King Josiah (2 Kings 22, 23:1-30)
Josiah, the son of Amon became king at the age of eight and reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He did what was right in the sight of God. In the eighteenth year of his reign, he sent his secretary, Shaphan to Hilkiah, the high priest to take account of the money in the Temple treasury. The money was to be used in repairing the temple.
The high priest in the process discovered the book of law in the temple and gave it to the king’s secretary Shaphan, who took it back to king Josiah and read it before him. Having heard what written in the book, Josiah tore his cloths as a sign of repentance and cleansed the temple and high places.
He vowed to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments.
He burnt the verses meant for Baal and Asherah; cast away the idolatrous priests and burnt Asherah as well. He broke down the house of male cult prostitutes and banned human sacrifice. He removed all the shrines in Samaria.
Josiah abolished witchcraft, sorcery, soothsaying and divination and destroyed their idols. He restored the feast of Passover, which had been abandoned for years.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE REFORMS
– It brought about reconciliation, re-construction and spiritual rebirth to the people of Israel.
– The people of Israel became more dedicated and committed to the service of God.