During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David. Then in the twelfth year, he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem, destroying all the pagan shrines, the Asherah poles, and the carved idols and cast images. – 2 Chronicles 34:3
Did you ever think a king could be lonely? I think Josiah was—alone in his faith as he began sweeping reforms in a nation that had forgotten about God. Josiah “did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. . . . He did not turn aside from doing what was right” (2 Chronicles 34:2). Josiah is painted as one of the finest of all the kings. “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” (2 Kings 23:25).
Judah’s great kings were always those who reformed the nation, bringing them back to God. Josiah’s Judah did not follow their king’s lead with much enthusiasm, however. In fact, Josiah had to require the people to obey the terms of God’s law as read in the newly discovered Book of the Covenant (2 Chronicles 34:31-32). Yet Josiah knew how the kingdom needed to go and he did what had to be done—whether the people enthusiastically followed or not.
So how do you do it alone? How do you try to make a difference for God when everyone else is complacent? You take responsibility yourself. You seek to please the Lord. You live openly and with integrity. Josiah’s spirituality and disciplined life meant going it alone. Will you go it alone if necessary? God will go with you if you do.
For Further Study: 2 Chronicles 34:1-7, 29-33
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.