Revivals have played a significant role in the spiritual history of God’s people. These times of spiritual renewal and outpouring of the Holy Spirit have led to a deepening of personal faith and a renewed commitment to God. While the Bible records several revivals, the greatest of them all was the one that occurred during the reign of King Josiah.
King Josiah was a righteous king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. However, his reign was a time of great spiritual decline in Judah. The people had turned away from God and had embraced idolatry, wickedness, and injustice. But in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, a great revival broke out in Judah that changed the course of the nation’s history.
The revival during Josiah’s reign provides several lessons for us as Christians today. These lessons include the importance of knowing and obeying God’s Word, the role of leaders in promoting revival, the need for personal and corporate repentance, and the power of celebrating God’s faithfulness. In this blog post, we will explore the background of King Josiah, the discovery of the Law, the reforms of Josiah, the celebration of the Passover, and the lessons we can learn from this great revival.
The Background of King Josiah
King Josiah was the son of Amon, and he became king of Judah at the age of eight (2 Kings 22:1). Despite his youth, he was a righteous king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (2 Kings 22:2). Josiah’s reign was a time of great spiritual decline in Judah. The people had turned away from God and had embraced idolatry, wickedness, and injustice.
The spiritual climate of Judah during Josiah’s reign was bleak. The people had become indifferent to God and were worshiping other gods. They had lost the knowledge of God’s Word, and the temple had fallen into disrepair. However, in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, a great revival broke out in Judah that changed the course of the nation’s history.
The Discovery of the Law
In the course of repairing the temple, Hilkiah, the priest, discovered the Book of the Law (2 Kings 22:8). This book, likely the book of Deuteronomy, had been lost for many years. When King Josiah heard the words of the book, he tore his clothes in repentance and sought God’s mercy (2 Kings 22:11-13).
The discovery of the Law was a turning point for the people of Judah. The Law revealed the nature and character of God, and it exposed the sins of the people. The Law showed them how they had violated God’s commands and how they had strayed from His will. It was a wake-up call that led to repentance and revival.
The Reforms of Josiah
Josiah was deeply moved by the words of the Law, and he initiated a series of reforms that sought to renew the spiritual life of the nation. The reforms included the following:
- Removal of all the idols and pagan altars from the land (2 Kings 23:4-14).
- Cleansing of the temple and restoration of the proper worship of God (2 Kings 23:4-20).
- The reinstitution of the Passover celebration, which had not been observed since the time of the judges (2 Kings 23:21-23).
The reforms of Josiah were far-reaching and comprehensive. He removed all the idols and pagan altars from the land, and he destroyed all the instruments of idolatry. He restored the proper worship of God in the temple, and he reinstated the priests and Levites to their proper functions. He also reinstated the celebration of the Passover, which had not been observed since the time of the judges.
The Celebration of the Passover
The observance of the Passover was a significant event in the spiritual history of Judah. The celebration was held with great solemnity and reverence. Josiah spared no expense in the preparation of the Passover, and it was observed according to the commands of the Law (2 Kings 23:22-23).
The Passover was a celebration of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. It was a reminder of God’s faithfulness to His people and His promise to be with them always. The celebration of the Passover was a time of great rejoicing as the people of Judah remembered God’s goodness and mercy.
Lessons from Josiah’s Revival
The revival during Josiah’s reign provides several lessons for us as Christians today. These lessons include:
- The importance of knowing and obeying God’s Word. The discovery of the Book of the Law was the catalyst for the revival of Judah. The Law exposed the sins of the people, and it revealed God’s will for their lives. We, too, must immerse ourselves in God’s Word and obey it if we want to experience revival in our lives and in our churches.
- The role of leaders in promoting revival. Josiah was a godly king who led by example. He initiated the reforms that led to the revival, and he was committed to God and His Word. We need leaders who are committed to God and who will lead us in a deeper relationship with Him. We need pastors and spiritual leaders who will guide us in the ways of righteousness and truth.
- The need for personal and corporate repentance. Josiah tore his clothes in repentance when he heard the words of the Law. The people of Judah also repented of their sins and turned back to God. We, too, must be willing to repent of our sins and turn back to God. We need to confess our sins and ask for His forgiveness. We also need to encourage one another to turn away from sin and embrace God’s truth and righteousness.
- The power of celebrating God’s faithfulness. The Passover was a celebration of God’s faithfulness to His people. It was a reminder of His goodness and mercy. We, too, should celebrate God’s faithfulness in our lives and in our churches. We should give thanks for His blessings and His provision. We should remember His faithfulness in times of trouble and difficulty.
The revival during Josiah’s reign was the greatest in the Bible. It was a time of spiritual renewal and deepening of personal faith. We can learn much from Josiah’s revival and apply these lessons to our own lives and churches. Let us seek God’s face and turn away from our sins. Let us also be diligent in studying God’s Word, and let us follow the example of godly leaders who will lead us in a deeper relationship with God.
As we do so, we can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and see a revival break out in our churches and in our nation. Let us pray that God will pour out His Spirit on us and renew our commitment to Him, just as He did in the time of King Josiah. May we be a people who seek God with all our hearts and who turn away from our sins and embrace His truth and righteousness.