Called By Name (2 Kings Chapters 22-23)

A Study in 2 KingsNow behold
There came a man of GOD from Judah to Bethel
By The WORD of The LORD
While Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense
He cried against the altar by The WORD of The LORD
And said, “O altar, altar, thus says The LORD
Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David
Josiah by name
And on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places
Who burn incense on you
And human bones shall be burned on you.'”
1 Kings 13:1-2

In the study of 2 Kings chapters 22 and 23, we witness our GOD of Truth (Psa 31:5, Isa 65:16), WHO is literally our GOD of Faithfulness (Deu 32:4, Psa 119:90), continue to demonstrate HIS WORD is true. As reflected in the foundational Scriptures (1 Kin 13:1-2), our Beloved LORD GOD called Josiah by name, more than 300 years before he would be born, and stated a specific deed of devotion he would perform (2 Chr 35:26-27). Throughout this study, our GOD will allow us to attest the truthfulness of HIS WORD, through the life of Josiah.

The Prophecy

Our Beloved LORD GOD sent an unnamed prophet from Judah to Bethel speak HIS WORD against an abominable altar set up by the first king of the newly divided northern kingdom of Israel. King Jeroboam did not trust in GOD to keep his promises, so he trusted in himself (1 Kin 12:26-32). As king Jeroboam was offering incense at this abominable altar, the prophet came and cried out against the altar by The WORD of The LORD:

O altar, altar, thus says The LORD
Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David
Josiah by name
And on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places
Who burn incense on you
And human bones shall be burned on you

As previously stated, this prophecy was pronounced, more than three hundred years before Josiah was born. Our Beloved LORD GOD called him by name, announced what family he would be born into, and declared the actions he would carry out against the pagan altar at Bethel and the false priests who were serving there (1 Kin 13:1-2).

Has such a specific prophecy occurred before? Yes, numerous times before, and countless times after, even up to this present day. In fact numerous detailed prophecies were spoken about our Precious LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST before HIS birth (Gen 3:15, Deu 18:15-19, 2 Sam 7:12-13, Isa 9:6-7, Mat 1:18-21, Luk 1:26-33, Luk 24:44-48). Additionally, before the birth of any of the following men, our Beloved LORD GOD also called them by name, and declared their future: The two sons of Abraham, Ishmael (Gen 16:11-16), and Isaac (Gen 17:15-22, Gen 18:9-15). Cyrus, the king of Persia (Isa 44:28, Isa 45:1-7, 2 Chr 36:22-23, Jer 29:10-14), and John the Baptist (Luk 1:13, Luk 1:59-63).

Did GOD know such specific things about us, before we were born? Of course! HE is GOD (Deu 4:35, Isa 45:5), HE is our Creator (Isa 40:28, Isa 44:24), HE knows the end of things, before one thing has occurred (Isa 44:6-7, Isa 46:9-10). As such, before we were formed in our mother’s womb, HE knew us (Jer 1:5), HE knew where we would live (Act 17:26), HE knows the length of our life (Psa 139:16, Job 14:5), and HE knows the purpose we have been born for (Pro 16:4, Act 13:36, Rom 8:28).

 The Prophecy Begins Fulfillment               

When Josiah, a direct descendant of king David of Judah was born, the prophecy begin its fulfillment:

  • At eight years old, Josiah began his reign over Judah (2 Kin 22:1-2)
  • In the eighth year of his reign (sixteen years old), he began to seek to know GOD for himself (2 Chr 34:3)
  • In the twelfth year of his reign (twenty years old), he began to purge Judah, Jerusalem, and the house of the LORD GOD of idolatry (2 Chr 34:3-7)
  • By the eighteenth year of his reign (twenty-six years old), the purge of the land and the temple was completed; he then sent orders for the house of the LORD GOD to be restored and repaired (2 Chr 34:8-13, 2 Kin 22:3-7)
  • during restoration and repair of the temple, Hilkiah the high priest finds The Book of The Law given by Moses (2 Chr 34:14-17), Shaphan the scribe brings it to king Josiah and reads it in his presence (2 Kin 22:10, 2 Chr 34:18)

