Josiah's Reforms

Josiah's Reforms

Scripture: 2 Kings 23:25, 2 Kings 22:1-20, 1 Corinthians 5:7
Date: 11/21/2015  Lesson: 8
Josiah was one of the few kings who, using free will, chose to do what "was right in the sight of the Lord."

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Good morning friends. I'd like to welcome you all to "Sabbath School Study Hour" here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. Also a warm welcome to our friends joining us across the country and around the world, literally. Different countries around the world, part of our extended Sabbath school class. I'd also like to let our friends watching here in North America know about our free offer for today.

It's a book entitled "12 steps to revival." And we'll be happy to send this to anybody in North America who gives us a call on our resource phone number and that number is... That number again is... You can ask for the book "12 steps for revival." It's offer number 7-8-0. Seven hundred and eighty. For our international friends, you can read this book for free online at amazingfacts.org. Well, our lesson for today is lesson number eight, entitled, "Josiah's reforms." It's a great study that we're gonna be looking at this morning but, before we begin our lesson together, I'd like to invite our song leaders to come forward and they'll lead us in a few hymns of praise. [Music] debbie thompson kippel: thank you, Pastor Ross. And hello and welcome. I know that you guys are ready to sing 'cause we are here at Granite Bay.

And we're gonna sing one of your favorites. So pull out your hymnals, if you have those at home, and join with us, 612, a great rousing song, "onward Christian soldiers," and we're going to do the first, second, and fourth stanza. Join with us. "Onward Christian soldiers." [Music] onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal master, leads against the foe; forward into battle see his banners go! Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.

Like a mighty army moves the church of God; Christians, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Debbie: number four. Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng, blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.

Glory, praise, and honor unto Christ the King, this through countless ages men and angels sing. Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Debbie: "onward Christian soldiers." Another one that kind of ties in with that is "I'll go where you want me to go." It's another wonderful song found in our hymnal. If you're unfamiliar with it, you can learn it right now, , "I'll go where you want me to go." We will sing all three stanzas. Join with us.

[Music] it may not be on a mountain's height or over the stormy sea. It may not be at the battle's front my Lord will have need of me. But if, by a still, small voice he calls to paths I do not know, I'll answer, Dear Lord, with my hand in thine, I'll go where you want me to go. I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord, o'er mountain or plain or sea. I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord.

I'll be what you want me to be. Perhaps today there are loving words which Jesus would have me speak. There may be now in the paths of sin some wand'rer whom I should seek. O Savior, if thou wilt be my guide, though dark and rugged the way, my voice shall echo the message sweet. I'll say what you want me to say.

I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord, o'er mountain or plain or sea. I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord. I'll be what you want me to be. There's surely somewhere a lowly place in earth's harvest fields so wide where I may labor through life's short day for Jesus, the crucified. So trusting my all to thy care, I know thou lovest me.

I'll do thy will with a heart sincere. I'll be what you want me to be. I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord, o'er mountain or plain or sea. I'll say what you want me to say, Dear Lord. I'll be what you want me to be.

Debbie: thank you so much for singing along with us and, before dr. Derose brings us our lesson study, Pastor Ross is going to have our opening prayer for us. Jëan: Dear Father, we thank you for the privilege of being able to gather together on this Sabbath to open up Your Word and to study just a real inspiring story of a king who stood up for you and stood up for what was right. So we ask your blessing upon our time together today, in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson this morning will be brought to us by dr.

Derose. We're looking at lesson number eight in our "lesson quarterly" on the book of Jeremiah. Thank you, dr. Derose. David derose: thank you, Pastor Ross.

It's good to be studying again together. And that's right, we're actually two-thirds, what, three-quarters of the way through with the lesson series on the book of Jeremiah. It's great to have you joining us wherever you're tuning in and it's great to have you here in Granite Bay as we study lesson eight dealing with josiah and his amazing reforms. Let's dive into the lesson study. We start on Sunday being introduced to the reigns of manasseh and amon.

