God Reveals His Word and Fulfills It (Week 31)
Josiah became the king of the Southern Kingdom of Judah at the age of eight. As he grew up, he must have been influenced by the prophets Zephaniah and Jeremiah because he slowly wiped-out idolatry and reinstated true worship of the God of Israel. He had the temple renovated, and it was then that the priests discovered a copy of the ancient law of Moses.
Once Josiah heard the law, he understood just how sinful the people of Judah had been and that they had brought the wrath of God down upon them. So, the young king did everything he could to bring the nation back to the Lord, and in return, the Lord promised Josiah would die in peace and not suffer captivity. But the people had committed terrible sin, and judgment would be poured out upon the nation.
The interesting, oft-overlooked element in this story is that before God brought judgment, He had a copy of the law of Moses found and read to the people as a testimony. God was about to act in accordance with His promises to Moses, and He was letting His people know.
Another similar story has happened in modern days. Right as the United Nations was debating the future of the ancient land of Israel in 1947, a Bedouin shepherd boy found a stash of ancient biblical scrolls hidden in caves near Qumran. Professor Eleazar Sukenik of Hebrew University purchased three of the scrolls and brought them home to examine them. It was November 29, 1947.
As he listened on the radio to the UN vote to partition the land and allow the establishment of a Jewish state, he read the ancient scroll in front of him—a scroll that had not been read for some 2,000 years. It was the prophet Isaiah proclaiming a day when judgment would be over and a new season of restoration would begin:
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1–2)
Exile was ending, and a whole new season was beginning for the Jewish people. God revealed this ancient prophecy just as He was fulfilling it.
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About this episode:
As Assyria falls and Babylon emerges, the prophet Jeremiah gets impatient with God and complains about the ridicule and rejection he is facing by prophesying coming judgment. But God is at work, and as the godly king Josiah is renovating the temple, a copy of the ancient law of Moses is found. Josiah now understands just how sinful the nation has been and what lies ahead. God was revealing His Word as He was about to fulfill it. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for August 30 – September 5, covering Jeremiah 13-18; 26; 46-47; 2 Kings 22-23; Habakkuk 1-3.