The Prophecy is Fulfilled

  • When king Josiah hears the words of The Book of The Law, he tore his clothes and wept (2 Kin 22:11, 2 Chr 34:19)
  • king Josiah sent a small group to inquire of The LORD concerning the words written in The Book of The Law about Judah and its inhabitants (2 Kin 22:12-13, 2 Chr 34:20-21)
  • Our LORD confirmed through HIS prophetess Huldah, HIS WORD would come to pass in the land and on its inhabitants because of their grave disobedience and idolatry. HE however would spare king Josiah, for his tender heart toward GOD (2 Kin 22:14-20, 2 Chr 34:22-28)
  • king Josiah renewed the covenant; he gathered the entire nation from the greatest to the least; both he and the nation made a covenant with our LORD to walk in whole-hearted obedience; which the nation did, during the entire lifetime of king Josiah (2 Kin 23:1-3, 2 Chr 34:29-33)
  • king Josiah reformed the nation, during which he fulfilled the prophecy concerning the altar in Bethel (2 Kin 23:4-20)
  • king Josiah reinstituted the Passover (2 Kin 23:21-23, 2 Chr 35:1-19)

With the fulfillment of GOD’s WORD concerning king Josiah of Judah, we continue to witness that our Beloved LORD GOD’s WORD will not fail (Isa 55:10-11), it will surely come to pass (2 Kin 22:1-2, 2 Kin 23:15-18). GOD alone sets times and epochs/seasons (Act 1:7), and only HE sets the appointed time for HIS WORD to come to pass (Dan 8:19, Mrk 13:32-33, Act 17:31, Gal 4:4)

Did king Josiah die after the prophecy was fulfilled? Not immediately, over the next thirteen years, he completed the restoration and repair of the temple, and reinstituted the Passover. After all this, he went out to engage Pharaoh Neco, the king of Egypt on the plain of Megiddo (2 Chr 35:22). Pharaoh just wanted to pass through Judah on his way to battle against the Babylonians, at Carchemish on the Euphrates river (2 Chr 35:20). He warned king Josiah to turn away from him, because he was on a mission from GOD (2 Chr 35:20-21), king Josiah ignored him, and was killed (2 Kin 23:29, 2 Chr 35:22-23 ). There is an important lesson here that we the people of GOD need to make careful note of; king Josiah had an intimate relationship with our Beloved LORD GOD (2 Chr 34:3). So when Pharaoh Neco told him that he was on a mission from GOD, he simply refused to listen to the Pharaoh, instead of inquiring of GOD (2 Chr 35:22). No matter how many years we have walked with our Holy GOD, we should never lean to our own understanding (Pro 3:5). Instead we should continue to pray about everything (Php 4:6, Luk 18:1, Eph 6:18).

The Beginning of the End

With king Josiah’s death, came the beginning of the end. Because he was a good and righteous king,  Jeremiah the prophet, and all of Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him (2 Chr 35:24-5, Jer 22:10). Soon after occupation, destruction, and exile began in the land of Judah and against its inhabitants, as spoken by the WORD of our Beloved LORD GOD (2 Kin 23:26-27). And then king Josiah’s three sons and grandsons became kings in Judah:

  • Jehoahaz was made king by the people of Judah upon his father’s death. But he was king for only three months, when Pharaoh Neco forcibly removed him from his throne (2 Chr 36:1-3); first imprisoning him at Riblah in the land of Hamath, located on the high road between Palestine and Babylon (2 Kin 23:30-33). Pharaoh Neco eventually moved king Jehoahaz into Egypt where he died (Jer 22:10-12).
  • Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim, another one of king Josiah’s son a puppet king; changing his name to Jehoiakim (2 Kin 23:34-36). Jehoiakim, his brother Zedekiah, and his nephew Jehoiachin will be discussed further in our final study in 2 Kings.

But now, thus says The LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And HE who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are MINE!
Isaiah 43:1

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