And there is a statement here. It concludes the first sentence in Sunday's lesson if you're following along in the "quarterly." It says, "human beings-- as human beings we are hopelessly subjective. We see the world not so much as the world really is but as we really are." And I'd like to add in keeping with my introduction, "as we've been told to see the world by those that we're listening to." By what was covered on the latest broadcast. The reign of manasseh. What do you know about manasseh? Turn in 2 Chronicles 33.

Chronicles 33 for an amazing reign of an amazing king. I say amazing not necessarily in a positive context. If you know anything about manasseh, we're introduced to him in 2 Chronicles chapter 33. Many of you know that Kings and Chronicles often give parallel descriptions and so we're reading now from Chronicles, Chronicles 33. It says in verse 1, "manasseh was 12 years old when he became king and he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem.

" So here we're reading about the longest--the King with the longest reign in the history of God's people. Fifty-five years. And then we read the summary statement of his ministry, if you will, ministry. Verse 2, "he did evil in the sight of the Lord according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel." And if you wanna read on, you can read on about all the terrible things that manasseh did. Now you say, "that's not a sound bite.

" Yes, it's one verse but manasseh was wicked. There's no question about it. How long did he reign for? Now if you read in the book of Hebrews, that great hall of faith in Hebrews 11, you'll read about specific individuals. Maybe we should turn there for a minute in Hebrews 11. Many of the great heroes of faith are mentioned by name but there is a passing reference that most Bible scholars and historians believe refers to Isaiah, there found in Hebrews.

And it's not a pretty picture. In Hebrews 11, as we read through this list of individuals who were great heroes of faith, we come to verse 37. It says, "they were stoned," speaking of the righteous, "they were sawn in two." They were sawn in two. Do you know who many believe that is a reference to? To Isaiah, the prophet Isaiah. Jewish tradition, Jewish history, tells us that Isaiah, during the reign of manasseh, was put into a partially hollowed log and then manasseh commanded that they take the saw and start sawing through the log with Isaiah in it.

Isaiah met his end at the hands of manasseh. By the way, this was before the days of chain saws. I mean, that's gruesome enough. This was with a hand saw, probably a crosscut saw. Two men sawing apart the prophet.

Now I don't care what you think about manasseh, this is gruesome. And we don't like to go into too much detail about it and some of you think I've already gone into too much detail about it. But this is just a picture of what manasseh was doing for 55 years! How many of you think there might have been some righteous people praying that manasseh would be removed from office? I mean, can you relate to this? I don't care if it's a business or a ministry, a church. I don't care who's listening in today, who's viewing with us. We all can relate to situations where injustice is happening in high places.

And people are praying that there be a change and what happens? No change happens. Fifty-five years. But that's not the end of manasseh's story. Perhaps one of the most remarkable stories in the Bible, I'm going back to 2 Chronicles, chapter 33. Because as we read about all these terrible acts of manasseh, the story actually does not end there.

We come down to 2 Chronicles chapter 33 and verse 10. Chronicles 33, verse 10, and I read this, "the Lord spoke to manasseh and his people but they would not listen." Come on. I mean, God here is trying to speak and they're plugging their ears but then verse 11, God is not stopping. This is amazing. Everybody's given up on manasseh except one person.

And who is that? It's God. God has not given up on manasseh. And in verse 11, it says, "therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the King of assyria who took manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon." So now, this is before the Babylonian empire. The assyrians are ruling the world and Babylon is part of their realm. And the assyrians, we are told, had an interesting practice.

Now, today, it may be popular to pierce certain body parts. But in that day, if your nose was pierced, this was generally not a good thing, especially if the assyrians had just conquered you. They would pierce your nose, put a ring in your nose, and then they would pull you with chains. This is what the reference is to what was happening with manasseh. So manasseh who was ruling, undisputed ruler for decades, now comes under the power of the enemy.

And lo and behold, look what happens. In verse 12, 2 Chronicles 33, "now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God--" when did he become his God? Suggest to you he was his God all along. We're all God's children, whether we recognize it or not. "And he calls on his God and he humbles himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And he prays to him and he received his entreaty.

" Now we're speaking of God. "God hears his supplication, he brings him back to Jerusalem, then manasseh knew that the Lord was God." Amazing! Amazing story. And I'll tell you, this story gives me hope because all of us have messed up, haven't we? Every one of us. We've all messed up. And the message to us as we read this opening story in the series is it doesn't matter what you've done, God is willing to be.

