- Sermon Notes
2 Kings 22:1-23:3
Our would is so full of misinformation, opinions, and ideologies. In this confusion of assertions, we don’t always recognize truth when we see it. When truth does clearly reveal itself we aren’t always quick to internalize it. In fact, sometimes we flat out reject it. However, we need to be able to receive truth if we want to step into God’s calling for us.
The discovery of truth is so important to a life well lived, and there is no place for us to find clear, life-shaping truth quite like the Bible. Today we are going to take a look at a king who heard the truth of scripture, and allowed it to bear out change through his life and the lives of his people.
Read: 2 Kings 22:1-23:3
After generations of rejecting God and falling deeper and deeper into idolatry, truth had become an enemy to the kings and people of Judah. Then, a king finally arose who would not tolerate it any longer! When Josiah heard the scripture that had been lost, he modeled a response to truth that inspired his subjects, and that I hope will inspire us today! When Josiah found truth, he did what we need to do.
- Pick it Up
- This story starts with a young king of Judah, Josiah, who was said to have done “right in the sight of the Lord.” What a thing to have said of you!
- Josiah commissioned to have the temple restored, and in beginning this restoration, the book of the law was recovered.
- It had been tucked away for so long that it’s words were lost to the people of Judah. That is how far removed from Lord and his truth God’s chosen people had become.
- Upon hearing the Word of the Lord a new and greater restoration was ignited in the heart of Judah! Josiah’s response to the truth of scripture demonstrates the significance of responding well to truth.
- You see, truth presents itself in our lives in varied ways. They are at times things that you had never considered before, and at times things that you had simply forgotten.This can range from the wise words of a friend to a profound biblical conviction uncovered through a sermon or some personal study.
- There are so many ways that we come across truth, and whether heartbreaking or inspiring, truth can be hard to hear, and hard to engage.
- It can be tempting for us to leave truth where we found it, to let it go in one ear and out the other. But we need to take hold of this precious gift.
Illus. Emergency Water Landing
- Sometimes truth is just too inconvenient for us to bother with! It’s hard to adjust our understanding of the world, especially when it means we have to change.
2 Timothy 4:3-4For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
- We can’t allow ourselves to become so callous that we cast aside reality in favor of what fits our preferences. When we find truth, like Josiah, we must have hearts that are ready to receive it.
- Have a ready heart
- When Josiah heardGod’s words written about his people, his heart broke, he tore his clothes! It was devastating to Josiah to find out just how far from God they had strayed.
- The book of the law would have made it very clear to him what the calling of the Israelites was, and what the consequence of abandoning the Lord would be, and it wasn’t pretty.
- This broken-hearted response was profound and painful, and it was appropriate. Where others would be enraged and reject these words, or ignore and “lose” them, Josiah recognized the weight of the situation, and responded righteously.
- How does our heart react to painful truth? If we have a militarized heart, prepared to defend against any threat to our comfort, truth can quickly become an enemy! If we have an inert heart, passive and cold, we may simply give truth an apathetic shrug, and mosey on in the way we were going.
Illus. Heart Soil
- If our hearts aren’t ready when truth comes, it simply prolongs our time in ignorance. That means whatever lie may have taken the place of that truth is given more time to scar you and damage those around you.
Illus. Tooth Ache
- Letting untruths fester in your heart and understanding is a quick way to passively destroy your life. Truth can bring healing. It can be a difficult process and hard to accept, but it’s far better than the alternative in the long run. That is why it is important to cling to truth when you first encounter it.
- When God reveals something to us, through wisdom, trial, or particularly from His Word, the hope is that we would be tender hearted enoughto receive what He has for us. That our hearts would be eager to grab hold of truth, and take a serious look at it.
- Examine what you’ve discovered
- When we find truth and choose to pick it up, we need to take the time to examine it. We need to seek to understand and internalize it, so that it would take root in our minds and our hearts.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
- When our hearts are full of the Word and Truth of the Lord, these things begin to shape our actions and lives.
