Josiah was an amazing king. While it is incredible that he started his rule at age eight, the thing that he is remembered for most is his faithfulness to God. During his eighteenth year as king, the Book of the Law was rediscovered and read to him.
Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it… Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. – 2 Kings 22:8, 10-11
When Josiah heard the words of the law, he tore his robes and wept (v.19). In response, he had the people of Judah recommit themselves to God, removed the false gods in the land, and saw that the Passover was celebrated. 2 Kings 23:25 sums up his life very well:
Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
Christian parents, our children, the next generation, are struggling and statistics show that 60% will leave the faith by adulthood. It is our turn to follow in King Josiah’s footsteps. Let us hear in humility how we have strayed from God and his good ways, and see the impact it is having on our children. Let us acknowledge our sins and repent, but then let’s take action to change things.
Seeing Our Sins
God, forgive us for not loving you as our first love. We have made you worthy of only one hour a week. Instead, we have placed so many things above you in our lives. We love ourselves and choose to put our ways before your ways. We love our wealth and possessions and the comfortable lifestyle they bring. We are storing up our treasures here instead of fixing our eyes on eternity. We live lives devoted to entertainment, consuming hours of content each day that your Word speaks against and forgetting the work you have called us to do. We love our status. We love pleasure. We love all the empty cisterns we have dug that don’t even hold water (Jeremiah 2:11-13).
God, forgive us for our selfishness. We live during a time where each of us has a page promoting ourselves daily. We go through our days walking around saying, “Here I am!” instead of being focused on others, saying “There you are.” We make career choices, time choices, children choices, spiritual choices that fit our desires. We try to redefine what your Word says to fit our ideas and we make you into a god that is comfortable and accommodating to us. We place ourselves in the seat of honor and have forgotten the example Jesus gave when he washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).
God, forgive us for our sexual immorality. We are chained to our sin of pornography. We watch inappropriate ads, YouTube videos, music videos, and TV shows. We let our eyes enjoy filthy magazine covers and anyone dressed immodestly. We commit adultery daily in our hearts. For some, we have committed adultery with another or have looked for satisfaction outside of your design for sexuality through cohabitation and homosexuality.
God, forgive us for modeling to our children all these things. We see the impact it is having on the next generation.
And, God, forgive us for losing sight of the treasure we have in you. You are our good Father! You are perfect in love and perfect in justice. You define truth and forever are faithful to your promises. You are all-knowing, ever-present, and all-powerful. You showed us what love is by sending Jesus to pay the price for all our sins. You are our rock, our comforter, and our helper. You are the I AM, from beginning to end. You are the one true God, worthy of all glory and honor, worthy of our devotion, and worthy of our entire lives!
God, we repent.
God’s Good News
The good news is God is waiting with open arms to forgive us and to help us move forward in triumph.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. – James 4:10
King Josiah wept when he heard the Book of the Law, but he didn’t stay there. Instead, he took action and turned things around. That is the response we need to have today. Jesus has already paid the price for our sins, so now, with God’s help, let us overcome them!
The key is that we need to be people that love God’s Word again. It is through reading the Bible daily that the Holy Spirit grows our relationship with God and reveals his truth to us in a world full of lies. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to convict us and transform us, encourage and guide us. He reminds us that we are all called to walk a new road and each of us has a mission to go.
Our children need us to come alive in our faith. They need us to show them what it looks like to follow God with all our heart and soul and strength. They need to see that Jesus isn’t just for salvation, but he is our life now. It is in him we find true life here on earth and understand our purpose and calling. Our children, the next generation, need us to be like Josiah today – to start with repentance, but then to take action.