by the holy spirit to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

  3. God was against Israel setting up an earthly king partly due to the risk that people would revere this figure to the point of worship (1 Samuel 8:7-20). Kings exerted enormous influence and power over their subjects. Josiah used this influence to great effect in restoring Israel. Whether or not every heart was in the right place Josiah got the people to honor the law, commandments, testimonies and statutes of God with great peace and benefit to all (2 Corinthians 34:31-33).

    Almost whenever there is an expression of love for God’s law (Psalm 119:165) there are voices to downplay law supposedly to play up love or grace. The widespread disregard of law in Christianity is largely the result of using love and grace to undermine law, as if law itself is a bad thing (Romans 7:7). Had there been no need for salvation some might not care about law. Still there will be law in Eden restored (the New Earth) as there was before the human race fell.

    Likely few care if motor vehicle drivers have right motives or abide by the traffic laws because cops are on the road, as long as everybody remains and arrives safe. This is because law is more than an optional love add-on, but is necessary for proper order.

    Although the common charge against the Pharisees is legalism their problem was not so much observing the law to obtain favor with God, but substituting their traditions for Jehovah’s law and imposing these man-made statutes on others (Matthew 15:1-9). The Pharisees were breaking the Commandments. The mark of the beast achieves the same thing (Revelation 13:16-17).

    Everyone should be encouraged to keep God’s law: for it is holy and just and good (Romans 7:12) and yields benefits to all whether or not the law keepers have perfected love (1 Timothy 1:8-10). Those with a regenerated heart eventually keep the Law because of love; and the rest are still under obligation to keep it or suffer the consequences (Jude 1:14-15). Jehovah also punishes certain of the transgressions of those who do not have a relationship with Him (Ezekiel 39:21).

    God’s character is revealed in the commandments, and those who keep them reflect this. There is greater benefit in actually keeping the law than talking about love (Matthew 21:29-31; 25:38-46)

    • Hugh, I always appreciate your comments, which obviously come from a strong background in Bible study. I agree entirely about the value of the law. It is a gift we should appreciate more. But I think it would be well to add that the beauty of the law appears only after we have been embraced by the love of Christ. When we see the beauty of holiness, we hunger and thirst after righteousness. The law doesn't provide righteousness or salvation. God's grace does. But the law teaches us how to behave as the citizens of the kingdom, once we realize that's who we are - the children of the King, Himself.

      • To Be sure, The Law does not provide Salvation, the Law is not a person, God provide Salvation. One of the tool God has given us to keep us from being degraded is the revelation of His Law. The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom. God is good and Gracious, Love seeks to uplift, sin literally degrades us.
        Gods law provide light and a hedge for us. "Thy word is lamp unto my feet and light on to my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it that I will keep thy righteous judgements" Psalms 119: 105-106.

        I sincerly believe that via the Holy Spirit God Law when obeyed change us, as we become connected to the devine mind by humbly seeking to trust and obey his words we become set right.

        And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness. Deuteronomy 6:25

        • It has become my studied opinion that it would best be stated as: "alone, the law cannot save us". What does this mean? I hope I can explain, but first this mention of how we have shifted from an over-emphasis on the law to perhaps an over-emphasis on grace. Alone, neither will work as I am starting to see in scripture. Notice how the law is always magnified, and even called "perfect" in "converting the soul". The wise man says that from the law we "will understand the fear of the Lord", which is the beginning of wisdom, "and find the knowledge of God" which Jesus said "is life eternal". (Prov 2:1-5, 9:10, John 17:3)

          When God led Israel out of Egypt He brought them to Sinai and from the mountain which shook from His holy presence, He gave to the world the way to eternal life, and first spoke the Law in a voice that made the people so frightened they could not bear to hear it again, and begged Moses to talk and then share the rest with them. First the Law (then written in stone and kept in the Ark of the Covenant), then the law of types where the propitiation for sin was typified in the sanctuary and it's services.