.. Be gracious to you. Not willing, he is gracious to you. And he's just asking us to call out to him. You know, there are so many verses that talk about this in the Bible.

Turn in your Bibles to psalm 130. It's in both the old testament as well as the new. Some misunderstand the God who acted in the old testament. By the way, it's the same God who acted in the new. You remember Jesus himself said, "if you've seen me, you've seen The Father.

" It's not someone different acting in the old testament. God acts in the most gentle ways possible to get our attention. For 55 years, well, not quite that because manasseh was still on the throne, but for many decades, God was appealing to manasseh to repent and he wouldn't listen. What did it finally take? It finally took God allowing the enemy to overrun the country, put a ring through his nose, and drag him hundreds of miles to Babylon. Now I hope it doesn't take that much for God to get my attention, right? We all wanna say, "well, not me.

You know, it's not--I'm listening. I'm listening." But all of us have those blinders, right? And those ear plugs and that selective hearing and those sound bites that we're focused on. "Well, this happened in my life. This--" manasseh's life is saying, "be careful." I'm turning to psalm chapter 130. Psalm 130.

And this is really illustrating the kind of God that is pictured in both the old and the new, psalm 130, verse 1, "out of the depths I have cried to you, o Lord. Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If you, Lord, should Mark iniquities, o Lord, who could stand?" I mean, if all God's interested in doing is counting where we've messed up, we're all lost. But it doesn't stop there.

Verse 4, "but there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared." That you may be respected. So today the message, just like it came to manasseh, is that there's forgiveness with the God who I can look to this morning. Who I do choose to look to this morning. Who we collectively look to when we read the word. Look at verse 5.

Do you have this spirit that the psalmist had? "I wait for the Lord. My soul waits and in His Word, I do hope." Do you have that spirit? Or are you impatient? I mean, I've gotta be honest with you. It's easy to be impatient. I find it easy to be impatient. How about you? I mean, we're in a culture that basically tells us you can have anything at the snap of a finger or at the push of a button.

I mean, how easy is it today? I mean, you have a question, what do you do? You Google it, right? Or, you know, you get on your smartphone or you pull out your tablet. It's right there. I mean, some of you are like me and you don't have as much hair as you used to have or maybe it's not the same color it was some years ago and we remember--i mean, it was hard work to research things. I can remember doing medical research years ago and I'd be in the medical library, pulling out volumes of index medicus that had all the, you know, summaries of different articles and we're wading through all this. But today, you just type a couple of keys.

So we're used to having everything right away, right? How do you feel when that car pulls in front of you? One lane road and he's going 1 mile under the speed limit. Some of you can relate. Okay, so we're an impatient society but here's what the psalmist says. Psalm 130, verse 5, "I wait for the Lord. My soul waits and in His Word I do hope.

" Let's jump in our "quarterly," because it's a perfect segue, to go to Monday's lesson. Because there was someone else dealing with some of this very same problem. Manasseh reigns for 55 years. He converts, he repents, but his son, amon, doesn't follow the repentant ways of manasseh. He jumps right back into the same life of sin.

And you might say, "well, why doesn't God give him 55 years? He only gets two." Check me out. Is that right? Did he get a few more than that? I'm turning in my Bible, this time to 2 Kings. That's the parallel account that we've been looking at in Chronicles so I'm turning to 2 Kings and in 2 Kings we wanna see just how long amon was on the throne. We're perplexed, especially if we'd been living in that day, wondering how--how God was so patient with manasseh. But now here's amon, 2 Kings chapter 21, verse 19.

It said, "he was 22 years old when he became king and he reigned," how long? Two years. "Two years in Jerusalem." And in verse 20 of 2 Kings chapter 21, it says, "he did evil in the sight of the Lord as his father manasseh had done, so he walked in all the ways that his father had walked; and he served the idols that his father had served, and worshiped them." God's forgiveness is abundant. Jesus said, "whosoever will let him come to me," right? He who comes to me I'll in no wise cast out. Come to me all you that labor and are heavy laden, I have rest for you." So we have these wonderful promises. When we find ourselves like manasseh, bound with the cords of our own sin, there is abundant forgiveness with God.

