II Kings 22 – 23
Original Mixed Media, 31″ x 21.5″
Of all the kings of Judah (including David) my heart and mind gravitate toward Josiah. He was the 16th king of Judah and was 8 years old when he ascended the throne. The three decades of Josiah’s reign were summed up as peaceful, prosperous, and reforming. These were some of the happiest years for the line of Judah.
At the age of 26 he realized the temple needed some serious repairs. He made Hilkiah, the high priest, supervise the work. In the process Hilkiah found a copy of the Book of the Law. After it was dusted off it was read to Josiah. He was shocked at how Judah and the previous kings had completely forgotten and departed from the law of God. This discovery provided new momentum for the reformation that was already taking place. He began to cleanse Jerusalem and the land of Judah of anything that took their gaze off God’s kindness towards them. Josiah personally supervised the destruction of these idols, from the altars of Baal to the incense altars; he cleaned house.
Seeking God’s wisdom, Josiah kept his delicate balance of being a great leader. The fire represents the burning away of all the things that were eating Judah alive. In doing so he was tangibly showing a whole nation what it looks like when we put all our chips in the middle and bet everything on God’s grace.