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This chapter brings us acquainted with the reign of Josiah. He destroyeth idolatry; repaireth the temple; the book of the law being found in the house of the Lord, Josiah causeth it to be read. The king reneweth the covenant.
The parallel history of this we have, 2 Kings 23:0 to which I refer the Reader, and for shortness sake shall only call the attention of the Reader to such points in the history as were not noticed in that.
The younger part of his reign no doubt was agreeable to his childhood, but very tender and imperfect in divine things; yet what an interesting account the Holy Ghost hath given of Josiah, in that while he was yet young we are told, he began to seek after the God of David his father. What an unspeakable mercy it is, and I cannot forego the opportunity which here presents itself of noticing it, that in this land of bibles our children are from their youngest years taught, as far as the outward teaching of the scriptures can lead, the things which concern the Lord God of our fathers. O thou Holy Spirit! whose gracious office it is to illumine the understanding within; do thou condescend to be the Almighty teacher of our youth, and let the rising generation be a seed to seek the Lord, and to serve the Lord from their earliest years.
I admire the expression, the Lord his God. As if it meant to say, that young as Josiah was, he had now acquired a knowledge of his own personal interest in the covenant of the Lord. And what was this but the covenant of redemption in Jesus? Genesis 12:3 . The Holy Ghost hath expressly shown this, when he saith by his servant the apostle, that the gospel was then preached unto Abraham when he said, in thee (that is) in thy seed, and which seed is Christ, shall all nations be blessed. Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:16 .
I admire the fidelity and honesty of those workmen who did the work faithfully, and with whom the money was intrusted. How delightful a thing it is to have gracious men about us, in whom we can confide. Well might David say, Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. Psalms 101:6 .
The relation here given so much corresponds to what was before related, 2Kings, that I think it necessary only to direct the Reader to look back, and consult what was there said, in our humble commentary upon it. I would only in addition remark, that if the discovery of the book of the law produced such effects upon the minds of the king and the people, what ought the perpetual use of the book of the gospel to have upon the minds of men in the present day, Surely we shall be of all men most inexcusable if we neglect so great salvation. Reader! how stands the word of God in your estimation, and what are the effects wrought in your heart from the perusal of it! Is it your meditation all the day; and can you say as one of old did, Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate on thy word. Psalms 119:148 . How delightful a view have we of the prophet in his love of God's word, when he said, thy words were found and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart. Jeremiah 15:16 .
READER! let our improvement of this chapter, under the Spirit's teaching, be to remark from the early call of Josiah to the knowledge of the Lord God of his fathers, the blessedness of those who are brought betimes to a saving view of the Lord Jesus Christ, and redemption in his blood. It is an unspeakable mercy, no doubt, and a miracle of grace, at any period, and at any time, when souls are truly converted to Jesus. The laborers in the vineyard at the sixth, and ninth, and eleventh hour, which were called and equally recompensed in the close of the day, give us a rich representation of the free, sovereign grace of our most compassionate and gracious Father. Surely it is a very glorious proof of the sovereignty of God's love and mercy, when we behold men in the meridian of life, and in the midst of all their pursuits of business, or of worldly pleasure, taken aside by the kind hand of the Lord, and brought to the knowledge and love of Jesus. And surely the grace of God is magnified in the conversion of old sinners, who are grown old in sin as well as years, And yet the long current and tide of their affections is made to turn at the command of his voice, who raiseth the dead in trespasses and sins. But we behold with peculiar loveliness the grace the Lord bestows on those whose tender years are seasoned with the love of Jesus. Reader! how doth your experience correspond with either? Hath Jesus, the morning star, risen upon your soul? Hath Jesus the day spring from on high visited you? Can you trace your knowledge of this light and life of man, like Josiah, from your youth? Oh! the unspeakable felicity of knowing him from a child, and becoming acquainted with Jesus from our earliest years? What can equal that joy of the soul arising out of the Lord's manifestation, when speaking to a believer, as he did to Josiah; Because thine heart was tender and thou didst humble thyself before me, I have heard thee also, saith the Lord.
Blessed Jesus! let it please thee to make continued manifestations of thyself to all thy people. Visit our souls in thy word, in thine ordinances, in all thy means of grace, by providences, in blessings, in mercies, in all thy sovereign appointments. And as thou hast given us to see thy beauty, thy loveliness; thy grace, thy suitableness and all-sufficiency; and won our affections to thy love in the moment of conversion; so, Lord Jesus, let us day by day have renewed discoveries of thy love, until at length, after the various manifestations and the sweet visits which thou makest us, we are growing up into an increasing knowledge of thee, an increasing desire after thee, an increasing confidence in thee, and an increasing longing for thee and thy glory, thou wilt take us home to thyself to behold thy fair beauties, and to dwell with thee forever. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 34". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19