2 Kings 23:12-22
There are many reasons to admire and love King Josiah. He was truly a man of God serving in very difficult times. He was driven to follow God regardless of all that existed around him. He was eager to do what was right in the Lord’s eyes even though it countered to the culture.
But when he got a hold of the Word of God, when his eyes read the holy Scriptures, it moved him. He immediately fell in love with the word of God. Those scrolls that had been hidden for generations empowered him. His love for truth aroused him to an anger and hate for what the people and previous monarchies had done to the land.
He was the king, he was the ruler. He had thousands of people in his monarchy and yet, his heart was for an Audience of One. He wasn’t concerned about being popular, liked or even relevant. His only concern was the heart of God.
With great determination, he began to make change. He called for national repentance among the people. Josiah proceeded to remove the idols that had been erected by a rebellious people and leadership. He also got rid of the mediums and spiritist that had corrupted the very land God had given.
Hundreds of thousands of idols existed throughout Judah. Statues, figurines, and totem poles on every corner and in most homes representing the heart of a hardened people. But Josiah never wavered. Motivated by the Word of God he moved, and once he began, he never looked back.
The beauty of this passage is that Josiah began in the temple. He didn’t start with the outskirts of the Judah and work inward. He didn’t raid the downtown or people’s homes. He began with the heart of the city. He thoroughly cleaned the temple of God.
Isn’t that how Christ desires to work in us? He never tells us to get rid of all our sin, clean-up properly, do everything I’ve asked, make all the necessary changes and then, you can come to me. That is not how God operates. He always, always begins with the heart.
He wants all of us and it begins with our heart. Everything else will follow after that surrender. When we give it up and let it all go, He is able to come in, and make beauty out of ashes. He changes us.
He takes our chaos and brings it into order. He takes our mess and cleans it up. He takes our wounds and brings anointed healing. He takes our misguided lives and directs us on the right path. But it starts at the heart.
Josiah began the revival of Judah by starting with the heart of the land, the temple. This is a new year, all the desire for change begins with the heart. Don’t hold back, He makes all things new. And He always works from the inside out and never the outside in.