Second Kings 23 Commentary
Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant. This was the easier part. He also tore down the quarters of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the temple of the LORD. This was the harder part. After confession, every saint is expected to clean up. Every article that is used in the worship of Baal and Asherah, and the cosmic powers must be cleaned out of the temple of the LORD.
Israel’s religion had become very complex by this time. They worshipped Baal, Asherah, the sun, moon, Molek, Ashtoreth, Chemosh, the constellations, and all the cosmic powers. Male shrine prostitution would be the brothel business of today, but it had religious importance.
Nothing has changed. Satanism remains very complex. It is a factory meant to produce for all tastes, present or future. They are constantly innovating new ways to fit every purpose.
By the sovereignty of the LORD, men can decide their own destiny. But the saint should be very worried when these objects and systems are installed in the temple of the LORD. Indeed, it is a matter of great concern that all these pagan worship objects and systems existed right in the midst of God’s people. You easily understand why the LORD scattered Israel from the land of promise.
Which saint hasn’t sat down to look at their own lives and concluded that their own lives aren’t very different from the sad times of Josiah? We have many gods today. They have different names. They come in different shapes. The flight was great because the weather was very good; I passed my exams because I prepared very well; my health is on top because of my healthy eating patterns; I made it because I joined a very good company; global warming is harming the environment; careless and malicious scientists are causing diseases. Sit down and look at it. Will God ever do anything today, good or bad?
Josiah visit the past and demolished the altar at Bethel. The cities of Bethel and Dan had hosted golden calves which Jeroboam declared as Israel’s gods. Let not the saint live with an anger problem which he inherited from a great grandfather who fought everywhere: at the bar, at school, or even at home.
It is to Josiah’s credit that the scripture says, “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.”
Jehoahaz became king after the death of his father Josiah. He didn’t last. The King of Egypt swept in and exiled him. Another of Josiah’s sons named Eliakim was selected by Pharaoh to reign in Jerusalem. His name was changed to Jehoiakim.
We shall read more about the reign of Jehoiakim tomorrow. As we can easily see, things are falling apart. Josiah would be the last king-proper. Even by the time of Josiah, the once-mighty kingdom that we saw under David and importantly under Solomon, is only a little more than a city-state.
No one wants the word of the LORD to be fulfilled this way.
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