Archives for posts with tag: Josiah

Around the Word smallEveryone single one of us aspires to do something great with our lives, even something people will talk about generations from now. Better yet if it’s something new, cutting edge, maybe even something few or none ever conceived of before.

King Josiah of Judah left his imprint in the lives of his contemporaries. But when the chronicler decided to put an exclamation mark on all his accomplishments, he said this: “The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel.” (2 Chronicles 35:18). Wow. That’s 465 years, folks.

Now, it is obvious that the writer didn’t mean that the people of Israel were not observing the Passover at all. Josiah’s grandfather, Hezekiah, for example, had celebrated the Passover with the people. So what’s different here?

The answer is the Book of the Law, which had just been found. When Josiah had the book read to him he realized for the first time what a real Passover celebration should look like. He celebrated Passover “by the book.” For the first time in 465 years they followed God’s precise instructions on how to celebrate the deliverance of God’s people from Egypt. And it was so big the official storyteller for the kingdom took notice.

My guess is that, just like Josiah, there are areas of our lives that are not going exactly “by the book.” I encourage you to hold your life up against the light of God’s Word (both the written and the living Word, namely Christ) and let God reveal to you areas that must be brought into alignment with His plumb line. That’s the only way that revival can take hold in our lives. That’s where we start, if we truly desire to be all God has intended for us to be.

Remember the four points of the message of a young man named Evan Roberts, one of the catalysts of the Welsh Revival of 1904-1905:

  1. You must put away any unconfessed sin.
  2. You must put away any doubtful habit.
  3. You must obey the Spirit promptly.
  4. You must confess Christ publicly.

Want to do something great that others will remember you by? How about starting humbly at the cross, prostrated under God Almighty, with His Word like a spotlight, showing us areas where we must change?

On our knees: That’s the first step to greatness.

Pastor Ivanildo da Costa Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA

Around the Word smallWe live in an age of intellectual relativism and religious syncretism. The powerful opinion makers of this world are intent on one thing and one thing only — the standardization of a non-standard-based way of life, which is another way of saying the obliteration of any notion of right and wrong. The right/wrong construct, according to these heralds of modernity, is antiquated, being deservedly delegated to the dustbins of history.

Josiah, the last of the 5 kings of Judah before the nation was exiled to Babylon, lived in similar times. The religious establishment had almost completely obliterated the true worship of God from the land. The few remnants that still rejected religious syncretism were in hiding. It was not safe to exercise the right to contradict. From all appearances, Josiah was destined to be another puppet king, serving at the beckoning call of the religious apostates. But strangely, Josiah went the other way. How did that happen?

First, it happened because of his family’s influence. Not on his father’s side, of course. By the time Josiah began to reign, he had to undo 57 years of faithlessness led by his father and grandfather. But it is safe to assume that it was a different story on his mother’s side.

Josiah’s mother was Jedidah, a name meaning “the beloved of Jehovah.” His maternal grandmother was Adiah, a name meaning “the honored of Jehovah.” It is reasonable to infer that Josiah was tutored by his mother and grandmother. They, together with some close allies, nurtured a faith in young Josiah which would not be overcome by the moods of society.

In addition to that, Josiah had the great voices of the prophets Jeremiah, Zephaniah, and Huldah, who were also preaching against the evil Israel was committing at that time. The high priest Hilkiah, and especially the king’s scribe, Saphan, also played a huge role in the religious upbringing of young Josiah. Saphan’s family played a critical part all the way to the end, begging people to repent and return to YHWW. In Jeremiah 36:10, for example, we see Saphan and his family standing squarely with Jeremiah, at a time when Josiah’s son and successor had threatened to kill Jeremiah and as an act of defiance burned the scroll from Jeremiah that had been read to him (Jeremiah 36:23-24).

In a similar way, Paul reminded Timothy of his spiritual heritage when he said, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (2 Timothy 1:5).

What we see is that even in the worst age of relativism and syncretism, God always reserves for Himself a remnant that refuses to go with the flow and finds ways to challenge the establishment. Often, this challenge is soft and persistent like the rain dripping from a leaky roof; but often it is also bombastic and courageous, like Jeremiah’s letter to the king. Regardless of the approach, though, when God’s truth is under attack, the follower of Christ should not run to neutrality. That would be suicide.

Remaining neutral would be the equivalent of rejecting God, as we learn too well from Christ’s letter to the church in Laodicea: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16).

As we talk about Josiah this Sunday, please ask yourself this question: How is your spiritual temperature? And if it’s not “hot,” watch out for the divine spit!

Pastor Ivanildo da Costa Trindade

Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA