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One Husband, One Wife, Five Children and Everything in Between

Jesse Tree day 12

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. . .

In the eighteenth year of his reign. . .When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: “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.”

‘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. 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.’ 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: 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. 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. -2 Kings 22:1, 11-13, 16-20

After David was king, his son Solomon took his place on the throne. God made the same promise to Solomon that he made with David. “If you stay true to me, and only worship me as God, I will bless you and take care of you.” Any who are familiar with Solomon are very aware that he did not stay true his whole life. He started out great, built the most massive and impressive temple, had huge and personal encounters with God, but as life progressed Solomon was swayed to follow and allow his people to worship other gods. Because he did this, the Kingdom was to be torn apart. 10 of the tribes of Israel would follow another man as king, and only 2 would stay with his son, becoming known as Israel and Judah. Only because of the promise he made to David to always have an heir was Solomon’s son allowed to keep part of the kingdom. Both Solomon’s son, Rehoboam,  and the other king Jeroboam,  would be given the same promise as David. “If you stay true to me, and only worship me as God, I will bless you and take care of you.”

The 10 tribes, known as Israel, also became known as the Northern kingdom. Jeroboam ignored the promise given to him by God. He quickly led his people into gross idolatry. He would be the standard that all the evil Kings would follow. Not only did he worship false gods, but purposely and seditiously encourage the people to completely abandon the one true God.  Many kings that followed would be compared to his evil ways, some even matched in his pure evil idolatry. His name was always the standard by which evil could be compared.

God tried to warn the people. He would send prophets out to warn the people. Many times prophets are considered only for their ability to foretell of future things to come. Although some did this (and as part of the Jesse Tree we will look at many of the prophecies about Jesus), their major role as prophets was to forth tell. Warn the people of how terrible their sin, in the hopes that they would repent. If they didn’t, then God would bring about the destruction of their kingdoms.

Every king in the Northern kingdom was evil. In the southern kingdom, known as Judah, there was a mix of both. Some kings were evil; others started out good, but made mistakes. Others were quite good, and sincerely tried to lead the people to worship God.

After many years, the Northern kingdom eventually collapsed. The people were carried off into captivity, ripped from the promised land. You would think seeing the destruction of a nation would prevent Judah from following the same fate. It didn’t. The kingdom was doing okay until Manasseh.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah Pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. He built altars in the temple of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” In the two courts of the temple of the Lord, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, arousing his anger.

He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever. I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.” But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed before the Israelites.

The Lord said through his servants the prophets: “Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. -2 Kings 21:1-12

Under Manasseh, the city of Jerusalem was attacked. He was ripped from his throne and imprisoned. During that time, he was humbled. He realized the errors, the wrongs and blasphemies that he had done.

In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.

He was restored to his place on the throne. He tried to lead the people back, repairing the temple, but it was too late. They were set on the course that could not be reversed.

I share all of this about Manasseh because he is Josiah’s grandfather. When Josiah steps into the role as king, he is only 8 years old. Josiah’s father was an evil king, unchanged by Manasseh’s reforms. No doubt, because he was so young, Josiah relied heavily on the advice of his court. At the age of 16, he began to seek after God. He ripped down alters and idols to the false gods. He swept through cities to bring drastic reforms in the land. Two years later, when he sends priests in to begin making repairs to the temple, is when the book of the law was found. Many believe that the book that they found was the book of Deuteronomy written by Moses. When Josiah hears the words, he rips his clothes. The condition of the nation is far worse than thought. The send for a word from a prophetess, and she confirms. Judah will be destroyed. She does have a promise for Josiah. He will not see its destruction. Because he was so responsive when he heard the word of God, God would spare him watching such calamity.

That same year, Josiah led the people to celebrate the Passover. The scripture tells us in 2 Chronicles that no one had celebrated the Passover in such grandiose splendor since the time of Samuel. It was a time of celebration. They remembered the time of captivity in Egypt and how God had set them free through the sacrifice of a lamb. Oh- the imagery! We are captives to our sin, and only through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God can we be freed.

Jesse tree Day 11

There was no king in the history of Israel who would compare to David, except Josiah. Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses -2 Kings 23:25. Although he tried to bring reforms, the people’s hearts were unchanged. 4 kings later, the nation of Judah no longer existed. Josiah represents both hope and destruction. He didn’t have godly parents to umbrella him into the grace of God. His reaction to hearing the Law, the brokeness and humility, condemned the people before him who had forgotten their calling. He is the example. It’s not who you are, how you’re raised, or where you lived that matters to God. What he desires is for us to recognize that He is Holy, we are desperately sinful, and only through the sacrifice of His Son can this condition be remedied.

If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God

However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you Deuteronomy 28: 1-22, 15

Family Devotion:

gather a copy of the image below (right-click on the image to save to your computer or download the file), a frame or some other way to display it, Bible and ornament 

Read together the above passage. Explain/remind of how God had given the command for the people to only worship him, and they would be blessed. When Josiah read the Law of God he realized that his people had completely forgotten how to keep his law. Josiah loved the Lord, and wanted to help the people to remember him again. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Decide as a family where to display the impress picture. Talk about how you can remind each other to love God above all things. Pray together, thanking God for the Bible and his word.

Impress Scripture

{this is an original art piece that I made, and by sharing the image in no way am I giving up copyrights. You are welcome to print for personal use, but please do not use the file for profit}

Impress, Deut. 6:4-9

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