|“…Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?” Declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 22:15-16)|
Some important history…
Josiah became king when he was eight years old- the year was 640 B.C. He became king during a time when the nation of Judah was very evil. King Manasseh had been king. He did evil in the sight of the Lord. In fact 2 Kings 21:11 says that Manasseh had been more wicked than all the Amorites before him and he had made Judah sin with idols. The times of Manasseh were so evil that it provoked God’s anger and He pronounced judgment on them. (2 Kings 21:12-16)
King Manasseh was king for 55 years. His son Amon reigned two years after him and continued in the evil of his father.
So when Josiah came to the throne Judah an evil nation. The people worshiped in the temple of God, but also worshipped other idols and followed many of the gods of the nations around them. However Josiah did right in the sight of the Lord and walk in all the ways of his father David (2 kings 22:2). Ten years into Josiah’s reign while repairing the house of the Lord the book of the law was found. When it was read in to hearing of Josiah he tore his clothes.
Josiah was told by the Lord that because Judah had forsaken God His wrath would burn against them and it would not be quenched. (22:17) However because Josiah’s heart was tender and he humbled himself before the Lord when he heard what God spoke against the place and against it inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and Josiah tore his clothes and wept before God then God would not destroy Judah while Josiah lived. (22: 14-20)
In 2 Kings 23:2 we find Josiah making “a covenant before the Lord to walk after the Him and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statures with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of the covenant that were written in this book.”
Josiah then began to rid all of Judah of the idols, the idolatrous priests, he removed the altars on the high places and he removed the mediums, and the spiritists and all that was an abomination in the sight of the Lord.
And now back to Jeremiah 22. The year is 609 B.C. and Josiah’s son Shallum is king. Shallam does evil in sight on the Lord. God says to him “your father did justice, righteousness and pled the cause of the afflicted and needy. So it was well with him.” Why did God bless Josiah? Because Josiah knew God and did what was right in the sight of the Lord. Jeremiah 9:24 says that God delights in those who exercise loving-kindness (faithfulness), justice and righteousness.
Who does God bless? He blesses those that know Him. How do we know that we know God? If we know God we will practice faithfulness to God, we will practice loving-kindness to those around us. If we know God we will plead the cause of the afflicted and needy, we will practice righteousness.
Does the life you live show that you know God?
|The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him; the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. (1 John 2:4-6)|