Josiah had all “the elders of Judah and Jerusalem” and “all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem – the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great” listen as he read the “book of the Covenant”. In response there was likely never such an immediate and thorough transformation of the land led by any king previous to or after Josiah’s life.
Josiah led the entire kingdom into a “covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes”, so they would follow after the Lord and His word.
There was a cleansing of the temple and the city of anything that dealt with Baal or Asherah or the “host of heaven”; all of which was burned outside Jerusalem. Any and every vestige of idolatry was destroyed. Places where child sacrifices had been made were destroyed, as well as the priests who had been involved.
As the only resident and living royal heir from David, Josiah had every right to place upon Israel all his commands; as Israel had already been placed in Babylonian captivity. Shrines were desecrated that had been dedicated to idols and the Passover was reinstituted as it had never been before.
We see in these first thirty verses the power of the Word! In Josiah’s case it brought about reformation of the decadent lifestyles that Judah and Israel had lived. In our case it has the power to transform our spirit, soul and body before the Lord. The Word transforms chaos into peace, defeat into victory, and despair into hope, illness into health and transgression into salvation. There is POWER IN THE WORD of God!
Upon Josiah’s death JehoAhaz became king, but only reigned three months, then his older brother Jehoiakim became king. He had been placed as a kind of tax collector, to receive the silver and gold from the people in Judah. Each of these sons of Josiah “did evil in the sight of the Lord”; rather than living as their father did.
My friend, there is power in the Word! Read it, meditate on it, declare it and live it. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His word will remain forever.