The eyes of God are always upon us. Like a parent who allows their young child to ride their bicycle but not past the end of the street, God allows us to travel to a point. In love, he calls us back home before the point of no return. The depths of his mercy exceeds our understanding. He showed us peace when we only understood war. He showed us love when we thought it easier to hate. He sacrificed for us even when we couldn't understand what true sacrifice was. In all these things, he healed us.
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
The days of King David and Solomon were becoming a distant memory. So too were the righteous laws of God. The kingdom of Israel was divided, Kings came and went and many had strayed away from the core of the faith. The kingdom for lack of a better term was simply going through the motions. God's holy nation, which was to be a light to others, was in need of a reset. A prophecy then came down indicating that high level organisational restructuring was drawing near.
“Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.”
A stirring was about to take place. A King was to arrive on the scene that would lead his people back under righteousness for a time. What would start this chain of events? The book of the law which once was lost, had now been found. God drew his people's attention back to his words and then confirmed these words by the priests and prophets. The new King felt convicted in heart by these words but God comforted him, indicating that peace and not evil was his portion.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
God would use King Josiah to bring healing to the kingdom. What would be his servant's course of action? He repented, cleansed the temple and observed the passover.
Josiah's repentance was highly commended. No other King had turned to the Most High like he did. Repentance is key to our unleavened bread recipe. This sentiment was given to Moses, reiterated to Solomon and cemented through Christ.
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
We must turn to God in order to fulfil the greatest commandment, which is to love him. A heart and mind directed toward God is now in agreement with him. If we confess, God is faithful and just to forgive which leads us to...
As the prophecies foretold of him, Josiah proceeded to eliminate all the things that had caused his people to fall into sin. The idols, the witchcraft and the priests that were dedicated partakers of these practices had to go.
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us”
1 Corinthians 5:7
Cleansing the temple should always be a priority. Christ memorably chased those practicing unruly acts of out his Father's house. Spiritually, we are the temples of God so it's important that we take stock of what's in us and cleanse. The act of purging allows a system to perform at optimum capacity once more.
The King was cleaning house and instructing his people to observe the passover. This passover would go on to be the most highly regarded in Hebrew history. The most significant passover of that day was a foreshadow of the most significant passover of all time. Our passover lamb Jesus Christ. We observe our passover by looking to Christ.
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Not simply by gazing however as the passover is a day to feast. We feast upon the bread of life so our spirits stay filled. We feast upon the blood of his sacrifice for the life of a man is in his blood. The blood that embodies our salvation. We do all this and rejoice in all that God has blessed us with.
“It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power”
1 Corinthians 15:43
King Josiah lead his people for many years in a righteous manner. He did so by leading his people into some of the very acts Christ would later perform. We are called to repent, put away our sinful practices, look to God and be healed. I pray that we all receive the healing God desires. Live in grace, walk in peace and be blessed.