Stay on God’s Path

19 July 2020 PM – 2Chronicles 34-35 – Kings20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: The spiritual life of Judah in the 7th century BC was much like a yoyo. They went down with wicked Ahaz for 16 years. They went up with his godly son Hezekiah for 29 years. Then his very ungodly son Manasseh took them way down for 55 years. He repented and tried to bring the nation back up spiritually, but with little success. Amon his son took them back down again for another 2 years. God in His mercy then raised up the boy king Josiah to lead the nation back up again for 31 years. This evening, we are going to see that Josiah was an amazing and godly young king. He stayed on God’s path during his entire life.
Transition: God gives us a briefing about Josiah at five ages of his life, each of which teach us valuable lessons.
  1. Josiah at age 8
a.         He was crowned king (34:1)
1)         After servants assassinated his father, the people of the land place the boy Josiah on the throne.
2)         His mother’s name was Jedidah, but we know nothing about her, but it is likely that she was godly (2Ki 22:1). He must have also had godly mentors and counsellors.
b.         He did right in the sight of the Lord (34:2)
1)         This description probably describes his entire life, but it began when he was just eight.
2)         God saw him as righteous. He walked in the good ways of David.
3)         He faithfully walked with the Lord and “declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.” He stayed on God’s path. God did not say that about any other king. Life has many sinful “rabbit trails” that lure us off God’s path. We must be like Josiah and ignore those tempting trails.
  1. Josiah at age 16
a.         He began to seek the Lord (34:3)
1)         The word “seek” means, to resort to or enquire. It is to look for or search for something or for answers.
2)         This may have been when he personally placed his faith in the Lord. On the other hand, it may have been when he became diligent in seeking the Lord’s will for his life.
b.         Seeking the Lord is a personal choice
1)         Others, like your parents and your pastor can point you in God’s direction, but once you are old enough to understand, you are responsible for your soul. You must place your faith in the Lord to escape judgment.
2)         You will not go to heaven because your parents are Christians. You must choose Christ. Young people, have you done that? Are you sure God has forgiven your sins?
3)         If you are, then let others see it. Seek God’s will for your daily life, as did Josiah.
  1. Josiah at age 20
a.         He began to purge the land of idolatry (34:3-7)
1)         Having sought the Lord’s will for his life for four years and now having become a young man, he turned his attention to the spiritual condition of his nation.
2)         He broke down, cut down, beat down, and burned all that pertained to idol worship.
b.         Spiritual healing starts with removing evil
1)         In your own life, before you can grow spiritually, you must remove the sinful things that are holding you back.
2)         Hindrances may be bad friends, bad books, bad viewing habits, bad social habits, bad language, etc.
3)         Sinful hindrances act as anchors and will hold you back spiritually. You must break them and remove them.
  1. Josiah at age 26
a.         He repaired the house of the LORD (34:8-33)
1)         The temple had decayed from years of abuse and neglect (34:8-13). Josiah determined to repair it.
2)         Workers found the book of the Law as they cleaned out temple (34:14-15). How sad. The Bible had been so neglected that no one even knew where it was. Where is your Bible? When is the last time you read from it by yourself?
3)         They read the Law to King Josiah (34:16-19).
4)         Josiah ordered that the priests go enquire of the Lord for him concerning all that they had read in the Law (34:20-21).
5)         They went to Huldah the prophetess (34:22). [This is one occasion when the men of Israel had gotten so far away from God that God spoke through a godly woman.]
a)         She said that evil was coming because of Judah’s sins (34:24-25).
b)         She said that because Josiah’s heart was tender and he repented, tore his clothes, and wept when he heard God’s word, God would allow him to die in peace before judgment came (34:27-28)
6)         Josiah then had the Law read to all the people of his nation (34:30). He obeyed the Bible and commanded his people to serve the Lord (34:33). He and the people made a covenant to walk after the Lord and obey the Bible with all their heart and with all their soul (2Ki 23:3). That is a great thing for every Christian to do. Perhaps God would have you make such a covenant tonight.
7)         Josiah also went further in destroying idol worship in the land. In doing this, he fulfilled a 330-year-old prophecy. Read 1 Kings 13:2 and then 2 Kings 23:15-18.
b.         He conducted a great Passover (35:1-19)
1)         This was a great national time of worship.
2)         They offered many animal sacrifices a part of their worship.
3)         As Christians, we are to offer up spiritual sacrifices (1Pe 2:5). We offer spiritual sacrifices by offering our bodies to God’s service (Ro 12:1), by thanking and praising God, by doing good and sharing with the needy (Heb 13:15-16), by supporting missions (Php 4:18), and by walking in love (Eph 5:2).
  1. Josiah at age 39
a.         He fought against Necho king of Egypt (35:20-22)
1)         Evidently, from his 18th year as king until his 31st year of his reign, Josiah enjoyed 13 quiet years of serving the Lord.
2)         In his 31st year, when he was 39 years old, Necho king of Egypt went up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates. That is way up near Haran in the far north.
3)         For some unknown reason (probably because it was God’s time to take him) Josiah went out to stop Necho from going up. He fought against him at Megiddo (near Mt. Carmel).
4)         Necho warned him not to meddle with him, but Josiah would not listen.
b.         He died in battle (35:23-27)
1)         During the battle, Josiah was wounded and died (35:23-24). Just as God had said, Josiah enjoyed years of peace and died before God’s judgment came upon the nation.
2)         Jeremiah was an active prophet by this time and he mourned for Josiah (35:25).
Conclusion: We have noted many valuable lessons that we can learn from the life of Josiah. He did right in God’s sight and did not turn from it to the right or left. He stayed on God’s path. He made a personal choice in his life to seek the Lord for salvation and to seek God’s will for his life. How about you? He removed the evil hindrances around him so that he and others could serve the Lord. If you know of hindrances in your life, you will not grow until you remove them. When he read the Bible, he made a covenant in his heart and soul to walk after the Lord and to obey His word. That too is a great step for each of us. At the Passover, he offered sacrifices to the Lord. We worship the Lord by offering spiritual sacrifices like self-surrender, thanks, praise, doing good, service and love. God gave him many years of peace because he put the Lord first in his life. We must do the same.
Song: I Surrender All – 394