By Pastor Robert Forsberg
“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did – with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” (2 Kings 23:25)
Judah certainly stayed faithful to the Lord through more king rulers than did the northern kingdom, Israel. There were some exceptional leaders and Josiah was at the top of the list. He became king at eight years old and reigned for thirty-one years. During this time he returned Judah to a faithful relationship with the Lord. The people turned from idolatry. And yet, even with this return to the Lord, God still burned with anger against earlier leaders who had ignored and rejected Him. Even in this good time of Josiah’s reign, bad times were coming. Yet, it is refreshing to see this man who put his heart, soul and strength in the Lord.
It is hard for us to imagine our God being so angry with us that He would one day punish us severely. Yet, we must remember that our God hates evil. He hates all that opposes Him because He knows that that attitude and action only brings hardship for us. Therefore, He may have to use stern discipline to correct us.
In the Cross He used His sternest discipline in taking our punishment on Himself. Jesus now takes all the anger of God that is against us and absorbs it Himself. That anger is them replaced with God’s very own love and forgiveness. Yes, we do have a New Covenant with our God through Jesus. We acknowledge our sinfulness and receive His forgiveness. We are enabled to go on in peace.
Heavenly Father, our heart, mind and soul are turned to You. Strengthen our relationship. Empower us to do what is right in Your sight. Help us to serve those around us faithfully to Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn and a guest columnist.