Today: [2 Kings Chapter Twenty-Two] When God Used a Little Coat Check Girl to Change a Nation. Wicked king Mannesseh is dead and his son is assassinated in the palace. A sickly child by the name of Josiah is the only surviving son of David’s line. For ten years he is propped up on the throne while his character is tested and his love for God fostered like an ember in a cooling hearth. In Josiah’s 18th year he rises up to his destiny aided by a young prophetess working as a coat check girl in the city of Jerusalem. The end of the matter is the salvation of a nation and the establishing of Josiah’s kingdom.
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[2Ki 22:1-20 KJV] 1 Josiah [was] eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name [was] Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2 And he did [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
Mannasseh is dead and his son Amon is assasinated. In two generations all the godly reforms initiated by Hezekiah are completely erased from the culture of the southern kingdom. During Mannasseh’s time four prophets cried against the wickedness of the city and those prophetic words have come down to us as the book of Isaiah, Habbukuk, Nahum and Hosea. To think of the aptmosphere and spiritual climate that these poignant prophetic books were written and the king himself scoffs and the people did not turn aside from their idolatry. They sacrificed their sons to Molech, the put the image of Ashteroth, goddess of fertility in the holy place and turned again to the abominations of Baal worship. Mannasseh reigned for 55 years. Five is the number of grace and where sin abounds grace does much more abound. After Mannasseh’s son Amon is assassinated there is a moment of great jeapardy for the line of David. The only surviving son of the dead king is an eight year boy by the name of Josiah. Josiah’s name means “he whom Jehovah heals”. Thus we know that not only is this stripling a mere whippet of a boy but he is sickly from his birth. His mother was married to a wicked king now dead but Jedidah no doubt turned to God when she saw the unnamed infant clinging to life and gave him a name that credited Jehovah’s healing power to keep him alive and now he sits as king over a decadent and corrupted city of Jerusalem.
Josiah broke with the traditions and deceits of Mannasseh and his father Amon – choosing as his great-grandfather Hezekiah to walk in all the ways of his father David and bore at testimony that he turned not to the right hand or to the left. What a remarkable young man to be under the pressure that no doubt clouded his young mind at times but he had a godly mother who reminded him of his heritage in Hezekiah and in David, looking past the iniquities of his father and grandfather and choosing to embrace the words of God and the promises of God over the line of David. Never forget where you come from. Always remember that someone prayed for you. Your parents and your grandparents may not have left you a legacy of godliness but the DNA of God, the very bloodline of David has been grafted into your life when you asked Jesus to come into your heart. Allow that royal blood to call you up to your destiny and set the bar high for godliness and turn not aside to the right hand or to the left – and you likewise as Josiah in this chapter will be called a repairer of the breach and a restorer of paths to dwell in.
3 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, [that] the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying, 4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people: 5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which [is] in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, 6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house. 7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.
When Josiah had reigned 10 years he began to move as a reformer in the city of Jerusalem. Ten is the number of testing. Those ten years from age eight to eighteen were a time when the young king’s character were tested and tried. He no doubt removed the profane and porngraphic image of Ashteroth from the holy place that his grandfather had set up. He withheld from intruding into the priest’s office as Ahaz, Mannasseh and Amon did. He ejected the soothsayers and astrologers from his court. Finally in his 18th year he begins to step into his destiny. You might know as well that you are in preparation time. 10 years can be a long time waiting for the promise of God and the plan of God to come to fruition. Don’t waste that time. Give yourself over to the refining of the kingdom WITHIN YOU and God will raise you up to the establishing of His kingdom AROUND YOU just as Josiah. 18 is the number of deliverance and establishing. There were 18 judges and deliverers between Moses and king Saul. Joshua served 18 years himself as the first judge and deliverer of the people on the Promised land side of Jordan.
On the 18th year Josiah sends word to the priests and administrators to report the bank balances, the sum of the silver they had been gathering from the people. This was the ½ shekel redemption money taken every year. It speaks of salvation and the faithfulness of God. He wanted to know just how far they were provisioned to go in raising up again the temple of God that was fallen down and in disrepair. Notice upon receiving the sum of the silver what the king does next. Remember that the kings of Judah stand as a type of Christ. Josiah commanded that the wealth of the house of God be delivered to those described as “doers of the work…” These were those who were prepared to repair (and not ignore) the breaches in the house of the Lord. You might wonder and ask the Father “where’s all the money going to come from? Father where is all the money?” And the Lord says to you “I will deliver the sum – the transfer of the wealth to those that are doers of the work, those who have a heart to no longer ignore but repair the breaches of My house.” There were carpenters, builders and masons. This speaks of 1 Cor. 12:28 “first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers” who are used by God to establish and repair the spiritual house of God which we are.
8 And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD. 10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying, 13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great [is] the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
In the midst of the repairing of the house of the Lord a book was found – the book of the law of Moses. Things were so bad in the city at this time that once the book was found they really didn’t know what they had discovered. The only clue that had to its importance was that it was found amidst the ruins of the temple. The scribe reads to the king and in Chronicles it is recorded that part of what was read included a 200 year old prophecy that names Josiah by name as a reformer who would establish again the city of Jerusalem to be a praise in the earth. Nonetheless upon hearing law of Moses Josiah realized how aggregiously the southern kingdom had strayed and offended the God who handed down the tablets at Sinai. At this point he realizes that he needed further counsel and sends for word from a prophet.
14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
Josiah sends for word from a prophet and the only one willing to speak to the king is a woman prophet who is a keeper of the wardrobe – literally a coat check girl in the college at Jerusalem. You might be a woman and you might have a menial job whereby you earn your living but God knows your name. God knows who you are. He knows that when the king calls for a prophetic word you are going to tell him the truth and give him a pure accounting of what the Father has to say over your city.
15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me, 16 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, [even] all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: 17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. 18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [As touching] the words which thou hast heard; 19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard [thee], saith the LORD. 20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
The prophetess Huldah delivers the word of the Lord to Josiah and does not spare his sensibilities or fear for her own life. The generational sins of the city from the time of Solomon are coming due. But notice the heart of God and the love of God for young Josiah. Because Josiah’s heart was tender and because he humbled himself before the Lord there will be clemency and divine forebearance in his lifetime. Notice God didn’t say “because you picketed, or joined a class action lawsuit, or bombed an abortion clinic…” These things may seem outwardly provocative but it was Josiah’s ten years of preparation and humility before God that saved the city and the kingdom in his lifetime. Josiah rent his clothes and wept before the Lord because he knew that the problems the nation was facing was not God’s fault. He knew that the calamities and judgments in the nation were in spite of everything God could do and say to spare them as a people. Thus the scribes return with the word from heaven that yes the sins of the nation will be accounted for but in Josiah’s lifetime there would be peace.
What a testimony of the deliverance the life of one person can make in a nation. Did God spare the city because Josiah was king? Would he not have done so even if Josiah was a lowly citizen of no repute? What would God be prepared to do in extending clemency and forgiveness to our nations that have so brazenly rejected God and rejected his word? Let us make up our mind that our first priority is not to scream and shrilly denounce others in our loud show of offended righteousness, but to repent and lament within ourselves between us and God. What happens in your prayer closet is what changes the nation – not what is shouted from the powerless pulpits of dead churches.
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