But listen carefully. Listen carefully. God's mercy should never be an excuse for sin. You see the difference? When we see ourselves as sinners, there is forgiveness with God. But we can never say, "oh, you know, I'm really being tempted.

Well, I must as well just give in 'cause God is abundant and merciful. You know, he's so kind, I can just mess up and God's gonna forgive me." That, brothers and sisters, is very, very dangerous ground. Very dangerous ground. And maybe amon--maybe amon fell into that very same trap. Listen.

How old was he when he took the throne? Twenty-two. Twenty-two, think about it. I mean, his dad reigned for how long? Fifty-five years. How long do people live? I mean, we live a--i mean, even back then, I mean, people don't die when they're 24. Have a good time now, right? You're young.

By the way, all of you, whether you're sitting here or whether you're viewing, you are much younger right now than you'll ever be. Now, some of you are saying, "not much younger than I'll ever be because, you know, in a few minutes I'm just a few minutes older." But we're never gonna get any younger. And we can all tell ourselves that we have a whole bunch more time ahead of us. So I don't know if that was amon's problem. If he felt he could just have a good time like the world promises a good time.

But it turns out, 2 years into his reign, some of his own servants kill him. Kill him. He's done. It's over. That's the context for 2 Kings 22.

Kings 22, verse 1, says, "josiah was 8 years old when he became king and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem." Now as all this is going on and we're struggling about why God acts the way he does or why he doesn't act when we think he should, someone else who was a contemporary of josiah was struggling with the very same thing. And he's brought to light in Monday's lesson. This is the prophet Habakkuk. So if you turn in your Bibles to that small little book toward the end of the old testament: Habakkuk, a contemporary of josiah. By the way, so was Zephaniah.

Zephaniah and Habakkuk, two books that are right close together--they're right next to each other in the old testament--are speaking of this same era. When Habakkuk's book opens, it does not date the book, but if you turn one book later to Zephaniah, you do see that Zephaniah's book is dated. So just to keep you on your toes, I've jumped quickly over to Zephaniah chapter 1, verse 1. Zephaniah 1, verse 1, book right after Habakkuk. "The word of the Lord which came to Zephaniah The Son of cushi, The Son of gedaliah, The Son of amariah, The Son of hezekiah, in the days of josiah The Son of amon, king of judah.

" So these two books, Habakkuk and Zephaniah, were written during josiah's reign. And I want you to notice how Habakkuk's book opens up. It opens up with this very same issue that we've been talking about. Listen. Verse 2, "o Lord, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear?" I mean, this is the experience of the children of Israel largely under the reigns of manasseh and amon.

The righteous were crying and it seemed like God had his ears plugged. But were God's ears plugged? Not at all, not at all. "How long do I cry out to you," I'm in verse 2, "'violence!' And you will not save." Verse 3 of Habakkuk 1, "why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife; contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds.

" This is like a summary of manasseh's reign and amon's reign. Why isn't God doing anything? If you read a little further in Habakkuk, God speaks to Habakkuk. He says, "I haven't forgotten. I know exactly what's going on and I am going to bring judgment." He says, "I am bringing Babylon to judge." And when Habakkuk hears that, Habakkuk knew about Babylon. These were not necessarily your nice next-door neighbors, you understand? The assyrians and the Babylonians were not, you know, warm, kind, loving people.

They were powerful oppressors. And then Habakkuk changes his argument. He says, "God, how are you gonna allow the wicked to oppress the righteous?" We don't have time to study Habakkuk's whole book but since it was introduced in this lesson, I've gotta share with you two verses that crystallize Habakkuk's experience. In Habakkuk 2, these words come to Habakkuk. Words quoted often, more than once in the new testament.

Habakkuk 2, verse 4, "behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith." You heard that before, haven't you? And then the closing words of Habakkuk. I love the closing words of Habakkuk. This is Habakkuk's experience. Now after struggling with God, "why don't you act the way I want? When I need you, why don't you show up? Why, when bad things are happening, don't you-- why, why, why, why?" Can you relate? I mean, I've been there. And maybe you're there right now.

