2 Chronicles 35

2 Chronicles 35 Devotional
By Pastor Lawrence

Like Hezekiah prior to him, King Josiah once again removed all the abominations from the land and “made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God.” After finding the Word of God in the temple that had been closed down by his father, Josiah desired to renew God’s covenant with the people of Israel by celebrating the Passover meal. He didn’t just encourage his people to observe the Passover but actually provided the lambs for each of the families from his own flocks. He also commanded the priests to bring the Ark of the Covenant back into the temple, for the Levites to come back into the city to do the work of assisting the priests, for the gatekeepers to stand watch again at the temple gates and for the sons of Asaph to sing songs of praise unto the Lord continually. And we’re told that that it was the greatest celebration of the Passover since the days of Samuel the prophet. After living so long under the shadow of darkness, this was bright day, indeed, for the nation of Judah.

Nevertheless, once again, we see something of the weakness of this good and godly king. The book of Kings merely tells us that Josiah was killed by Neco king of Egypt on his way to fight at Carchemish, but the Chronicler gives us a little more of the details. Apparently, the pharaoh warned Josiah to stay out of the affair, that his fight was solely with the Assyrians. In fact, he told Josiah that he was doing the Lord’s will and that if Josiah intervened, he would be opposing God and would be destroyed. Nevertheless, Josiah was determined to fight, and he disguised himself in battle only to be shot and killed by a stray arrow. And all of Judah mourned the great loss of such a godly king.

Did Josiah sin against the Lord in this particular situation? We are not told explicitly. Perhaps the Pharaoh was lying or maybe he was telling the truth after all. What we don’t read in this context is anything about Josiah going to the Lord in prayer and asking the Lord for wisdom and guidance in the matter. Similar to the time Joshua agreed to enter into a covenant of peace with the Gibeonites not knowing that they were in fact sworn enemies, in both cases, these godly men did not inquire of the Lord before rashly making their decisions, and in both cases, the nation suffered for it.

If there is one thing that we are meant to learn from 2 Chronicles it is this: no king or leader is above making such foolish mistakes even in his later years when you’d think he ought to know better. Perhaps the foolish pride of youth has dissipated, but there is a pride in maturity that is just as dangerous, if not more so, when one thinks that he is wiser than he really is. Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. And remember to keep your eyes on the one man who never fell, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, for every other man will disappoint you and you’ll surely even disappoint yourself.