Today’s passage is 2 Chronicles 34:1-13. Let’s go!
2 Chronicles 34:1-3 (NIV) 1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. 3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images.
On verses 1-3: At eight years old, Josiah becomes king of Judah in place of his murdered father Amon. At 16, “while he was still young”, Josiah begins to seek the Lord (v3). At 20, Josiah is initiating a nation wide campaign to cleanse his kingdom of idols.
What can we learn from this? It is good to seek the Lord while you are still young.The earlier you seek hard after God, the earlier and the longer God can use your life to impact this world for His glory. The apostle Paul would have been proud of Josiah, for Paul once wrote to another young leader Timothy, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). Josiah did just that.
Praise God! At Thrive Church we like to say that “every Thriver is either 8, 18 or 28!” In other words, regardless of what your birth certificate shows, may you have a youthful, vibrant spirit and seek God passionately in these days. Let your youth be a reason to seek hard after God, not your excuse not to. As Ecclesiastes 2:1 (MSG) says, “Honor and enjoy your Creator while you’re still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes”.
2 Chronicles 34:3-4 (NIV) 3 …In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images. 4 Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles, the idols and the images. These he broke to pieces and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
On verses 3b-7: There were four years between the time that Josiah began to seek the Lord and the time that God launched Josiah into a public ministry of cleansing his land of idolatry. Those four years in between were crucial. It was during those four years in between that Josiah learned to be intimate with God, to grow in His relationship with the Lord. Those four years were about Josiah falling in love with the Lord, and the Lord preparing Josiah for greater ministry. The same goes for you. You may have big dreams to be used by God, but don’t take for granted the time in between. Use the time in between to grow your intimacy with the Lord, to build your character, to get to know God’s Word as well as you can, and to serve Him with whatever opportunities He gives you.As you do this, God is preparing you for greater things. Don’t neglect the time in between.
2 Chronicles 34:8 (NIV) 8 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the LORD his God.
On verses 8-11: At age 26, Josiah starts a campaign to repair the temple. What can we learn from this? When the Holy Spirit is working in a person’s heart, that person will gain an increasing heart for the church. That is one of the natural outflows of the Holy Spirit working in your heart: you grow in your love and care for your church, which is the house of God. You can’t really love Jesus without loving Jesus’ bride, the church.
2 Chronicles 34:12-13 (NIV) 12 The men did the work faithfully. Over them to direct them were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descended from Kohath. The Levites–all who were skilled in playing musical instruments– 13 had charge of the laborers and supervised all the workers from job to job. Some of the Levites were secretaries, scribes and doorkeepers.
On verses 12-13: Notice that the Levites whose normal job was to be musicians for the house of God are supervising the workers who were repairing the temple. What can we learn from this? Just because you may be gifted in a certain area, do not let your gifting be an excuse for not helping out your church in other ways. For example, if your primary gifting is in music, don’t say, “I will never lift a finger to do clean up, admin work, event planning or do anything that is not music-related, because it’s not my area of gifting”. Rather, have the attitude of a servant and be willing to help where needed. To build His church, God uses people who are willing to serve wherever needed. Be one of those.
Heavenly Father, while I have the time and energy to do so, may I seek Your face and serve Your house wherever I can be used. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!