On verses 1-20: At just eight years old Josiah becomes king of Judah. At age 26, Josiah leads a campaign to repair the temple of the Lord. As the temple is being repaired, workers in the temple recover an old Book of the Law, which most likely contained the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Pentateuch. (Some scholars say that during the reign of Josiah’s father King Manasseh, Manasseh tried to destroy all copies of the Pentateuch, and this one copy may have been the only one left.)
As Josiah reads this Book of the Law, his heart is moved. In an act of repentance and mourning, Josiah tears his robes and weeps. Josiah realizes that his nation is incurring the wrath of God because they and their ancestors have not lived in accordance with God’s commands found in this book.
So Josiah inquires of the Lord by seeking the advice of Huldah, a prophetess. Huldah informs Josiah that, just as Josiah suspected, disaster is awaiting the people of Judah because they have turned to worship other gods and disobeyed God’s commands. Huldah also tells Josiah that because Josiah humbled himself in response to God’s Word, tearing his robes and weeping in God’s presence, his generation would not see the disaster that would come to the people of Judah in their lifetime.
What can we learn from this? God honours those whose hearts are soft and responsive to God’s Word. Just as the hearing of God’s Word moved Josiah to action — tearing his clothes, weeping and seeking godly advice — may we have hearts that are soft and responsive to God’s Word. May nothing impact our hearts more than God’s Word, and may we long for nothing more than we long for God’s Word.
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for Your Word. Like Josiah, I pray that my heart would always be soft and responsive toward Your Word. May nothing impact my heart more than Your Word, and may I long for nothing more than I long for Your Word. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!