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Ever wonder if it’s possible to recapture a historically documented godly heritage and turn a country around? It can happen, but the hearts of people must change. Young King Josiah is an example of how such a transformation occurs.
2 CHRONICLES 34:1-3
“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David; and in the twelfth year, he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the wooden images, the carved images, and the molded images.”
What can we learn from the example of the godliness of a boy king?
Josiah’s coronation occurred when he was merely eight years of age. While his rule was delegated to a regent until he was capable of reigning in his father’s place, there was a decisive moment in his life that changed the future of his kingdom.
The text reveals that at the age of 16 in, “the eighth year of his reign”, King Josiah deliberately and substantively, “began to seek the God of his father David” (v. 3). We get a glimpse of Josiah’s determination to independently seek the Lord as reflected in his actions while still a teenager.
Four years later when the young king turned 20, Josiah inaugurated sweeping reforms that affected the length and breadth of his kingdom. Because of his bold leadership, the blasphemous sites of idol worship were torn down and the paraphernalia associated with them purged from the landscape (v. 3). Josiah then initiated a construction project to repair the altar and Temple grounds. He also instituted the public reading of the Hebrew Scriptures; and, as the sovereign of Judah, vowed to follow the Lord with all his heart (vv. 29-30).
Likewise, King Josiah charged the people to, “take a stand . . . to diligently serve the Lord their God” (vv. 32-33). King Josiah was so successful the Bible record states, “As long as he lived, they [the people of Israel] did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors” (v. 33).
Is there an application for people of faith in the 21st century?
Although the nation of Israel is unique in its covenant relationship with God, there is an application for all who seek God’s blessing for their nation. Revival begins in the hearts of individuals who determine to seek the Lord. The consequent transformation positively encourages change in the lives of others. The intrepid example of Josiah demonstrates that one life can powerfully influence culture.
The need for personal revival is imperative in the lives of people of faith—regardless of the outcome of politics or elections.
National revival is possible as Christians boldly renew their commitment to the Lord and consistently live their lives in a way that demonstrates the transforming power of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul encourages us, “abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” . . . “for the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power (Rm. 15:13; 1 Cor. 4:20).
Here’s a simple checklist to jump-start revival in your life:
• Determine to read God’s Word as you begin each day; and then, apply those biblical principles as you respond to the day-to-day realities of life.
• Allow God to make your life the exception! Like Josiah, you can choose not to succumb to peer pressure or just go along with the status quo.
When you permit God to generate revival in your life, He can use you to positively impact those in your sphere of influence. God transforms culture one person at a time.
1) “Revival begins one person at a time seeking a renewed relationship with God.” By Davidlohr Bueso, Santiago, Chile [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Copyright © 2016 Charles E. McCracken, comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. With 40 plus years of ministry experience, Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.