“Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

2 Kings 22:13 (NIV)

I believe that most people have a desire to be a good person and to do the right things in this life. What constitutes a “good person” though and the “right things” may differ from one person to another. I’d say that most of what we think and how we see the world is based on our experience in the world. Often, what we might perceive as negative experiences can actually help us to be that better person that we all want to be.

When Josiah had become king he was eight years old and had witnessed the evil deeds of both his father and grandfather, Amon and Manasseh. His father, Amon was assassinated by his own officials who were then killed by the people of Judah who raised Josiah to the position of king. Although Josiah was only a child during this time, I believe that all of these events did not escape his notice. Also, given the historical period, and my experience with children who have been called to grow up too soon, I’ll say that these events, and the people in them, helped to mold and shape Josiah into a king who served God.

We are told, in 2 Chronicles 34:3, that it was in Josiah’s 8th year of residing over Judah that he began to seek the Lord. We could say that Josiah, by the time he was 16 year old, had an idea of what was right and what was wrong and started to act upon his beliefs. When he was 20 years old he purged the high places in Judah and Jerusalem, tore down the altars of Baal and other false gods, destroying Asherah poles and idols. Those who served these false gods were killed and their bones burned on their altars (2 Chronicles 34:3-7). Josiah did all of this throughout the land of Israel and without the Book of the Law.

When the Book of the Law was found, 10 years after Josiah started to follow the Lord, and 69 years since the death of Hezekiah, Josiah’s first opportunity to see what really was right and wrong, in the eyes of God, came to him, and “he tore his robes” upon hearing it (2 Kings 22:11). Can you imagine? There are 613 laws written down that the Jews had to follow. While traditions were kept orally, I’m pretty sure that in those 69 years there were a lot of things that people forgot. I expect that the 10 Commandments and other basic laws were remembered since Josiah had purged the land of idols and idol worship. I can see Josiah, having the temple repaired and the land cleared of idols, thinking that he and the people of Judah were on the right track, following God, and then he hears of all that he and his people were supposed to be doing and weren’t.

Unfortunately, I think that there are many people in the church today who want to impose an order of condemnation and law upon the world. Instead of telling people of the love of God, and the salvation found in Jesus, some people want to focus on the sin of the world. These are people who tear through online forums, pointing the finger at “sinners.” These are people who hold up signs, declaring nothing but hatred to those who “live in sin.” These are people who might think, that if they follow 613 laws, they’ll get into Heaven.

I feel pain and sorrow, and I want to tear my clothes, when I see the way that some people “minister” to the world. I like to believe that hearts are in the right places, but I wonder. I wonder what kind of message people are hearing when they read the word of God. Perhaps I feel this way because the only condemnation I ever felt when going to church, before I was saved, I thought came from people. However, when I look back upon it now, I believe that what I felt came from the warring of my worldly spirit and the Holy Spirit. How much greater is the need then, for us to show love to people? Since there’s a spiritual battle already going on between those who are saved and those who are not then we who are saved need to show with our actions that we, like God, love the people in the world. If Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn it then neither should we (John 3:17).

I believe that God has given me a ministry of love. It was His love that brought me to Him. Therefore, in my ministry, I endeavor to show the love of God to you by the love that He has shown me.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.