Josiah undertakes his first big task. After 18 years on the throne, Josiah decides it is time to repair the Temple.
The Temple has gone through multiple repairing and destructive processes. This is the same Temple that Solomon built for the Lord. The place where God said He would put His name and call His own.
The first major Temple repair we come across was done by Jehoash. In 2 Kings 12 we read of his rebuilding process. We aren’t told when he began the process but by the time his 22 year on the throne came along the process had never gotten off the ground. A drastic restructuring of the process was undertaken and things moved along fine after that. Even the items used in the Temple were repaired or replaced. But later on the Temple was looted by Jehoash to buy protection from king Hazael.
The second time we read of repairs to the Temple was under the hand of king Hezekiah. His father had done a LOT of damage to the Temple, including bringing in false gods and a replacement altar. In 2 Chronicles 29 we get the full story of how Hezekiah unsealed the doors, removed all the abominations his father brought in and even reapplied gold to the doors and doorposts. We heard part of the story in 2 Kings 18 where Hezekiah he had that gold taken back off to, once again, buy protection from Judah’s enemies.
It is now Josiah’s turn to repair the Temple. I don’t know yet if he is going to undo his work like these two previous kings. We will have to wait and see how things go with him.
The biggest restoration projects were undertaken by the kings who were children when they took the throne; Jehoash and Josiah. Jehoash had Jehoiada to instruct him but we don’t see an advisor specified for Josiah. Jehoash stopped walking in the ways of the Lord when Jehoiada died.
Both these two young kings also put the money directly into the hands of those who conducted the repairs, eventually, and kept no accounting of the process. The workmen were trusted completely with the job and money used for it. That would NOT happen today! There are trustworthy people still today but finding a person trusting enough to ‘lay their bank book open’ is VERY rare.
Both our young kings also didn’t get the job done until much later in their reign. Jehoash got serious about the issue in his 22nd year on the throne. Josiah set about the process in his 18th year. I’m wondering why the delay. With Jehoash part of it was because his original idea of how to make it happen failed. But with Josiah we aren’t given a reason why the delay. Was it because there wasn’t a lot of money in the temple when he took the throne? The people had been following two of the wickedest kings ever in Judah’s history. Manasseh repented but the people still didn’t come back all the way to the Lord under him. His son Amon brought them right back into idolatry. Were contributions to the Lord absent because of this?
King Hezekiah took on his restoration process in the first month of the first year he took the throne. He wasted NO time in setting things right. But he was also an adult when he took the throne. He was 29 while our other major restorers were 7 and 8 years old when the people set them on the throne. Maybe it was a maturity issue. They didn’t ‘see’ the state of things because that was all they had known. Is it possible that when they recognized the problem they addressed it? Jehoash’s naivety kept him from truly fixing the problem for a while but he did try earlier. I wonder who it was that brought the failing part of his plan to his attention. Did he see it on his own or did someone point it out to him?
I was wondering what to take from today’s reading when something occurred to me. It is something I have had to revisit MANY times. The concept of “judging” others. I am very impressed by all three of these king’s acts on behalf of the Lord. But the first thought that popped into my mind when reading today’s story was “Why did he wait so long?” THAT is my judgment shining through. I don’t know what his life was like as king. There may have been multiple other concerns facing him in the beginning of his reign. The people who were directing him while he was still a child may have thought nothing of this problem. He may not have noticed as a child. ANY NUMBER of reasons exists. Rather than coming up with a condemnation, I should have been giving commendations. He was one of the few who DID care enough to make a difference. He loved the Lord and wanted to honor His House. He didn’t count the cost. Whatever it took was fine by him. And he trusted God to deal with the hearts of the men who were employed in this task. So instead of “Why so long” in need to be saying “Way to go!”
Thank You Holy Spirit for bringing me this reminder. GOD has His timing and it is not mine to pick apart.
Father God, thank You for the stories You have put into Your word. Thank You for the curiosity You have put into my heart. Help me strike a balance between curiosity and judgment. Don’t let my “why”, “when”, “how”, and “who” become condemnations but building blocks to better understanding. Even if that understanding is “Leave them alone. They did it in MY time.”
You have PERFECT timing. Of that I am certain. I’m holding fast to that timing when it comes to my children too. YOU know when the perfect time is for them to hear You calling to them. You know what it will take to reach their hearts. And I trust You with them completely! No more “wind Your watch” reminders. You make ALL THINGS beautiful in YOUR time.