CHRIST OUR PASSOVER LAMB [VI]
Living Bread Nugget 0103/2010 [2 Kings 22 & 23; 2 Chronicles 35; 2 Kings 23:21-23]
A Young Godly King who Revives the Passover
There was a wise godly king, Josiah by name who ascended the throne at 8 years old and reigned for 31 years. Of him the Bible records in 2 Kings 22:1-2
1Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
Josiah pleased God because he did not follow the footsteps of his father and forefathers who had introduced strange gods in the land of Judah and Israel. 18 years in his kingship, he had an encounter with God through the Word that had been left to rust on the shelf in the temple. He determined he would implement the Word of God in the land, read the laws of Moses to the people, and embarked on the mission of cleansing the land of all idolatrous practices. For this, he was commended by the Lord through the Prophetess Huldah and the kingdom enjoyed peace, at least during his reign [2 Kings 22:18-20]. When the righteous are in power, indeed the people rejoice.
Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
The King embarks on a righteous Mission
The king made specific commitment to obey the Lord and also made his subjects to commit themselves to do so. [2 Kings 23:1-3].
3And the king stood by a pillar, 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 their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.
The righteous mission of this king included the following: he stopped the idolatrous sacrifices by fire of children [2 kings 23:10]; destroyed the high places of all foreign gods in the land, confiscated and commanded their vessels, books and charms to be burnt, destroyed the houses of the sodomites; and put sorcerers, witches and wizards out of business. Read the detailed description of this king’s righteous mission in 2 kings 23.
The Passover Celebrated [2 Kings 23:21-23]
Since the king committed himself to obeying the word of God, in obedience to God’s commandment that the Passover after the first Passover (feast of unleavened bread) should be remembered as memorial feast [Ex 12:14, Lev 23:1-8], the feast was celebrated the way it should be, having cleansed the people and land from the evil which dominated before his reign. Just as the first Passover during the time of Moses broke the backbone of the gods of Egypt [Ex 12], King Josiah’s capped his Godly mission by celebrating the Passover [2 Kings 23:21-23].
21And the king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the book of this covenant. 22Surely there was not holden such a passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 23But in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, wherein this passover was holden to the LORD in Jerusalem.
The King celebrated the Passover the way it should be, exceeding the celebration of the feast by other Kings (including King David) and judges who had ruled Israel and Judah before him. What a glorious commendation to him in scriptures, all because he decided to please God which was not popular because of the evil perpetuated in the land by most kings who had reigned before him!
Did the king embark on this mission alone or without sound spiritual counsel? No! As a young king, he surrounded himself with the very best of the wise priests, prophets and counselors [2 Kings 22:12]. Prophet Zephaniah was among the people who helped this godly king in re-focusing the people’s attention to God during the prophet and the king’s lifetime [Zephaniah 1:1]. The prophet pronounced judgment on the false gods of Moab, Ammon and on people and cities that refused to heed God’s word [read Zephaniah chapters 1 & 2]. The prophet’s message and the King’s Counsel corroborates the word of God that says in [Proverbs 11:14].
14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
PRAYER OF FAITH & FOR MERCY
1. Pray for Kings and those in authority that the fear of God will be planted in their hearts and they rule the land in righteousness and that righteous laws be enacted by our lawmakers in government.
2. Ask God to shed His glorious light on the land in our lifetime in Jesus Name.