You're wondering why the person next to you is rejoicing that God's done something wonderful for them this last week and you feel what? "Well, why hasn't God done that for me? Why hasn't God done that for me?" Here's what Habakkuk concluded at the end of his book. Verse 17, he's speaking about this walk of faith that I believe as we're studying this lesson, God wants to deepen in us our faith walk. Habakkuk 3 beginning with verse 17, "though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines." Now remember, there's an agricultural context, okay? It's an agricultural society. Fig trees, no fruit. No fruit on the vines.

"The labor of the olive may fail, the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls--" I mean this is total economic failure. I don't know how you wanna contemporize this but you could say, all the, you know, oil resource are gone. None of the cars are running. All of our industry has shut own. All of the service sector has been wiped out.

All the banks have folded. I mean, this is what he's talking about and what is Habakkuk gonna say in this context? Verse 18, "yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." What is he rejoicing in? He's rejoicing in who God is. So we struggle because we see things around us, we can't explain it but Habakkuk's saying when God pulls back the curtain, even though it seems to sometimes bring up more questions than it answers, he's asking us to share that experience. I don't understand what's happening in my life, Lord. I don't know why this is happening but I'm gonna trust in the God of what? My salvation.

God is your Savior. God has given everything for you in his son. How can we question? It's what Paul said, "how can we question what's happening when we see what God has done for us?" Well, that's the background of josiah's ministry and, maybe before we go there, I should just to make this a little bit more--this lesson story is really on the edge, I think. Do any of you know--did any of you catch in 2 Chronicles 33, how old manasseh was when he began to reign? Did any of you catch that? How old was he? He was 12. This is an extremely important detail that many casual Bible readers miss.

Turn to 2 Kings chapter 20. Kings chapter 20. I think the Bible wants to make us uncomfortable with our own supposed wisdom. We think we know just how things should happen but it's not that way at all. Kings chapter 20 is the story of king hezekiah on his death bed.

In 2 Kings 20, verse 1, Isaiah is given a message from God to hezekiah. By the way, good king hezekiah. "Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live." And what does hezekiah do? He weeps, he mourns, he beseeches God. And what does God do? Look at verse 6, "I will add to your days 15 years." How many of you know whose son manasseh was? Who was manasseh's father? It was hezekiah. How old was manasseh when he began to reign? He was 12.

How many of you are doing the math? If hezekiah had died when God said it was time for him to die, there would have been no manasseh. There would have been no manasseh. Wow, just for the faith of hezekiah. You know, if someone's just on their death bed and we could pray and they'd just be raised up. Praise the Lord for people like hezekiah? It's starting to feel a little uncomfortable.

I mean, we know what God's supposed to do, right, when we pray for healing. I was reminded of this just a week or two ago. One of the people that I work with came up to me and I don't make a special attempt to pray in public but I'm often praying with my patients. And one of the workers came up to me. I was somewhat surprised.

She said, "dr. Derose, would you pray for one of my family members?" And I said, "well, what's going on with your family member?" And as I listened to the story, it was a family member, a young child who had a congenital problem so they were born with this. And as I listened to the story, you know, I'm thinking, "well, this is--i mean, the only way something like this could be helped is by a miracle for sure." So what do you pray in a situation like that? And I'd been in this situation many times and there's two things that I think we have to wrestle with. One is: could God heal something that humans cannot heal? Is that possible? No question. We just had the story of hezekiah.

That's a good example. But at the same time, does God want us to dictate to him what should happen? You remember Jesus' attitude. Jesus, basically, had the same Revelation that hezekiah had. Are you aware of that? Jesus, as he was approaching the cross, knew that his hour had come to die. Same message that hezekiah had.

And Jesus, did he struggle with that? Did he weep over it? Now, he wasn't just dealing with human death. He was bearing the sins of the whole world, okay? There's no comparison between Jesus and hezekiah. But Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane is wrestling with his fate and what does he pray? "Not my will but yours be done." He says, "Lord, remove this cup from me." That's his desire, that's his heart desire but he says, "but not my will but your will be done," right? Does hezekiah pray that prayer? God in his mercy answers hezekiah's prayer the way he prayed it. And in eternity I wonder what hezekiah is going to say about that prayer? I mean, these are sobering stories. God's not answering your prayer.

