Great and Almighty Lord, cause us to desire Thy will and way in our lives. Amen.
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Thou city ever blest,
Within thy portals first I find
My safety, peace and rest.
Here dangers always threaten me,
My days in strife are spent,
And labor, sorrow, worry, grief,
I find at best their strength.
No wonder, then, that I do long
O blessèd home, for thee,
Where I shall find a resting place,
From sin and sorrow free;
Where tears and weeping are no more,
Nor death, nor pain, nor night,
For former things are passed way,
And darkness turned to light.
Now all for me has lost its charm
Which by the world is praised,
Since on the cross, through faith, I saw
My Savior Jesus raised;
My goal is fixed, one thing I ask,
Whate’er the cost may be,
Soon to arrive in thee.
If evil in the world is only going to get worse (increase), why should I (we) live faithfully before the Lord, according to His will and way? Why not just follow the world?
Josiah reigned over Judah for 31 years. Looking at a chronology of his life we learn how important it is that each one who claims to be saved faithfully obey God’s will.
At age 8, Josiah became king of Judah (1-2). If the Book of the Law had not yet been recovered when Josiah became king, how did he know how to do what was right in the sight of Lord? (Parents, never underestimate the potential of godly influence, and remind your children that they are an influence to their peers–is it godly or evil?).
At age 16 (year 8), according to 2 Chronicles 34:3, Josiah began to seek the Lord. Why do you think it took Josiah this long to begin to seek the Lord? (While a godly influence is good, it can go only so far; he needed God’s Word).
At age 20 (year 12), also according to 2 Chronicles 34:3-7, Josiah began religious reform (destroying the “high places” [This is more completely covered in 2 Kings 23]). How far would Josiah go to lead Judah back to God? (You will have to wait until tomorrow…).
At age 26 (year 18), Josiah began repair on the Temple (3-7). When the Book of the Law was discovered (8-10), Josiah’s immediate response was to repent for having disobeyed God, then seek to know whether God would follow through on His curses (11-14). Josiah was told that God would indeed punish Judah, but because he had humbled himself before God, Josiah would die before all the calamity began (15-20).
Josiah would reign over Judah for another 13 years. Would he remain faithful throughout his entire life? Did Josiah die in “peace”? (We will know tomorrow…).
Click here for Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
Truth in Practice
Look again at 2 Kings 22:18-19. Through the prophetess, God told Josiah why he wouldn’t endure the evil God was to bring on Judah: “…because thine heart was tender.”
What does the phrase “thine heart was tender” mean? Some would incorrectly conclude this means that Josiah was led by his emotions (“heart”) because of his young (“tender”) age, “before he was hardened by the evil world.”
When we speak of “heart” we are often referring to “emotions.” But this is not the way the Hebrews would have understood “heart.” In the Hebrew manner of thinking, the “heart” was never the center of emotion, but the center of volition (will). “Tender” is not a reference to age, but, in this instance, to Josiah’s character. He was “soft” or “weak” (to his own will). Positively, Josiah was “compliant” to the will of another. When it came to sin, Josiah was resolute in destroying idolatry (that doesn’t sound very tender hearted). When it came to seeking the Lord, Josiah was weak to do his own will (which means he was willingly obedient to His every command).
Why should we live faithfully before the Lord, even if all the world persists in sin? (Because it is God’s will, which is always the right thing to do).
Is your will (“heart”) weak, soft, or delicate (“tender”) against the Lord’s will?
Q. What did God reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule which God first revealed to man for his obedience is the moral law (Deut. 10:4; Mt .19:17) which is summarised in the ten commandments.