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2 Kings 22:3-23:30 – when compared with the king we looked at yesterday – Hezekiah. Both knew the impending judgment of God on Judah for its sins. One chose to cruise the last mile since judgment wouldn’t happen in his lifetime. The other, chose to do all he could to right matters, even though it wouldn’t change the ultimate outcome. More on that today on Through the Word in 2020.
Along with our reading in 2 Kings today, we have Luke 2:1-7 and Ephesians 6:5-9. And what is striking, is that as we consider King Hezekiah and King Josiah, we also catch a powerful preview of King Jesus.
Hezekiah you’ll recall, heard that God’s judgment would be poured out on Judah because of its sin. And his response was: “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?”
Several generations later, young Josiah takes the throne, and through the influence of some godly mentors, comes to rediscover the Word of God. It had been in the Temple the whole time, but had been buried and forgotten. He’s stunned. He looks at the condition of his nation, and concludes that “the wrath of the Lord…is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
Josiah is deeply moved and begins to inquire about what ought to be done. He’s told by the prophetess Huldah that God’s coming wrath cannot be averted. But because of his penitent heart – he won’t see it. Rather than just throwing up his hands and saying “que, sera sera, – whatever will be will be” like Hezekiah, he embarks on the most extensive national campaign to restore the right worship of God to be found in Scripture. The account is remarkable.
Enter King Jesus. Who knows full well the wrath of God destined to be poured out on the human race for our rebellion against God. Who knows it cannot be averted. Who knows that He will have to subject Himself both to the darkest wickedness of man, and to the just wrath of God, but nevertheless, gives His very life to rescue untold numbers in the meantime. This, by His own substitutionary death on that Cross.
Some imagine today we can rescue Western Civilization. I personally think that is impossible. I could be wrong. But all earthly civilizations are destined to fall under God’s wrath. All we need to do is look around, and I think we could conclude with Josiah that “the wrath of the Lord…is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
But that is no call to pull a Hezekiah. It is to take up the call like Josiah did as a foreshadowing of Christ. It is to pour all we can into preaching the Gospel to the lost, putting away sin, and building up one another in Christ now. Who knows how long our good God will relent? And just because that final wrath may not come in our generation, is no reason to let up. Let us be about revival. Personal revival first. Then in the whole Church. And see what great things our God can do before that great and final day.
Think on that today Beloved. And perhaps follow Josiah’s example of renewing a personal covenant with God as in 23:3. Great things may yet be done in the name of Christ.
I’m Reid Ferguson. And God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.