2 Chronicles 34 is a fascinating chapter of Scripture, partially because several critical events happened in rapid succession. King Josiah ordered that the temple be rededicated, and purified, for corporate worship. In the process of cleaning up the temple, workers rediscovered a copy of the Mosaic Law. It was read to King Josiah, who was immediately devastated, knowing that sin always has a reckoning, and Judah would certainly have to face it. The king then inquired of God, in hopes that the people could be redeemed, and perhaps spared the judgment of long-term rebellion. God responded to King Josiah. In the holy message, the Lord effectively said that the judgment was coming and it would not be prevented, but, because King Josiah had showed sincere humility and despair over Judah’s spiritual immorality, the judgment would be spared a generation. In other words, King Josiah would have live through the destruction of Jerusalem.
What intrigues me most in the text is King Josiah’s immediate reaction to the delayed judgment. It is quite inspiring. In some ways, it was a test of sincerity, conviction and character. When Josiah learned that divine wrath would be restrained during his lifetime he could have easily reverted to a life of empty, religious exercise. Or he could have reverted to the example of his ancestors: practice idolatry. But King Josiah did not honor God out of carnal fear, nor out of selfish ambition. He served God out of unadulterated faith. It was pure and true. The point being, faith longs to be exercised in times of prosperity, as well as in times of pain.
When King Josiah received the news that Judah would be momentarily free of severe punishment he chose to continue personal, and corporate, adoration of the Lord. In anything, his dedication to God intensified after this event, affirming the sincerity, conviction, and character Josiah possessed. Times of blessing can be just as challenging as times of cursing, but Josiah was resolute, and steadfast, in all seasons of life.
2 Chronicles 34:28 “‘Now I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.’” (NIV)
Kevin Orr (8/14/2019)