A Good King – a Better King

The tone of a community improves and there develops a greater confidence in its leaders whenever wrongs are identified and correct practices are implemented.

2 Kings 22:14-20

14Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbar, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Hu/doh, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

15 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ 18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people-that they would become a curse and be laid waste-and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.'”

So they took her answer back to the king.

This part of the Bible involves a community about to undergo major reform – all for the better. Up to this point in its history, God’s people had experienced two recent kings in Amon and Manasseh whose reigns were characterised by doing evil in the eyes of the Lord: worshipping idols, forsaking Him and not walking in obedience to him. Because of this God is going to judge them and eventually they will be taken away from their land into exile. Then along comes King Josiah and the book of the Lord is rediscovered. This book represents how the king and his kingdom are to live in a way that reflects the very nature of their real king – their God – to the nations about them.

Josiah is responsive – he humbles himself before God, he repents  and is promised to be gathered into his ancestors when he dies – a symbol of coming home to be with Abraham and his God in peace.

Josiah is a good king. Nevertheless, out of his line will come a better king – the best king –  the Lord Jesus  (Matt  1:11). King Jesus will perfectly act with a responsive heart towards his Father and humble himself  to  the point of death on a cross that those who trust in him might have that same peace with the Father that Josiah experienced.

Head: Can you think of times when reform took place in your community? A time when corruption was exposed, abandoned and replaced with good leadership?

Heart: What from this passage reassures you about the character of God?

Hands: Are there parts of God’s book – the Bible – that you need to rediscover to help you better live for him in the church and your community?

Prayer: Our father in heaven, I thank you for people like King Josiah in the past who show us what it means to have a responsive heart and to come before you in humility and worship you in practical ways. We thank you for the best king – king Jesus – who did this perfectly and made the way for us to live with you forever in peace.

A song to listen to: Jerusalem https://open.spotify.com/track/037u9C5umoOYx84lhm7EgA

Tim Hewlett

This Grow Daily was  originally posted as part of the God With Us – Matthew series. During the School Holidays we take the opportunity to look back at the Grow Dailys over the years.