Well, maybe we should praise the Lord. God's not answering my prayer? Well, maybe I should be praising the Lord. Even if I'm tempted to say, "why aren't you acting, God?" Are you following along with me? Well, now comes josiah. You say, "dr. Derose, we've been--you've been looking at so much background and the focus is on the great king josiah.

" Well, we're there. He's 8 years old when he begins to reign and who was his dad? Amon. Wicked amon. I mean, 8 years old. I mean, what kind of hope is there for this guy? You say, "but wait.

Think about it. Let's do the math. You know, amon didn't reign all that long. Manasseh in his last years was converted. Maybe, maybe josiah came under the good influence of his grandfather manasseh after he repented.

" Is that possible? Well, before you think that influence was all that great, no really. I'm in 2 Kings. We're gonna talk about the great reforms of josiah shortly but look at 2 Kings 23. I just want to give you a picture of what took place years after josiah had ascended to the throne. That's where we're jumping in 2 Kings chapter 23, if you're following the chronology.

So he's 26 now during this great time of reform. And listen what he does in verse 12. He's cleaning out the holy land, if you will, not just judah and Benjamin. Verse 12, "the altars that were on the roof," speaking of the holy places there in Jerusalem. He cleans those up and it says in verse 12, "the altars which manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, the King," breaks those down.

Do you understand when this is happening? This is happening 18 years into josiah's reign. There are still idols that manasseh still had in the temple, okay? You say, "this is all messed up. How can someone repent and still have their idols up? I mean, how could that happen?" If you want an interesting study, read about the good Kings of Israel. And a number of the good Kings, after the chronicler describes how good the King was, it says, "but the high places were not removed." How could that happen? Wait! Wait a minute. That religious leader has idols in the house? We have nothing to do with 'em.

They're not following God, right? Idols? Sound bite mentality, right? You look at one thing, you find something wrong. I know that person's bad, this person's good. Until you realize that they sometimes made some mistakes too. Maybe even some that affected you. I would like to suggest to you what we're reading about here is something that is not--you know, some people have put it this way.

I know I'm interrupting myself in mid-sentence but we don't have our children meeting with us typically in the adult class here. Now I know there are some people younger in years but some of you may say, "it's a good thing. We're glad you're not teaching, you know, our young children, dr. Derose, because this would be very unsettling." You know, we try to sanitize all the Bible stories. But I'm not sure we're doing anyone a favor by doing that, okay? God wants to build resiliency in his people.

He wants us to have that faith that Habakkuk had so we can rejoice in God in the midst of difficulties. Well, let's go to josiah and look at him a little bit more because he is the focal point of our lesson. So I'm going back to 2 Kings chapter 22. This 8-year-old boy begins to reign. And in verse 2 of 2 Kings chapter 22, it says, "he did what was right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David.

He did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." Now this is the kind of man we want on the throne, right? Amazing things happen. There's more details in Chronicles but in 2 Kings, things jump right into his 18th year, so when he's 26. And of some of the reforms that happen in the temple. And maybe we will just jump right there because some amazing things happen. The temple has been desecrated by a series of rulers and josiah begins to commission work to be done on the house of the Lord.

By the way, he's still a young man. And if you read the account in 2 Chronicles, you'll see his conversion, really heartfelt, you know, powerful focus on doing right was surely in place by the time he was 16. But here in verse 8, we read about an amazing thing that happens. Hilkiah the high priest, as they're cleaning out the temple, says to shaphan the scribe--I'm in 2 Kings 22, verse 8, "'I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.' And hilkiah gave the book to shaphan, and he read it. So shaphan the scribe went to the King, bringing the King word, saying, 'your servants have gathered the money that was found in the house,'" et cetera, et cetera, but in verse 10, after he gives, you know, the preliminaries, "we're doing just what you told us to do," he says, "but," verse 10, "we have found a book.

And shaphan reads it before the King." Verse 11, "now it happened, when the King heard the words of the book of the law, that he tore his clothes." There's a lot of discussion among commentators about what just that book of the law was. Sometimes that term book of the law or books of the law could refer to all the books of Moses. It clearly contextually refers at least to the book of Deuteronomy, at least. Many commentators believe it was just the book of Deuteronomy. And I tend to think that's the most compelling argument because you'll see that multiple times this book is read.

