2024_06_05 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- 2 Kings 22:1, 2 Chronicles 34-35

If there were betting sites at the time, I imagine that the odds of Josiah being an adequate national leader would have been pretty poor. His grandfather, Manasseh, was king for 55 years, and “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.”  2 Chronicles 33:2 (NLT) We discover later that Manasseh repents and humbles himself before God but not before leading the nation into devastating suffering. He was succeeded by Josiah’s father, Amon, and “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made. 23 But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the Lord. Instead, Amon sinned even more.”   2 Chronicles 33:22–23 (NLT)

Amon is only king for two years before he is assassinated, and the people make 8-year-old Josiah their new king.

Wow! This sounds like a Marvel Comic story that is setting up a third-generation king who will be an unmitigated disaster. Instead, this 8-year-old develops into a young man who rejects the failures of his immediate ancestors and pursues a humble and authentic relationship with God. As we read about the transformation Josiah brings to the nation, we need to remember that the idol worship that his predecessors endorsed had become well-entrenched. He met a lot of resistance and many lobbied him to go easy and not be so inflexible. But Josiah was more concerned for God’s purposes than his own reputation and comfort. This is the model of God-honoring leadership where God’s values are priority, the genuine good of others is what matters most, and the leader pursues both with courage.

Josiah was not perfect. Later in his reign, he messed up by not listening for God’s leadership in a military engagement (see 2 Chronicles 35:20-24). Still, his enduring legacy is made clear in 2 Kings 23:25“Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.” Our mess-ups don’t have to define us.

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor