Summary: Examines the six principals of revival in 2 Kings 23
The text for this sermon is 2 Kings chapters 22 & 23.
This is the true story of young King Josiah:
Josiah was raised in an ungodly home. His evil and idolatrous father King Amon was assassinated when Josiah was 8 years old.
So Josiah inherited the throne when he was 8 years old. Do you remember when you were 8 years old? All I can remember was that I was in the 3rd grade and my teacher Mrs. Haily didn’t like me – it seemed like I was always in trouble. 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 decreed that from that day forward no kids would have had to eat vegetables (especially that spinach in the lunch-room cafeteria). I would have signed into law (with a large printed signature) that kids did not have to have bed times. I would have decreed that girls had to stay away from boys to avoid koodies. I would have ordered that when the circus came to town it would be a holiday. I would have ordered Christmas to happen 4 times a year. I would have ordered desert to be served in the school cafeterias three times a day. Well 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.
So young King Josiah was raised by Hilkiah the High Priest and his family until he was ready to be king. The affairs of state were left to the palace officials while King Josiah grew up.
It was probably because he was adopted by Hilkiah and raised in a priest’s home that he developed a love for God. Josiah was not only a king, but he was also a PK (Priest’s Kid).
The spiritual and moral conditions of Judah continued to decline. Northern Israel had already been carried into captivity by the Assyrians, and God had plainly told Judah that the same would happen to them if they didn’t repent. Yet the Kings and the people of Judah ignored God’s warnings and went on living like the people of Noah’s day.
At age 26 King Josiah ordered that 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 known as the Pentateuch or “the Book of the Law” was in essence 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 were able to locate a prophetess named Huldah. Her message from the Lord confirmed that God was indeed 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 the Lord read to him.
Read 2 Kings 23:1-3
Revival came and people recommitted their hearts and lives to God.
After this renewal, King Josiah set about ripping down pagan altars, burning occultic shrines, and killing the occultic priests. He removed the vile articles made for Ball and Asherah worship from the Temple grounds. He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes which were located in the Temple of the Lord. King Josiah cleaned house.
The last thing he did was to re-institute the observance of the Passover. Not only had the Bible been neglected, but they even neglected to observe the primary Jewish religious holiday which was the Passover. 2 Kings 23:22 says, “Not since the days of the judges who led Israel, nor throughout the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah, has any such Passover been observed.” It had been 750 years since the Jews had celebrated the Passover. This would be equivalent to the Christian Church not celebrating communion for 750 years.