How to Live in Perilous Times II Kings 22:17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Josiah was the last great king that Judah had before the Babylonian invasion and captivity. The times in which he ruled were perilous times. The word of God had been neglected and rejected [2 Ki 22:13]. The country had turned to idolatry [2 Ki 22:16-17]. Judah was facing impending judgment [2 Ki 22:17] and sodomites were prevalent in the land [2 Ki 23:7]. The times in which he ruled are much like the times in which we are living. Therefore, by studying Josiah’s reign we can learn some things about how to live in perilous times. To live in perilous times you need to:
Do right when you are young – 2 Ki 22:2 – Josiah was only 8 years old when he began to reign – however, he “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father” – when you are young you need to follow the godly example of Sunday school teachers and your pastor instead of following peer pressure and worldly idols like movie actors.
Strengthen the house of the Lord – 2 Ki 22:3-7 – in the 18th year of Josiah, when he was 26 years old, Josiah became very concerned for the condition of the temple – so he instructed Hilkiah to repair the breaches of the house – when you are in your twenties and thirties you need to realize that not only is the church here to serve you but you are here to serve the church – there are gaps and breaches that must be filled by young men and women – as you mature in the Lord you transition from a recipient to a participant – and as you make this transition be sure to associate yourself with faithful people [v.7].
Humbly respond to the words of God – 2 Ki 22:8, 10-13, 19 – when Hilkiah found the book of the law, he gave it to Shaphan to read to the king – when the king heard the words, he rent his clothes and humbled himself – when you hear the words of God preached, your heart needs to be tender toward the words and you need to humbly respond to what the Lord says.
Covenant to walk after the Lord – 2 Ki 23:3 – Josiah made a covenant to walk after the Lord – you should make a covenant between you and the Lord that you will walk after him – no doubt, you will fall from time to time but a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again [Prov 24:16] – if you don’t make a commitment to follow the Lord you are going to end up following someone else.
Separate yourself from bad things and bad friends – 2 Ki 23:4-5 – Josiah cleaned house – he threw out all of the idols and put down all the idolatrous priests – you need to examine your life and identify all of the bad things that don’t belong and all of the wicked associations that need to be cut off – and then you need to separate yourself from these things and these friends.
Reject the traditions of influential men – 2 Ki 23:11-14 – Josiah followed good leadership when he was young but when he grew, he recognized that some of the kings of Judah, even Solomon, weren’t good influences in his life – and so he threw down the traditions that they had established – these days there are some big name Christian celebrities that men are inclined to follow – however, they will lead you away from God and into trouble – so, you need to reject the traditions of these influential men.
Stay out of fights that don’t belong to you – 2 Ki 23:29 – Josiah tried to defeat Pharaohnechoh when he was fighting against the king of Assyria – however, God had directed the fight between Egypt and Assyria and so Josiah ended up dying in the battle – there are many fights these days and many of them are not for us – I believe we are to vote and even offer input on certain legislative actions from time to time – but you aren’t going to win the war against apostasy – you will die trying – instead of fighting a losing battle, fight to sow the seed and reap a harvest of souls.
Conclusion: 2 Ki 23:25 says that there was no king before Josiah that turned to the Lord with all his heart – in these perilous times you need to turn to the Lord with all your heart and respond to what the Lord has shown you to do in this message.