Josiah - Changed By The Word
Read: 2 Kings 23:1-9
Text: 2 Ki 23:3 (KJV) And the king stood by a pillar, 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
their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this
covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood
to the covenant.
Theme: The word of God transforms lives.
Josiah, as the last good king of Judah, had two distinct periods
in his life.
There are lessons to be learned from both periods, but the key
lesson of his life is that the word of God transforms lives.
It brought personal revival to Josiah, and public revival to his
I. Josiah, before the Word of God.
- A. Important events in his life.
- 1. Began to reign at 8 years of age. - 2 Kings 22:1, 2
2. Began to seek God at 12 years of age. - 2 Chr. 34:3
3. Began to purge his country of idolatry at 16 - 2 Chr.
4. Decided to restore the temple at 20 years of age - 2
Kings 22:3, 2 Chr. 34:8
5. Word of God was found in the temple - 2 Kings 22:8, 2
- B. Questions about these events:
- QUESTION - When do you think Josiah was saved?
QUESTION - Could he have been saved at age 16 when he
began to seek after God? (but cf. Rom 10:17 (KJV)
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God." - Isn't the word of God vital for
QUESTION - If he didn't have the Bible yet, what godly
influences WERE present in his life? (Father Amon - w
Chr. 33:21-24 - BAD KING; Grandfather - Mannaseh - 2 Chr.
33:1-2, 12-13 - BAD KING, but saved late in life;
Great-grandfather - Hezekiah - one of the GREATEST kings
- 2 Kings 18:6)
QUESTION - Is it possible that Josiah's grandparents and
great-grandparents were a greater influence on him than
his own parents? What does this mean to us?
QUESTION - If he wasn't saved at age 16, why might he
have tried to institute reforms and seek God? (cf. Acts
18:24-26 - Apollos desire to serve, before totally
understanding the gospel.)
- C. Summary
- QUESTION - How would you sum up Josiah's life and
character before finding the Word of God?
QUESTION - What can we learn from Josiah about living a
godly life in an ungodly environment?
II. Josiah, after the Word of God.
When the word was found, it changed Josiah's life. Notice some
of the things that happened when he found the Word:
- A. He read it. (2 Kings 22:10, 2 Chr. 34:18)
- QUESTION - Is there any value in possessing Bible?
(ANSWER - Not unless they are READ!)
- B. He rent his clothes. (2 Kings 22:11, 2 Chr. 34:19)
- QUESTION - Why? What did this mean? What does it tell us
about his response to the Word? Should our response to
the Word be similar?
- C. He prayed - (2 Kings 22:13, 2 Chr. 34:21)
- QUESTION - When we read the Word of God, does it increase
or decrease our desire to pray? Why?
- D. He shared - (2 Kings 23:2, 2 Chr. 34:30)
- QUESTION - When we read the Word, does it increase or
decrease our desire to witness / share what we have read?
- E. He got serious - (2 Kings 23:4f, 2 Chr. 34:33)
- NOTE - From age 16 he had been cleansing the land of
NOTE - But at age 26, he began with renewed vigor, and
notice the amazing list of idolatry and sin that was
still present to be cleansed! (2 Kings 23:4f)
QUESTION - What does this indicate about the level of his
commitment to God BEFORE hearing the Word?
QUESTION - What does this indicate about how the Word
influenced him (and influences us) to get serious in our
committment to God?
QUESTION - What do you think of this statement: "A
result of the word of God in my life is that it makes me
want to clean out every vestige of sin and idolatry from
my life and from all around me."
- F. He worshipped more correctly. (2 Kings 23:21, 2
Chr. 35:1 - passover)
- QUESTION - According to scripture, is there a right way /
wrong way to worship God?
QUESTION - Does the Word of God teach us how we should
worship God today? How?
Josiah was a godly individual all through his life.
However, the finding of the Word of God was a crisis point for
It began a period of personal revival in his life, which sparked
a national revival of immense scale.
The key lesson from Josiah's life is that the Word of God
Josiah didn't know where the word of God is, but we do.
May God help us, who know where it is, to read it, allowing it to
transform our lives, and the lives of those around us.
Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1996 William E. Johnson.