- Josiah’s team went and sought the discernment of a prophetess named Huldah, someone known to hear truth from the Lord. She confirmed Josiah’s interpretation of the scripture and what it meant for his Kingdom.
- Josiah’s desire to affirm what he had come to understand by godly counsel was wise. When we are trying to interpret a realization we have come across and uncover what it means for us, it’s good to seek counsel from people we know to be wise and mature in their faith.
Illus. A Good Coach
- When the Lord speaks truth into our lives, we ought to take it seriously enough to really try to understand it. It can take some wrestling, it can demand assistance, but it is worth it to be diligent in this.
- If you take the time to really understand and internalize what is being revealed to you, it will clarify the path you need to take. Then you can head boldly in the direction you are being led. When you find truth, pick it up, examine it, and run with it!
II.Run with It
- Josiah was not going to stand by idly and let his kingdom continue down the path they were on! He took the truth he had learned seriously, and acted swiftly to try and parse out what it would take to be right before God.
- When Huldah prophesied she brought confirmation that all Josiah had read and understood was true. His kingdom would face the wrath of God for breaking their covenant and turning to false gods.
- What do we do when the realization we have been challenged with is truth? How do we respond when we face the burden of understanding that something needs to change?
- That’s what happens. When God illuminates something that we didn’t understand before, it often reveals to us that we either need to stop doing something wrong, or start doing something right.
- We need to embrace the truth of who we are called to be and run after it with all of our might! God is constantly refining us and revealing to us His plan for our lives. And if we want to walk in the fullness of God’s vision for us, we need to yield to His correction.
- It can be really difficult to accept truth and run with it in our lives, but it’s right for us and God deserves nothing less. We need to be faithful to the truth, even when no one is watching.
- Even when no one is watching
- Huldah revealed more than just the fate of Judah in her prophesy. She also spoke directly of King Josiah…and it was good!
Read: 2 Kings 22:19-20
- What an incredible promise! Josiah’s tender heart toward the Lord and the truth he was confronted with had a powerful impact on the king’s destiny. He would be spared from the justice that was to come. This reinforces the importance of a ready heart.
- More than that, this meant Josiah was off the hook! God had spoken His promise, Josiah was safe from the calamity to come! Well done, problem solved, right?
- How tempting is it to ignore what we know we are supposed to do when it looks like no one is watching. If there aren’t going to be any consequence, why go through the trouble of making a change?
Illus. Freshman Dorm
- Accountability is a great tool, and should be implemented generously in our lives, but there are going to be moments when none of your peers or leaders will be around to see, only God. What you choose in those moments will speak volumes.
- Josiah did not choose the easy way out. He was determined to take what he had learned and run it out in his kingdom, and this commitment would bring exceeding blessing.
- God’s truth is our freedom
- After Josiah heard, understoodand confirmed what the book had to say, he gathered the people of his land and read it to them, so that everyone would understand.
- Then he made a covenant with the Lord before his nation to “walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book” , and they followed him into that promise!
- He then proceeded to methodically tear down every artifact of idolatry that he could find in his kingdom.
- The revival in Josiah’s heart ignited the hearts of all those around him. Generational cycles of sin and brokenness were interrupted and set aside in favor of God’s will for His people.
- Most often, it seems God brings us into clearer understanding of truth a little bit at a time. When that better understanding comes along, we have the opportunity to adopt it into our lives, draw nearer to God, and become more like His vison for us.
John 14:15-17 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
- Jesus wants you to know truth, he wants you to be led by the Spirit of Truth. When we accept truth and let it shape our hearts and actions, when we hide it in our hearts, it muscles out some sin and brokenness that there just isn’t room for any longer.
Illus. Heart Capacity
- Truth directly contradicts the believed-lies that lead to sin. The truth of the Lord breaks down the darkness in our hearts just as it did in Josiah’s kingdom.
Illus. Jesus and the Jews who believed.
- When Jesus brings wisdom and truth to us, He is handing us a key to freedom!
- When we find that truth, let’s pick it up, internalize it, and run with it into the freedom the Lord intends for us!
Lord and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.