2 Chronicles 35:20 After all (King Josiah’s reforms), when Josiah had set the temple in order, King Neco of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out against him. 21 But Neco sent envoys to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I am not coming against you today, but against the house with which I am at war; and God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, so that he will not destroy you.” 22 But Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but joined battle in the plain of Megiddo. 23 The archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am badly wounded.” 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. There he died, and was buried in the tombs of his ancestors.
This is frustrating. It’s not surprising, but it’s frustrating. Josiah was one of the most faithful kings Israel ever had. He did his very best to return the people to God after others had led them astray. He re-instituted the Passover meal, restored the practices of the temple, destroyed pagan idols throughout Israel, and so on.
And then there’s this.
If you’ve ever wondered why Jesus had to die and rise again, this should help. People were, and are, simply incapable of drawing near to God by good works or faithfulness to the Lord. Sin always – ALWAYS – gets between us and God. The writings of scripture make this very clear. Without Jesus to redeem us from our sin, we are left in the darkness of sin and death forever. So God did something about it…
Heavenly Father, in Josiah we see a man trying very hard to be faithful to you and to lead the people well. Yet, in the end, he fell short. This is my story Lord. Even when I put forth my best effort to live according to your will and purposes I fall short. Over and over. And so today I’m reminded of the incredible blessing we have in Jesus, your very Son who died on the cross to pay for our sins. Through faith in Jesus we are restored to fellowship with you and welcomed into your kingdom forever. Thank you God. Thank you. Amen.