Summary: Josiah had everything going against him: horrible parents, no Bible, a defeated and bankrupt nation. But despite his trials, he became the greatest King of Israel, spiritually, even greater than David! You too can beat your problems and rise to do great things!
HANGING ON TO HEAVEN WHEN HELL IS ON YOUR BACK
2 Chr. 33:1-35:18
1. The King of Egypt decided to modernize his country by putting plumbing in all the buildings. The people were delighted to get indoor running water!
2. To accomplish this, Pharaoh opened a school for plumbers. Needless to say, the graduates from this school were in high demand. They became known as “Pharaoh’s Faucet Majors.” (A pun on the actress, Farrah Fawcett Majors.)
1. 33:1Manasseh…reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord…3 He rebuilt the high places … erected altars to the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the Lord…6 He sacrificed his children in the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, practiced divination and witchcraft, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. 9 Manasseh…did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites. 20 And Amon his son succeeded him as king. 22 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 24 Amon’s officials… assassinated him…25and they made Josiah his son king in his place. 34:2 [Josiah] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 4…the altars of the Baals were torn down; he…smashed the Asherah poles and the idols. 5 He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem 6…Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali….8 He sent…to repair the temple of the Lord. 14 Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses. 19 When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 22 [Josiah] sent…to the prophet Huldah. 23 She said to them, 26“Tell the king of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says…: 27 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself…and tore your robes and wept in my presence…. 28You will be buried in peace…your eyes will not see all the disaster.’” 29 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 32 Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it. 35:1Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord. 18 The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel.”
1. Many times we feel we have many disadvantages, trials, failures, and setbacks. You may have come from a broken home, or had parents who committed crimes, or you came from a very immoral family.
2. You may have felt like giving up, or wondered why God let these things happen in your life. You may have doubts about God’s love for you.
3. You are not alone. The Bible is filled with the accounts of many people who suffered as you have – but we can see what happened as they trusted in God; God brought them out into victory!
4. Tonight we’re looking at a young man who was brought up in the worst of situations, but he trusted in God and God did marvelous things for him.
5. The title of this message is “Hanging on to Heaven when Hell is on Your Back!”
I. THE TERRIBLE LEGACY JOSIAH HAD
A. THE MOST UNGODLY FAMILY EXAMPLES
1. Josiah’s grandfather was Manasseh, the most wicked king ever to reign in Israel. Manasseh was a horrible idol worshipper, even burning his own sons in sacrificial fires. He dabbled in black magic, practiced sorcery and consulted mediums and spiritists.
2. 2 Kgs 21:16 says, “Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end.” The LORD said…"Manasseh king of Judah…has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him” 2 Kgs 21:10-11.
3. The Bible tells us that Josiah’s father, Amon, was just like his father Manasseh… “But unlike his father Manasseh, he did not humble himself before the LORD; Amon increased his guilt.” 2 Chron. 33:22-23. He was an equal to his wicked father!
B. HE HAD NO BIBLE TO GUIDE HIM
1. For the first 18 years of Josiah’s reign (2 Chron. 34:8), Josiah did not have the Bible to guide him, he just followed the oral traditions passed down from the God-fearing priests.
2. So for 43 years of Manasseh’s reign, 2 years of Amon’s reign, and 18 years of Josiah’s reign – the Bible had been lost – that’s 63 years! No Bible! (and it appears to be the only copy!) How remarkable that Josiah did any of the good he did without the Bible’s direction.