From “Growing in the character of a disciple”: Chapter 5 – God’s assessment of the faithfulness of the kings of Judah and Israel
We now come to the most faithful King that Judah ever had, the godly child-king, Josiah. He was more faithful, and more wholehearted, than any of his predecessors, even the good ones:
1Josi’ah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left. 3For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Ashe’rim, and the graven and the molten images.2 Chronicles 34:1-3 (RSV)
King Josiah was deeply moved when he came across the Law of Moses and read it in the early part of his reign. He realised how great the need was for repentance and he led the people in that repentance, and in focusing again on the Bible:
19When the king heard the words of the law he rent his clothes. 20And the king commanded Hilki’ah, Ahi’kam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asai’ah the king’s servant, saying, 21“Go, inquire of the LORD for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do according to all that is written in this book.”2 Chronicles 34:19-21 (RSV)
29Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30And the king went up to the house of the LORD, with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which had been found in the house of the LORD. 31 And the king stood in his place and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33And Josi’ah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel, and made all who were in Israel serve the LORD their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the LORD the God of their fathers.2 Chronicles 34:29-33 (RSV)
The zeal, devotion and faithfulness of King Josiah led to him receiving God’s commendation. Look at this passage from 2 Kings. Wouldn’t you like Jesus to say something like this about you at the Judgment Seat of Christ?
25Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.2 Kings 23:25 (RSV)