Sunday, November 15, 2015

This week's lesson (November 14-20): Josiah's reforms

"Desire without knowledge is not good -- how much more will hasty feet miss the way" (Proverbs 19:2, NIV).
Josiah was a righteous man.

Too bad that wasn't enough.

Of his righteousness, the Bible is clear:
  • He orders repairs on the Temple -- repairs that discover a Book of the Law.
  • In accordance with this Book of the Law, he orders the destruction of pagan shrines, and the celebration of a great Passover.
  • And "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" (2 Kings 23:25, NIV).
So far, so good.
Unfortunately, Josiah gets involved in politics -- international politics. When Pharaoh Necho of Egypt sent troops to assist Assyria in its fight against Babylon . . . 
Josiah marched out to meet him in battle. But Necho sent messengers to him, saying, "What quarrel is there, king of Judah, between you and me? It is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war. God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you." 
Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Necho had said at God's command but went to fight him on the plains of Megiddo. 
Archers shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, "Take me away; I am badly wounded." So they took him out of his chariots, put him in his other chariot and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him [And] Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah . . . (II Chronicles 35:20-25, NIV).
In short, even good people can make mistakes.
Even righteous people can be wrong.
And even though Josiah led God's people in reformation and revival, that didn't mean you should always follow him.

No, there was nothing wrong with Josiah's heart.

It's his head that got him in trouble.

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