2 Kings 23:19, 25
19 And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel.
25 Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.
Josiah was king over the land of Judah. Note that fact, the land of Judah. Josiah was of the line of David which, since the time of Rehoboam, only ruled over the southern kingdom, Judah.
How fascinating is it, then, to see Josiah tearing down pagan altars in Samaria, the capital city of what had previously been the northern kingdom? Josiah did not stay within the borders that had been laid out by Jeroboam and Rehoboam around three hundred years before. Nope, Josiah was going way further back. Josiah was acting like the king over all of God’s people, and he was cleansing the land in places that had not been ruled by a king from the tribe of Judah since the time of David and Solomon. Josiah was thinking very big.
How could Josiah think this way? God had given the land to his people. Josiah knew this fact. God had told his people to take the land and put away the idols. Josiah was obeying God. It did not matter how many hundreds of years it had been since a Judean king had ruled over the hill of Samaria. Josiah was going to set things right.
How did God respond to Josiah’s zeal? Historically, the acts of Josiah did not change much. God’s judgment was already coming down on Judah. So, Josiah died at a young age and those who followed him were not faithful to the Lord. But, God did allow verse 25 above to be written about Josiah. Speaking of this bold king, God inspired these words: “Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.” That is a glorious epitaph.
What about you? How big is your vision. Are you content to try to follow God from within the proper socially-prescribed circles? Is your faith limited to the boundaries that most of our society would place on it? Are you trying to do in God’s name only that which others say is possible? If so, perhaps you need to take a lesson from Josiah. Josiah had a big vision of what it means to follow God. Josiah went beyond the bounds. Josiah went beyond the borders. Josiah tried the impossible, and he heard the Old Testament’s form of “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” because of his faithfulness to the Lord.