Imagine how it must have felt to experience the Great Awakening, a series of 18th-century revivals that spread through the American colonies under the preaching of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. Entire cities were trans- formed by the gospel!
Today’s passage describes the reign of Josiah, the eight-year-old king of Judah. Josiah ruled for 31 years and “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD” (v. 2). As a young king, he purged Judah of idols, tearing down the altars of Baal and smashing the Asherah poles. He even burned the bones of the false priests.
Then, in his eighteenth year, he set out to repair the temple of the Lord. Workers were hired. Joists, beams, and stone were acquired. They weren’t long into the project, though, when Hilkiah made a remarkable discovery—the Book of the Law of the Lord (likely Deuteronomy). Hilkiah gave it to Shaphan the secretary, who took it to the king.
When Shaphan read the law out loud, the king tore his robes. He was in great distress over the sin of the people and sent a delegation to find out what the Lord required. Hilkiah and his men went to Huldah the prophetess, who shared an immediate and ominous word from the Lord. Disaster would come on the place and its people. Because of their idolatry, the Lord’s anger would be poured out.
However, Huldah had more to say. Because Josiah’s heart was humble, God would spare him from the judgment by calling him home. Josiah gathered all the people at the temple and read the Book of the Law to them. The king renewed the people’s covenant with the Lord. Judah followed the Lord as long as Josiah was alive.
>> Today’s devotional is a reminder that we should be praying for revival— in our church, our community, our country . . . even in our homes. Don’t just make this the prayer for one day but make it a repeating plea to God in the days and months ahead.
God, we pray for revival in Your church. Stir leaders and laymen with deep, enduring passion for Your Word. Use our fervent faith to impact our communities and our country with the truth. Bring many to salvation!