Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 23:24-28
Furthermore, Josiah got rid of the mediums and spiritualists, the household gods, the idols and all the other detestable things seen in Judah and Jerusalem. This he did to fulfill the requirements of the law written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had discovered in the temple of the Lord. Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to arouse his anger. So the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’” As for the other events of Josiah’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
Verse for Meditation: But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. – Galatians 3:13
Devotional: The Bible tells us that there was never a king who repented with his whole heart the way that King Josiah did. He was absolutely exemplary. He did all that God asked of him and followed God with “all his heart and will all his soul and with all his strength.” Because of this, God spared Josiah and his generation. But even all that repentance was not enough to stop the eventual judgment that soon came upon Judah.
Why couldn’t Josiah’s repentance block God’s judgment more completely? This was simply because God’s people began to sin all over again and all sin will eventually be judged. But this is where Jesus Christ becomes for us the one who is greater than Josiah. Jesus is not just a curse delayer – he is the curse breaker! This is because Jesus took upon his own body the curse and judgment of God for sin, even though he never sinned. Jesus is the perfect sacrifice.
The Old Covenant used animals as sacrifices but they were merely pointing forward to the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Heb 10:10), who is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Look to Jesus today and thank God that all of your sin has fallen on him.
Question to Consider: Have you experienced the hope that comes from knowing that Jesus has forever taken upon himself that curse that you deserved? Give praise to God today for his great love that he as demonstrated toward you in Jesus Christ.