We now come to the beginning of the end for Judah. Josiah was the last great king of Judah. And on the surface, it looks like there was true repentance under his leadership. He destroyed the false idols and altars. He got rid of all the spiritists, mediums, and all the false priests as well. They also had the greatest Passover feast since the time of Samuel. And it says,
As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their fathers. (II Chronicles 34:33)
But it says in II Kings 23:26-27,
Nevertheless, the Lord did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to provoke him to anger. So the Lord said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘There shall my Name be.’”
What was the problem? While Josiah’s repentance was quite genuine, the same cannot be said of the rest of the people of Israel. While there were certainly those among the Israelites that truly repented, there were others that stubbornly clung to their sinful ways. It may have been hidden, but it was there. And after Josiah died, all that evil came flooding back into the open.
How about you? Are you truly serving God with all your heart as Josiah did? Or are you like many of the people of Israel, superficially serving God, but continuing to serve the idols of this world in your own home and workplace?
You may be fooling others, but you’re not fooling God. And you will pay the price for it if it continues, just as the Israelites did.
Let us not just serve God with our actions, but with our hearts, putting away all the things that would lead us away from Him.