I want to continue this week with another lesson from King Josiah. He became the king of Judah at the age of eight and ruled in Jerusalem for 31 years (2 Kings 22:1). What a breath of fresh air after the evil reigns of his father and grandfather.
Josiah was a good king. As we observed in our article last week, Josiah repaired the temple, restored true worship, and destroyed all vestiges of idolatrous worship in Judah and Samaria. Listen to this summary in 2 Kings 23:25 – “Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.” What a tribute to King Josiah!
I wish his story ended like this, but the good king suffered an ignominious death. He needlessly died in a battle with King Necho of Egypt at Megiddo. The Egyptian king was on his way to fight at Carchemish according to 2 Chronicles 35:20-21. However, King Josiah was determined to do battle with the Egyptian king. For the king who had put so much trust in God’s word, Josiah didn’t seek God’s guidance for this battle. Instead, he chose to ignore Necho’s claim that God commanded his hasty movement. The Egyptian king even warned Josiah not to meddle with God.
Sadly, we read this statement in 2 Chronicles 35:22 – “Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.” The next verse records how archers fatally shot Josiah. While King Josiah is known for his goodness, he could have done so much more had he lived. The lesson we should learn is that we should seek God’s guidance for everything we face in life. If Josiah had only confirmed God’s message!