          Notice how God relates the law and grace. Notice also the message of the 3 angels, and the blend of law and grace which the remnant will give to the world when those circumstances (soon) take place in this world.

          The law alone has no merit to save, yet we are told it will lead us to Christ. Without the law, there is no sin and without sin, there is no sinner and no need for a Savior. If we separate the two, we have only half our message for sinners from God.

          Notice the role of the law in passages such as Prov 3:1-8, Ps 19, 119 and more besides. Paul's effort to steer men away from a narrow focus on the law alone has led many to discard it, yet this is not in harmony with God's emphasis throughout scripture and Paul always presented the law in it's proper place.

          The law which reveals "the knowledge of God" also reveals sin. It does both. When properly understood and received, the law will sanctify those who "meditate on it day and night", for it is nothing less than the very character of God who is Holy. Notice how the Psalmist says: "Teach me O LORD the way of thy statutes, and I will keep IT unto the end". (statues are plural, way is singular) What is the way of God's statutes? Paul tells us "Love fulfills the law". So the Psalmist is praying to be taught the way of Love. We know perfect love casts out fear and that the law is "perfect".

          Remember the song
          "Give me the Bible, holy message shining;
          Thy light shall guide me in the narrow way;
          Precept and promise, law and love combining,
          Till night shall vanish in eternal day."

          The Law has a vital part, but never alone.

    • Here is a paragraph from Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings:

      "Righteousness is holiness, likeness to God, and “God is love.” 1 John 4:16. It is conformity to the law of God, for “all Thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172), and “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). Righteousness is love, and love is the light and the life of God. The righteousness of God is embodied in Christ. We receive righteousness by receiving Him." – {MB 18.1}

      If we were to express it mathematically, it would be is follows:

      Righteousness = holiness = likeness to God = love = conformity to the law (with the law written in our hearts and minds)

      Love IS the fulfilling if the law. (Romans 13:10)

  4. Based on these Spirit of Prophecy comments [and the length of reign of the respective kings], it appears to me that Daniel was born in the time of Josiah, shortly before the Book of the Law was found.

    "Daniel was but a youth when carried away captive into Babylon. He was about fifteen or sixteen years old..." (Upward Look p.83)

    "Daniel was but eighteen years old when brought into a heathen court in service to the king of Babylon..." (4T p.570)

    Jeremiah also began his public ministry in the time of Josiah, and if I remember rightly, Ezekiel was born during the reign of Josiah too.

    • Very interesting observation there Stewart.
      To me that goes to show just how far-reaching one's influence can be! In this case it was for good. We can also exert an influence for evil if we do not keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21). May God help us realise that our influence has an extensive impact that reaches into eternity and help us allow Him each day to use us as vessels of honour as long as life shall last just as He did young King Josiah.
      I also see that youthfulness and inexperience or family background all shouldnt be hindrances to uprightness and holiness. Oh that we may set our hearts fully to the Lord to serve Him without reserve and be true channels of light and blessing as it is our privilege to be.

      Just thought to share this encouraging quote:
      "Ye Shall Receive Power - It is the privilege of every earnest seeker for truth and righteousness to rely upon the sure promises of God. The Lord Jesus makes manifest the fact that the treasures of divine grace are placed entirely at our disposal, in order that we may become channels of light. We cannot receive the riches of the grace of Christ without desiring to impart them to others. When we have the love of Christ in our hearts, we shall feel that it is our duty and privilege to communicate it. - YRP 295.2"

    • I have concluded that Daniel was present during the last 10-11 years of Josiah's reign, and with the others mentioned, we can see how God used this time to prepare the 3 major spokesmen for God in the time before and during the captivity of Judah.
      God is able to lead all who will follow Him without hesitation, not considering their own personal interest or welfare above His will.

  5. Matt 22: 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great Commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.”

    To me, this encapsulates the Commandments (and prophecy) into love. God's grace and mercy are love. Salvation is a gift, given by a loving Savior. Certainly, we should emphasize love.

