The Choice of Josiah

ritw_logo_WP“It doesn’t surprise me about John, just look at his dad and the rest of the family.  You know the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree!”  How many times have you heard or even said this about someone who has made bad choices in their lives?  It is sad to think that many believe that the life they are dealt is driven by their environment or surroundings to include relatives.  Don’t get me wrong, these things do have an impact and can lead one to make bad decisions.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!

In God’s word we find an excellent example of a man surrounded by men who chose not to follow God and affected not only their families, but also the nation of Israel.  The man I am referring to is the good king Josiah.  At 8 years of age he became king of Israel, following the death of his father Amon.  The amazing thing is that as evil as both his father and grandfather were, Josiah is described as doing right in the sight of God, following the ways of David, not turning to the right or the left.  How easy do you think it would have been for Josiah to look at the actions of the people of Israel and to follow right along?  After all if everyone is doing it this way, isn’t it the way it should be done?  Yet Josiah chose to follow the way of the Lord.  We will also, if our love is for the Lord.

In the course of his reign the book of the Law (of Moses) was discovered in the temple and upon reading it Josiah realized that it was not being observed.  Even as devout a man as Josiah was he still did not realize the error of the ways of Israel until he read God’s recorded word.  He was distraught!  He understood the magnitude of Israel’s error and what consequences the people faced.

How important is the word of God to you?  To expand the idea of Peter, the Bible is God’s recorded word and it contains the words of life, eternal life.  It seems to me if that is important to you, it will never be misplaced or forgotten.  In fact you will probably spend much time in its study, contemplation and meditation.  Of all the bible characters, there are several worthy examples, including Josiah.  In him we find one who would not let his environment dictate his choices nor one to neglect the word of God when it was discovered.

Copyright © 2004, Nolan P. Rutter

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