August 5 (Daily reading: 2 Kings 22-23; 2 Chronicles 34-35) Josiah was eight years old when he became king … He did right in the sight of the LORD and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left” (2 Kgs. 22:1-2). It is refreshing to read about kings like David, Hezekiah, and Josiah, whose hearts were in tune with God. A key for me is that Josiah did not “turn aside to the right or the left.” When we fail to follow God’s will, it is not usually because we reverse course and walk away from God. No, we lose ground because we are simply distracted; we turn aside, and we do not remain focused on God. We begin to look to our own way of doing things for God instead of following Him and doing things His way.
A key principle in following God is seen in what happened when they discovered the book of the law while they were doing the temple repairs. It is one thing to have the word of God, but it is a much better thing to live our lives according to what it says! Josiah was convicted by what he read and acted on his convictions. He “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 … And all the people entered into the covenant” (2 Kgs. 23:3). Josiah’s actions are an example of the steps Henry Blackaby described in “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God.” When Josiah read God’s word, he had a crisis of belief that required faith and action. He then made adjustments (sweeping reforms) to join God in what He was doing. The entire kingdom was positively affected by his actions.
– Al Gary