    Let's not become confused and sorrowful, as was the rich, young ruler. We do not obey to earn or deserve anything - certainly not love. We want to obey once we have love in our hearts for our Lord.

  6. We have to pray God that these words are not the one that describe our spiritual condition "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. -Matthew 15:8"

  7. This is why we need history to shape our future. Josiah did not want to follow the path of his fore father. When the priest read the injunctions to him from the Lord through Moses, he was able to take heed and humbled himself.
    There is as way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.
    Inspiration tells us, When men's hearts are softened and subdued by the constraining influence of the Holy Spirit, they will give heed to counsel. This is was happened to Josiah, but when they(men) turn from admonition until their hearts become hardened, the Lord permits them to be ruled by other influences. Refusing the truth, they accept falsehood, which becomes a snare to their own destruction.
    Let us learn from Josiah who was able to get counsel for healing of the nation.

  8. When I do what is right in my own eyes I do the wrong in my heart. My intention is to do right but there can be no right when evil is always present and all around. So when I allow Christ to rule in my heart mind I can only do what he would have me to do as long as the Holy Spirit teaches me. When the enemy of my soul comes to steal kill and destroy me. God will help me to see that the right I do will not always be agreed upon but as long as I live to please him I will be made to seem as though others see it as evil.

    Praise God for the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth.

  9. Josiah was aiming at restoring the covenant (2 Kings 23:3). Taking a wider perspektive, made me think of the covenant history seen in this period:

    Being Lord of the covenant, God has established his covenant with Israel. The elements of the covenant are: (1) The document of the covenant (Deuteronomy 4:13), (2) promises and curses of the covenant (Deuteronomy 28), (3) the conditions of the covenant in relation to promises and curses (Jeremiah 18:7-9) und (4) the upholding faith of the covenant (Isaiah 7:9).

    The covenant was broken by entering into alliance with surrounding nations, asking them for help in distressing situations (2 Kings 16:7). The oriental nations believed, their gods would protect and lead them to victory in battle (1 Kings 20:23). Asking those nations for help, Israelites would therefore ask the gods of those nations for help. So they would even offer sacrifices to them (2 Chronicles 28:5.22-23).

    Along this line King Ahaz had to incorporate a copy of the assyrian altar into the temple of the Lord thus acknowledging the assyrian war god Ashur as the vererable victor. In this trying situation the worship due to the God of Israel had become mixed up with assyrian worship (syncretism). This kind of worship was forced on Ahaz in consequence of entering into an alliance with the Assyrians.

    All other alliances of Israel with surrounding nations were running the risk of being absorbed into pagan culture with hardly any difference between Israel and the suruounding nations.

    It took much currage for Hezekiah to throw out the filthiness of assyrian astral worship -- out of the holy place (2 Chronicles 29:5), renewing the broken covenant (2 Chronicles 29:10). He even ordered all that uncleanliness to be burned to ashes and thrown into the brook Kidron (2 Kings 23:6). Hezekiah manifested faith (see Isaiah 7:9). The approaching assyrian army was smitten by the angel of the Lord (2 Kings 19:35-36).

    King Josiah was in a more comfortable position carrying out his reform as the assyrian power was dwindling away at that time. At the end of pre-exilic history king Zedekia had made an alliance with Egypt (Jeremiah 37:5). I wonder as to whether all the list of pagan gods in the temple, described by Ezekiel in chapter 8, dated in the 8th year of Jehojachin, had come into existence partly by assimilation of foreign culture and partly by alliance with other surrounding nations.

    The covenant history moves into the assyian and babylonian captivity. It kept moving in post-exilic history, taking its course through the ages, to be further traced in the gospels, in Acts and even in the book of revelation aiming at the climax and consummation of that covenant history at the sencond coming of Christ.

    These thoughts I had in mind studying for this weeks lesson, which I want to share in this blog.

    Winfried Stolpmann


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