Think of a person who has set their mind to serve the Lord. What was said of Josiah could be said of them. He lived a centered life.
II Chronicles 34: Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.
Verse 2 sums up the life of Josiah. He walked in the ways of David and didn’t swerve to the left or right. He stayed centered. When we read these chapters about the life of Josiah we see the kind of person he was compared to his upbringing. His father Ammon didn’t turn to the Lord. He did evil in the sight of God. The nation fell deeply into sin. His reign was only two years because he chose to do evil. The Lord cut him short. We wonder if evil today will ever end. It will! When it does, the end is final. All the years spent doing evil will be a vapor in the air—gone—and a terrible, awful eternity will wait.
Ammon’s son Josiah was only eight years old and became heir to the throne. As he accepted the crown, all around were influences of wickedness. He had a choice to follow his father’s footsteps or not. The devil worked on him for sure telling him to center his life on himself and let things be. He’s told that same old lie from generation to generation. Those who choose the broad way don’t have to. We don’t have to go to hell.
Josiah’s grandfather Manasseh was wicked even sacrificing his own children to idols. He repented and tried to serve the Lord. Josiah was only six years old when his grandfather died, but he saw that a choice was made to turn things around. He saw that you don’t have to go the way of the wicked, of the world, of sin. There was a good way. He knew he couldn’t center his life on himself or what others wanted and make it to heaven. He knew his mind, heart, and soul would have to be centered on the Lord.
In the nations of this world wickedness is as great as it has ever been. Sin is everywhere but in the midst of it all Jesus still saves. Thank God I got saved. Thank God you got saved. If we’ll follow and do what Josiah did we’ll make it. He determined to center his life on the middle of the road, of the right, and cling to the Word. No matter how people tried to pull him he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. He’s an example we can follow. He looked to be on his own at first. Others were ready to change him but he got in the center and stayed there. God protected him and he turned the nation around.
We need now as never before to do this. Our witness helps others. Someone is watching us and can be saved by the example we give. Live right and stay centered. How did Josiah do it? He determined to do it. He looked at what needed to be done. He stayed busy at getting the people on the right track. Verse 3 says he sought God. We need the Lord every day. Seek him continually. Seek him first.
Josiah went throughout the land purging it. Verses 3-7 give us that with 8 as the recap: now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land. We don’t have golden calves to worship, but we have the gold. There are all types of religious beliefs. If people worship nothing else, they worship themselves. Josiah broke down all the altars of the false prophets and buried them under the ruins. I might not rid this country of idolatry, but I can rid myself of mine.
Verse 10 says and they put it in the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the Lord, and they gave it to the workmen that wrought in the house of the Lord, to repair and amend the house. He repaired and mended the house of God. He saw the importance of God’s house. When a church falls apart it doesn’t happen in a blink of an eye. It happens according to the members and their attitudes toward it. Josiah had the workmen come in. People began to center their lives on the Lord. Josiah’s life helped other people renew their excitement about the house of the Lord. Are we the crack in God’s house? Are we the part that needs repairing? It wasn’t long before the house was like it used to be. If we’ll be centered, it will be like it used to be.
Helkiah was cleaning in the house of God and found a book. Upon opening it he said I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. He found the Word of the Lord. God’s Word is still around in his house. He sent the book to King Josiah. They began to read it. The King rent his clothes. The Word showed him he could live more centered than he was. When we think we know it all or get tired of following the Lord and the house of God, we need to hear the Word. We have to follow the Word. It is our spirit and life. It saved us. It has been the instruction in our life and the lamp unto our feet. God’s Word is the best steering wheel we have.
Josiah called for all of Judah to come hear the Word. And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. The people realigned themselves. Josiah saw where he needed to rededicate and make a fresh covenant.
Living for the Lord and staying in the road may seem impossible. We can keep on learning. Keep on growing. There is no place to cruise along. Josiah stayed centered. Judah prospered. We can have victory if we center our life on the Lord and seek him first. Do we need to get a little more in the center of God’s road?