We all know that there is a certain order to a great many things in life. If you want to bake a cake, there is an order to doing things. You’d be hard-pressed to find success if you baked the eggs and flour first and then tried to add the other ingredients. Doing things in the right order will produce the right results.
Young Josiah ascended to the throne at the ripe old age of eight. It took him a few years to get the hang of things, but by the time he turned sixteen, he was ready to learn a few things on his own.
During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David.
2 Chronicles 34:3 (NLT)
At this point, Israel had endured over a half century of pagan rule. They pretty much worshiped whatever the heck the wanted to worship however they wanted to worship it. The Temple fell into ruin. But Josiah was curious about the God that had brought his nation out of Egyptian slavery. He wondered about this God of David.
Soon, Josiah saw the grave error in the ways of his people and set out to cleanse the land of all pagan worship. He made sure that every object and priest associated with the worship of anything or anyone other than the God of David was set to ruin. Within ten years, Judah, including the Temple in Jerusalem, was idol-free.
In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple, Josiah appointed [insert a bunch of names here], to repair the Temple of the Lord his God.
2 Chronicles 34:8 (NLT)
At some point in the last decade, the God of his ancestor David became the Lord his God. Josiah now had a personal relationship with God that went beyond familial ties. And he continued in his quest to restore Jerusalem and Judah to the Lord. He tackled the Temple next.
During the restoration of the temple, the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given to Moses was found. Josiah was both elated and in despair. They had a covenant with God! They had also completely broken their covenant with God. But because of Josiah’s humility, Judah would be spared from God’s wrath during Josiah’s lifetime. So Josiah set out to renew Judah’s covenant with the Lord. Once Israel had repented, they celebrated the Passover.
Even though he was young, Josiah was wise. The order in which he went about restoring Israel was the only way that would have been successful. By first ridding the land of pagan worship, he ensured that the Temple, once restored would not be used to worship foreign gods. The restoration of the Temple next led to the discovery of the Book of the Law of the Lord. This discovery led to the renewed covenant. Once their covenant with the Lord was renewed, they were able to celebrate Passover and their offerings were received by God because they had been offered in the fashion prescribed in the Book of the Law.
We can look at our lives the same way. Sometimes we allow so many distractions in, that we are no longer wholly committed to the Lord. We cannot recommit to God so long as those distractions remain. So get rid of the distractions first. Once the distractions are gone, we can humble ourselves and renew our own covenant with God. We can go to His Word and remind ourselves of all the things He has done for us and said about us. Once our hearts are right, our worship becomes pure and acceptable.
Though Josiah was young and had no experience to lean on from those who ruled before him, I believe that in his first step of seeking the Lord, that the Holy Spirit led him in his next steps. God can and will do the same for us. His Word says that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Seek Him first and allow His Spirit to guide you in the order of things to follow.
Daily Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36, John 19:1-22