I don't get the sense as there's public readings of this book and it's read before king josiah that it was likely the entire five books of Moses but you could say, "that's just conjecture, dr. Derose. You're welcome to your own opinion." Well, that is true. So I can't make an ironclad case for it. But we know based on what happens that at least part of what's being called into focus is Deuteronomy.

Turn there in Deuteronomy just quickly to get a feel for what likely was so impressive on the mind of josiah. Because Deuteronomy spells out some very profound blessings and curses. Blessings and curses. Maybe a good place to pick this up is Deuteronomy 27. Deuteronomy 27.

There were two mountains that faced each other in the holy land: mount gerizim and mount ebal. Six of the tribes were on one mount, six on the other, and they were to, what do we call it? Antiphonally, you know, speaking back and forth, read these blessings and these curses. It was to be an enacted parable, if you will. And so the blessings are spoken from one mount and the curses from the other and listen to some of the curses in Deuteronomy 27, what the curse comes on. Verse 16 of Deuteronomy 27, "'cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.

' And all the people shall say, 'amen!' 'Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor's landmark.' And all the people shall say, 'amen!' 'Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.'" You're getting the picture here. It's speaking about family injustices. It's speaking about social injustices. Just the kind of things that Habakkuk and Zephaniah were mourning over. Just the kind of things that were happening.

And so josiah reads this. It's being read to him. And he hears what actually is a judgment on all that his people have been doing. Even though he had started reforms, those reforms really don't get the full head of steam that they needed until the 18th year of his reign when he's 26 and he hears these words of the book of Deuteronomy. Think about it.

This guy's just a kid. I mean, would we let a 26-year-old be president of the United States? No, constitutionally they cannot. I mean, he's 8 years old. He's on the throne. I mean, what does this little kid know? Sixteen, turning to God with all his heart.

He's nobody. We're not done with the plot in 2 Kings so back to 2 Kings. Because there's more that should make us a bit uncomfortable. And by the way, the more uncomfortable we get, maybe I should just remind ourselves. If you've been studying through this lesson, we're gonna come back to 2 Kings in just a moment.

Turn to Jeremiah, that's really the focus of this whole quarter and you say, "well, there's not much from Jeremiah in this lesson." Some of you are perplexed. You're scratching your head. "How is this studying Jeremiah?" The lesson, if you've noticed, as we look at the great themes of Jeremiah, it bounces between historical things happening and statements in the book of Jeremiah. I am going to Jeremiah 9. By the way, this was the key text in last week's lesson.

But I would suggest to you that what we're reading this week is about an illustration of what Jeremiah has early in his book. Jeremiah chapter 9 beginning with verse 23. Jeremiah 9, verse 23, "'let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,' says the Lord." I would suggest to you as we're going through this history in the time of Jeremiah and, by the way, Jeremiah began his prophetic ministry in the 13th year of josiah's reign. You can see it right there in Jeremiah 1.

So he's active in ministry. Habakkuk in ministry, Zephaniah in ministry. They're speaking--canonical prophets speaking to God's people and reminding us where should our trust be? "I know how it should happen. Don't you? I know how God should act." Whose wisdom is that? That's my wisdom. Listen, I've got the power now.

I can take care of things. I'm gonna set everything right 'cause i--they've given me this vote of confidence in the church. By the way, I don't have any formal position in this church, if you were worried. But, you know, people have said that. They're in a leadership position now we're gonna do things.

By the way, there are other people telling you, once they get a leadership position, all that they'll do. You understand. But it's not might, it's not power. It's not wisdom. What is it that God values? It's a humble dependence on God.

Josiah has that spirit and, as he reads this, another part of the story in 2 Kings that challenges us is who josiah calls on to see if God's judgments might be averted. Remember, we've already seen Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, prophesying during this time. Who does josiah call on? Who do the leading men of the Kingdom call on to see if judgment can be averted? They call on huldah the prophetess. Very interesting, isn't it? Huldah, a prophetess. By the way, some of you are concerned about how women are treated in our society still, in spite of the progress that's been made over the last century.

