Summary: This is a sermon about a young king who loved the Lord. His name was Josiah. It is about revival and what is necessary to receive revival.
(The video of this sermon can be seen by going to ... www.cowetanazarene.org/videos.html)
I wonder if it would be possible for one or two young boys to teach us such valuable lessons that would not only impact our very lives, but impact the future of a nation? And if they could, what would that message look like?
This morning, we will inspect the lives of two very young boys and see if we can find anything in them that might be of help to us in our Christian walks and in our national health.
The two young boys I am referring to lived many centuries ago in Jerusalem, and one of them was the grandfather of the other. Of course, I am talking about Manasseh and Josiah.
Manasseh’s father died and he inherited the throne as just 12-years of age. He ruled for 55 years, and the older he got, the more ungodly he became. As king of Judah, he allowed God’s temples to be ransacked and left in ruins, often times he would even allow pagan idols to be built either next to, or even in, the temple.
He allowed the worship of any belief in Jerusalem as long as it was not the true belief in our LORD. He caused the unwarranted deaths of thousands of innocent people, and even threw an infant son of his in a fire to appease a pagan god. If there were any man who deserved to go straight to hell for having an ungodly heart, it was Manasseh. Or, at least, that is what we would believe at this point.
In the latter days of his life, Manasseh looked to the hills to find his God; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And with his God, he not only found the repentance of his soul, but also the redemption of his soul. This once-ungodly evil king, became a child of the Most High.
But his sin had taken its toll and the damage was done to his nation. When he died, his son Amon inherited to the throne, and he was just as evil as his father. Gives rise to the old expression; “Like father, like son.”
During his reign, he also allowed the worship of pagan gods and the ruination of the godly in Jerusalem. And just as his father had done before him, he allowed the deaths of many innocent and godly citizens.
When he died, his son, Josiah, was just 8-years old, and he inherited the king’s throne. But he was not ready to run a nation, so, the high priest in his evil father’s kingdom was allowed to adopt little Josiah and raise him as his own.
That high priest was named Hilkiah, and he was a very godly man. He loved God and was devoted to Him. So, when he adopted the king’s orphan son, Josiah, he began teaching the boy about God. He taught him to love God and to pray to God and to follow God.
Of course, we would all agree that an 8-year old is in no way capable of leading anything, much less an entire nation.
Can you remember when you were that young? What was your highest priority in life? I think mind was recess. At least it ranked much higher than studying, doing my chores, or anything else was supposed to do.
During that time, evil had come over both Israel to the north, and Judah to the south. Israel had already been overrun and taken captive by the Assyrians as punishment for turning away from God, and Judah was following quickly in their footsteps. This was the political and socio-economic situation in which Josiah inherited from his father. Absolute ruination of a nation. Very similar to what America is getting ready to go through today, for the very same reasons. It would seem at the onset that humans are not very good at learning from past mistakes.
And Josiah was about 20-years of age, when he took over as King of Judah. One of the very first things he did as king, was to officially order the rebuilding of the temple that his father and grandfather before him had allowed to be demolished.
He also ordered the demolition of the pagan idols and altars that were allowed in their times before him, and he wanted the evil ousted from his nation so badly, that he had all the evil priests taken out and slain.
And while they were rebuilding the temple, they found something that had been buried in the ruins and had been forgotten about for many years. They found the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible, known as the Law of Moses. Can you imagine living in a place where there is no Bible, and has not been any, for hundreds of years?