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Summary: The United States of America has been a blessed nation because it has a Godly base. The reason we are the wealthiest, most free, most secure, most envied nation on earth is that we were established as a nation under God, and God has kept His promise to b

Taking Back America's Values

2 Kings 21 - 23

I want to tell you about a little-known hero in the Bible named Josiah. It’s a fascinating account that has some very relevant applications to America. Josiah’s grandfather, Manasseh, had been the most wicked king the nation of Judah ever had. The Bible says Manasseh led the people to be more wicked than the Canaanites who had been vomited out of the land years before because of their sin.

Manasseh completely disregarded God’s commandments and lived a life of self-indulgence. He promoted interfaith marriages. He encouraged the worship of other gods even though it involved human sacrifice. He even sacrificed one of his own infant sons to a foreign god. Manasseh was the Adolph Hitler, or Hugo Chavez, or Saddam Hussein of Judah and shed a lot of innocent blood.

For 55 years, Manasseh led the nation in a moral freefall. God had promised His people that if you obey me you will be blessed, if you forsake me you will be cursed. Under Kings David and Solomon, God’s authority was respected, and, for over a century, Israel was prosperous and harmonious.

But now God was totally rejected, the nation was sharply divided, and there was widespread violence and moral chaos. When Manasseh finally died, his son, Amon, became king but he was just as bad. After two years Amon was assassinated by some of his own officials.

That’s when Josiah was crowned king and the amazing thing is this: he was only eight years old when he began his reign. You would think, with his family history and inexperience, that Josiah would be a disaster. But he was surrounded with good advisors and young Josiah had a heart for God. He became one of Judah’s best kings and led a campaign to clean up the country.

The Bible says in 2 Kings 22:2, “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father (ancestor) David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.”

When he was still a young man, Josiah ordered the temple to be refurbished. The House of God had been totally neglected under his grandfather. In fact, it had been used as a hub of idol worship and prostitution. So, Josiah ordered that it be renovated.

While working in that reconstruction project, one of the priests discovered an ancient scroll, hidden away in a dusty closet. It was a copy of the Scriptures that no one had paid attention to for decades. When the Bible was read to Josiah he recognized it as the word of God, tore his robe in dismay and worry, and cried out, “Lord, we’ve not obeyed these commands, what’s going to happen to us?”

God answered through a prophetess named Huldah that since Judah had become so wicked it was His plan that the nation would be destroyed. Josiah took immediate action to try to prevent that from happening. He ordered all the people to gather at the temple to listen to the word of God and then to go home and obey it.

Then Josiah ordered that all the idols and the equipment used to worship the false gods be taken outside the city and burned. He cut down all the Asherah poles, which were kind of the sexually-oriented businesses of his day…the Love Shacks of Judah. He tore down the houses of prostitution and executed the priests who led in the false worship. Then he reinstituted the priesthood and the observance of the Passover.

The Bible says in 2 Kings 23: 24b - 25, “This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the LORD. Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”

Because of King Josiah’s repentance, God gave the nation of Judah a reprieve from judgment. God told Josiah in 2 Kings 22:19-20, “’Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD…and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence…Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”.

Josiah reigned for 31 years and Judah seemed to thrive under his leadership. But when he died, the moral slide resumed and a few years later the Babylonians conquered Israel and took the citizens captive. But Josiah helped the nation reclaim its spiritual heritage and for a time he effectively delayed the judgment of God.

An obvious lesson from that account is this: There is a direct correlation between the morality of a nation and its stability. Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

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