And I can empathize with you. There are still things that aren't right. But women in that culture were not regarded very highly at all. And so the prophetic message that spurs josiah's reform comes through huldah. And what does josiah do? God says it's too far--things are too far gone.

Babylon's still gonna conquer. But I'm gonna be merciful to you. And when josiah hears that, actually that's what's not mentioned between Wednesday and Thursday's lesson, when it's speaking about this, there is a quote from the book, "Prophets and Kings," at the bottom of Wednesday's lesson and another quote at the top of Thursday's lesson. What it doesn't mention is between those two quotes, is the statement in 2 Kings 22, verses 19 and 20 where God, through huldah, says he's gonna be merciful to josiah. And when josiah hears that, he says, "yes, God's judgments may not be averted but God is gonna be merciful when we try to act in harmony with him.

" And so he causes this great reform to be enacted. And it brings us back to the very beginnings of the fall of the northern kingdoms. You remember, king rehoboam in 1 Kings 13 put up idolatrous altars in bethel and a man of God came and said, "josiah is gonna pull down this altar and he's gonna burn bones on this altar," hundreds of years before it happened. And who shows up on the scene and in the 18th year of his reign? You read about it there in 2 Kings 22. Josiah pulls that altar down that who had erected? Jeroboam, king jeroboam of the northern tribes.

You say, "well, you're just whizzing through all this. How can we get all that?" That's why the Bible is such a deep well. But you know how josiah's life ends? Let's look at it. Chronicles 34, he does all these tremendous reforms. God's people are again given hope.

Josiah has a great passover in 2 Chronicles 35. But josiah dies at the end of 2 Chronicles 35. the King of Egypt, pharaoh necho, is on his way to do battle with the Babylonians. He's apparently in league with the assyrians whose kingdom is waning. And the pharaoh tells josiah in verse 21 of 2 Chronicles 35, that God has given him a message, telling josiah not to mess with him.

Oh, c'mon. Josiah, God's been leading him all his life. And now this heathen king is saying God gave him a message for him? C'mon, right. Josiah goes out to battle. What happens?" He's killed.

Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom. Let not the rich man boast in his riches. Let not the mighty man boast in his might. But what shall we boast in? That there's a God on his throne. That's what josiah's reform tells me.

When we harmonize with that God, we're blessed. When we trust in our own judgment, it's a different story. If you didn't catch it when we began, free offer number 780, "12 steps to revival." You want more about what josiah did, the essence is right here. Offer 780... Let's pray together.

Father in Heaven, thank you for your mighty word, for your mighty power. May we trust you and follow you all the days of our lives in Jesus' Name, amen. [Music] [Music] Doug Batchelor: hi, friends, this is Pastor Doug Batchelor. Would you like to hear an amazing fact? More and more of the world is turning now to natural forms of energy to try and find their power. And they're resorting to things like the wind farm that we have here in jamaica at wigton.

You know, I remember years ago my wife and I going to visit the big island of Hawaii and we were amazed at all the potential there for natural power. But they weren't using it. There at the south part of the island, there was volcanic activity. You can make geothermal power there. If you went to waimea, the wind was constantly blowing.

But they had no windmills there. If you went over to kona, sun always shines. Solar electric. But they didn't have very much solar electric there. And if you went to hilo, it was always raining.

Hydro electric. And in spite of all that potential for power there on the big island of Hawaii, they were powering the island back then with dirty diesel generators. Made me think about how we sometimes waste the power of God's Spirit that he's making available to us and each of us can have that spirit if we simply ask. You can read in Zechariah chapter 10; what do we do? Ask of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain and he will send flashing clouds. Jesus also said in the book of Luke, "if you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to them that ask?" When you look in the book of acts when the Holy Spirit was poured out, it says there was a sound of a mighty rushing wind.

And that power that launched the church back then, can still power your life today, friends. So why don't you ask him? [Music] [Music] Announcer: can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming. Watch Amazing Facts television by visiting aftv.org. At aftv.org, you can view Amazing Facts programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right from your computer or mobile device. Why wait a week? Visit aftv.

org. It's that easy. Announcer: for life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com.

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