2 Kings 23:25-37
And like to him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might…
This and the previous chapter show us the influence of a godly sovereign. This prince at the age of twenty-six begins to repair the house of God. This leads to the discovery of the long-lost book of the law. At once Josiah obeys its teaching. He consults Huldah, and receives the Lord's message. Finding himself exempted from vengeance on account of his repentance, he endeavours to lead his people to obtain the same exemption, and for this purpose institutes a thorough national reformation. This, we read, consisted of
(1) purifying the temple of idolatrous vessels;
(2) putting down all idolatrous teachers;
(3) defiling all idol altars throughout the land;
(4) keeping the Passover in a solemn manner. From this we may learn —
I. THAT PERSONAL REFORMATION SPRINGS FROM A KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WORD APPLIED TO THE HEART BY FAITH. It was this that influenced Josiah (Psalm 119:130). "The entrance of Thy word giveth light" (Acts 17:11, 12). "Therefore many believed."
II. THAT TRUE PERSONAL REFORMATION CONSISTS OF DOING AND UNDOING.
1. Undoing old associations, by —
(1) Looking sin in the face, and comparing ourselves with our pattern, by the light of God's written Word (Philippians 2:5, etc.).
(2) Cleansing the temple of God (2 Corinthians 6:16) of all that defiles.
(3) Giving up all people, practices, and places which tempt to sin; e.g. cards, novels, balls, etc.: let each conscience decide for itself.
2. Doing, by —
(1) Entering into a solemn covenant with God to obey Him, etc.; confirmation.
(2) Publicly, as well as privately, keeping His commandments and wishes; Holy Communion.
III. THAT PERSONAL REFORMATION HAS RESULTS:
1. Comfort and peace to those who carry it out. For thirty years Josiah's reign was a peaceful and happy one to himself. So soul-reformation brings peace to the believer.
2. A blessing, though it may be only a temporary one, to those who, even outwardly, take part in it. The punishment pronounced upon the land was deferred (2 Kings 22:20) till after Josiah's death, and a believer brings blessings on those around him.
3. The fulfilment of God's word (ver. 16 and Isaiah 5:11). The Christian rejoices in the fulfilment of Matthew 11:28-30. But notice two warnings:
1. No personal reformation can be effected without the guidance and grace of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8, etc.; Zechariah 4:6).
2. Personal piety cannot stop national punishment (of. Zechariah 3:2). Josiah has a grand epitaph written over him (ver. 25) by the finger of God. May much be ours!
(J. W. Mills, M. A.)12
Parallel VersesKJV: And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
WEB: Like him was there no king before him, who turned to Yahweh with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.