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The distinction of Josiah

Series: Topical

The distinction of Josiah

June 06, 2021 | Brent Long

Passage: 2 Chronicles 34:1

When you hear the name of king Josiah, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

-he became king when he was 8 years old

-many times our image of Josiah is just a little cartoon picture of a kid wearing an oversized royal robe with a crown on his head, smiling and reading a scroll of the lost Scriptures that were found.

Josiah may be well known for becoming a king at age 8 but that is not the distinction that makes him so special

            -did you know that he was not the only king that began his reign at age 8?

                        -the 3rd king after Josiah started his reign at age 8 too

                                    -do you know his name?

                                                -Jehoiachin was an evil king that only reigned for 3 months & 10 days

                                                            -that’s all we know about him which is rather insignificant


Josiah was a good king but there were several other good kings in Judah too.


Josiah was so special that a man of God prophesied Josiah’s birth by name in 1 Kings 13:2 which was 300 years before he was even born


So, what made Josiah so special?


Title of the message: The distinction of Josiah


Before we look at the life of Josiah, let’s take a quick look at the culture and family he was born into.


Hezekiah was a good, godly king and was the great grandfather of Josiah

            -this was the last good king before Josiah was born

-Hezekiah died 49 years before Josiah was born

-Josiah never met his godly great grandfather

Manasseh was Josiah’s grandfather but was an evil king

            -Manasseh died when Josiah was 6 years old

Amon was Josiah’s father and was an evil king

-Amon only reigned 2 years and died when Josiah was 8


All Josiah ever knew growing up in his home, family and culture was an anti-God way of living.

            -his grandfather died when he was 6

            -his dad died when he was 8

            -and now he is placed in a leadership position of a whole nation as a young kid

                        -what path would he take?


2 Chron 34:1-3

            -Josiah did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord

                        -as an 8 year old, Josiah made up his mind that he wanted to live right for God

  1. 34:1-2 - Observing – age 8-16 (elementary/middle school)
    1. Josiah was growing in the Lord for the first 8 years of his reign
    2. He was probably very observant during these 8 years
      1. He watched people live in idolatry
      2. He saw the wickedness in the culture
  • He witnessed sinful ways his family acted during family gatherings
  1. He heard the vulgar language and blaspheme of people around him
  2. He saw the vanity and futility of the culture around him
  3. He could see the inconsistencies
  • He must have thought that there had to be more to life than the sinful ways around him
    1. By the way, our children and grandchildren are very observant and they are watching you
      1. Hypocrisy in Christian parents and grandparents is easily observed by children and grandchildren
      2. They are noticing things in you that you give a blind eye to
  • Josiah comes to a conclusion, that there is nothing in this wicked world for him
  1. 34:3a - Seeking – age 16-20 (high school/college)
    1. At age 16, Josiah made a choice to make his faith his own
      1. He began to seek after God when he was still young
        1. 35:4 – references that he had access to the writings of David & Solomon
          1. He probably began reading these Scriptures that focused on the heart and wisdom of God
        2. For 4 years, Josiah focused on seeking the Lord
          1. He read whatever he could find about the true and living God
          2. He prayed and sought God’s face
  • He developed a relationship with God the best he knew how without having the good examples to follow
  1. 34:3b - Purging – age 20-26
    1. The closer Josiah got to God, the more sensitive he became to sin
      1. The sinful norms of culture became disgusting and vile to him just as they are to God
    2. Josiah began taking action and purging sinful practices of idolatry from the culture
      1. Mind you, he didn’t come from a godly home
        1. He wasn’t raised in a godly culture
        2. He made this choice to seek God in spite of his family, friends & culture
        3. Josiah was going against the grain and paddling upstream
        4. Josiah was getting rid of sacred structures of society that people have devoted their life to them
      2. Josiah took a stand for what is right when no one else did
        1. Anyone can follow God when everyone else around them are following God
        2. It takes a real man and a real woman to stand for God when you are standing alone
          1. Josiah was that guy
        3. Josiah spent 6 years purging the land of sinful idolatry that had rooted itself in culture for decades
          1. Many times people will let you live for God as long as you don’t affect them
            1. But the moment you touch their sacred cow, they are going to start attacking you back
          2. When you’re making a stand for God and others are attacking you, you can easily begin to wonder if it is still worth it
            1. You double guess yourself
              1. Did I make the right choice?
              2. Should I still keep pressing on?
              3. Is it still worth living for God?
              4. Wouldn’t it just be easier to just quit pushing on for God?
            2. Jeremiah 1:2 – Encouragement
              1. Jeremiah began prophesying during the 13th year of Josiah’s reign
                1. This was 1 year after he began purging the nation of idolatry
                2. Jeremiah was by Josiah’s side for the rest of his reign as they served the Lord together
              2. God will bring people into your life at the right times for special encouragement
              3. As a 21 year old young man, Josiah would have been reassured of his decision to be sold out for God as he looked up to Jeremiah, the man of God
            3. 34:8 – Repairing – 26 yrs old
              1. After the purging was done, it was time to start repairing the house of the Lord
                1. Illustration: remodeling a home
                  1. You must purge all old stuff first before the new stuff can be put in
                  2. Demolition before construction
                2. Spiritually, you cannot begin putting holy things into your life until you get rid of the sinful things in your life
                  1. Jesus Christ is the only One that can fully purge you of the sin in your life
                    1. Jesus paid for all of our sin on the cross and it is only through Christ where we can have our sins forgiven and the holiness of God given
                  2. 34:14, 18-21, 27-28 – Humility
                    1. :14 – Hilkiah found the book of Moses in the house of the Lord
                    2. :18-21, 27-28 – Josiah humbled himself when he heard God’s Word
                      1. God is looking for people that are humble and have a tender heart to His Word
                      2. God responds favorably to the humble and those that hear His Word
                        1. Judgment for the wickedness of the culture was delayed
                      3. 34:29-33 – Godly living
                        1. :29-30 - Josiah read all of the Scriptures to all of the people
                        2. :31 – the people made a covenant to follow the Lord
                        3. :33 – revival spread throughout all of Judah and everyone committed to following the Lord for the next 13 years until Josiah died at age 39
                      4. 35:18 – most amazing Passover performed during Josiah’s reign


What made king Josiah so special?

2 Kings 23:24-25 – no king turned to the Lord with all of his heart, soul and might like Josiah



  • What observations are you making about following Christ?
  • Are you dedicating you like to seek after the Lord?
  • Are there any sins in your life that need to be purged?
  • Have you been saved?
  • Are you building into your life the holy things of God?
  • Do you approach God’s Word with humility and eagerness to listen to it and live it?
  • Are you living your life committed to godly living?

Series Information

Paul's favorite church may have well been the church at Philippi. He shares three things that are encouraging to him and should be part of our life. He first give Thanks - there is always reason for the child of God to give thanks. Secondly he prayers. We must always pray one for another. Three Paul is confident that God will complete the good work He has started in our life.

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