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. Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. And Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present 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 34:31–33 (ESV)
Josiah is remembered for becoming a king in Judah at just eight years old. But more important than that was the kind of king he became: one who was committed to following the Lord, ensuring those under his charge did the same.
In 2 Chronicles 34, we’re told that Josiah ‘began seeking the God of his father, David’ eight years into his reign—at 16 years old. Within four years, he was taking action, tearing down the places of idolatry in the land. A few years later he began making repairs to the Temple. When ‘the book of the law’ was discovered, he ensured that it was read for everyone so that they would follow the will of God in all things. In today’s text, just after this book of the law was read, Josiah stands and makes a covenant with God to ‘walk after the Lord’ and keep His commandments ‘with all his heart and all his soul’. God’s people joined him, and they were faithful to keep it all of Josiah’s days.
Josiah shows us how to be a faithful follower of the Lord, even in a culture and among a people who do not follow Him. Your age is no excuse: Josiah became king at 8 and got very serious about his relationship with the Lord as a teenager. History is no excuse: the nation had been committing idolatry for some time when Josiah turned things around. And knowledge is no excuse: We have Scripture—it is not lost to us!—so we can and should learn God’s ways. Live like Josiah. And whatever leadership roles God has given to you, pursue them with the kind of faithfulness and integrity you see demonstrated by Josiah. And remember, you might be raising the next Josiah!