Summary: A message that deals with what we must do before any revival can begin. Text, audio, and Communion message will be placed at: www.sermonlist.com
Can you remember when you were 8-years old? What was your top priority at that age? Was it the efficient operations of your household, or was it to hurry and go out so you could play with your friends?
All I can remember was that I was in the 3rd grade and I loved recess. If you would have made me President of the United States when I was eight years old, I would have declared that schools could only have recess and nothing else. I would have signed into law that kids did not have to have bed times.
I would have declared that girls had to stay away from boys to avoid kooties. I think you get my point. An 8 year old is in no way ready to be the king of a nation. When I was 8, I couldn’t even remember where I left my bicycle let alone even think about affairs of state. In fact when I was 8 I wasn’t even sure what state I lived in.
But sometimes an 8 year old is put in charge of things. Today, I want to talk to you about one such little boy. His name was Josiah. His story is found in 2 KINGS, chapters 22 & 23.
Josiah was born into an ungodly home. His father was King Amon, an evil man who worshipped idols. And he was assassinated when Josiah was just 8 years old. And it was then that Josiah was appointed King of Judah. But God bestowed His favor upon that little boy. He was adopted and raised by Hilkiah, the High Priest, and his family until he was ready to take over the responsibilities of king. And Hilkiah was a man who loved God.
During this time, the spiritual conditions in Judah continued to decline. Northern Israel had already been taken into captivity by the Assyrians, and God had told Judah that the same thing would happen to them unless they repented.
Let me interrupt this story to bring you an important news flash. God is telling America the same thing today. Repent or suffer the consequences.
And America is doing the same thing the people of Judah did then. We are ignoring His warnings and living how we want to live, refusing to let the truth of God direct our lives.
At age 26, King Josiah ordered money be collected for the restoration of the Temple in Jerusalem. It had fallen into disrepair after years of neglect. During the remodeling project, Hilkiah the High Priest found a copy of the first 5 books of the Bible and immediately sent it to King Josiah. The first 5 books of the Bible, also known as the ‘Pentateuch’ or ‘the Book of the Law’ was the Jewish Bible of the time.
Unfortunately, no one had read it for years. They had become like the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages who never allowed the Bible to be read in the language of the people. So for the first time in his life this Godly King heard the Word of God read to him.
What was his response? He tore his robes, humbled himself, and wept in the presence of the Lord.
He then sent his officials to find a prophet to inquire of the Lord as to what to do. His officials located a prophetess whose named was Huldah. Her message confirmed that God was going to bring disaster on the land and people, but he would give King Josiah peace during his reign because he had a responsive heart when he heard the Word of God read to him.
Then, the young king called the elders and priests, and even the people together and read from God’s word.
2 Kings 23:3 tells what happened.
‘The king stood by the pillar and renewed the promise in the presence of the Lord – the promise to follow the Lord and keep His commands, regulations, and decrees with all his heart and all his soul; thus confirming the words of the promises written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to this same promise.’
The beginning of any revival is the rededication and recommitment of the people to turn towards God and be obedient unto His word. In other words, if you really want revival, you must revive yourself in His presence, wholly without holding back.
After this renewal, King Josiah ordered the pagan altars be torn down and burned, and the priests of the occult be killed. He removed all evil objects that people used to worship false gods.
And then he reinstituted the observance of the Passover Meal. Not only had the people forgotten all about their bible, they had forgotten all about their primary Jewish religious holiday; the meal of Passover, and the remembrance of how God led the entire Jewish nation out of slavery in Egypt.