2 Chronicles 34:1-28
“You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the LORD.” (2 Chronicles 34:27, NLT)
Josiah is one of my Bible heroes. At a time when God’s judgment was hanging over the nation, Josiah brought Judah back to the worship of the LORD. He was a leader who made a profound difference in the lives of his people and found favor with God. He succeeded in condemning wicked idolatry and postponing God’s judgment. Josiah brought the greatest revival to the nation of all the kings of Judah. So how did he do it?
First, Josiah sought God. At the tender age of sixteen, he began seeking the LORD. No doubt David was his hero, for David was a man who sought after the heart of God. We should never look down on our young people because we never know what God has in store for them. Yes, like Joseph, sometimes they can seem impertinent. But I have discovered that life has a way of knocking a person down to size. Paul told Timothy not to let anyone despise him because of his youth but to be an example to others in conduct, love, spirit, faith, and purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
Second, Josiah destroyed the idols and pagan altars that polluted the land. It is the prevalence of wickedness that hardens people’s heart to the voice of the Spirit. Jesus said that where lawlessness abounds the love of many grows cold. Idols rob God of the worship He deserves. These must be shattered before we can wholeheartedly seek the LORD.
Third, Josiah repaired the temple. This was more than just a remodeling project. This initiative thrust the true worship of Yahweh into the forefront of the people’s thinking and actions. By giving themselves to repairing the temple they were prioritizing Yahweh in their lives.
Fourth, Josiah rediscovered the Word of God. Isn’t it strange that the people had actually lost the Word in the temple? But doesn't that also happen in many churches today? They have become political or socially active. They have developed feel good messages to cater to the least common denominator. But are they teaching the pure Word of God? Revival has been aptly described as the Spirit of God coming upon the people of God through the Word of God.
Fifth, Josiah humbled himself in personal repentance. I don’t know of another king of Israel or Judah who repented so completely before the LORD. Josiah’s heart was tender, he humbled himself, tore his clothes, and wept before the LORD. And yet we are unaware of any sin that Josiah had committed. His repentance was for his forefathers and for the nation that had abandoned the LORD. Therefore, God heard him and would not bring about the inevitable judgment in Josiah’s lifetime.
Do you think God wants to bring revival in our day? I believe He does. I also believe that if we the church give ourselves to these five things, then God will listen and do a mighty work in our lifetime. God make it so!