Second Chronicles 34 Commentary
Like begets like. Thank God this rule didn’t apply to Amon and his son Josiah. Only a shortened lifespan prevented Amon from surpassing his father King Manasseh’s record in wickedness. But Josiah is very different. Men who find themselves under wicked parents really don’t have an excuse. The generosity of the LORD is such that all men have a chance to define their own destiny towards righteousness.
For Josiah, righteousness involves two things: first, seek the LORD, and second, go ahead and take action against the pagan objects of worship. He didn’t declare a truce with the enemy for coexistence. Living with lies and dirty thoughts; pride and hatred; traces of ungodliness may remain here and there, but let it be a battle frontier – elements to be removed from the saint’s life rather than a non-interference agreement. You cannot have both.
Josiah understands the character of His God. The LORD demands exclusive worship. So Asherah poles had to go.
A saint who fully commits to Christ understands that holiness means a very uncomfortable existence in the neighborhood of sin. You easily agree with the LORD Jesus when He says that we are not of this world. Being in the position of power and authority, Josiah had it within himself the duty to shut down paganism within the borders of Israel. He faithfully worked towards this calling.
Bring down Asherah poles, shutdown paganism, but build the temple of the LORD. Can the saint be dull? It is a ministry of uprooting and planting – to take Jeremiah’s mission as an example.
It is during the process of rebuilding the temple that Josiah discovers the Law of the LORD. And the content of the Law? Well, the writing is on the wall for Israel. The LORD has lifted the sword over the nation. Josiah’s godliness will delay the sword but it is definitely coming.
There comes a time when the saint must understand the present based on the past. There are times when the sword is lifted over one’s life because of ‘those gone before us.’ If we can hold our own, and respond in humility to the word of the LORD, then grace exists to take us through unscathed, even in this life.
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