A King Like No Other

How could this amazing statement be made about a king—Josiah—who is not well-known to us like King David, King Solomon, or even King Saul? However, there was no king before or after him that loved and served the Lord so righteously and completely; therefore, it will be of great value for us to discover what made this king worthy of our praise and imitation.

This high standard of devotion that King Josiah exercised is first referred to in Deuteronomy 6: 3 & 5 as a commandment of the Lord given by Moses to the children of Israel, “Hear O Israel and observe to do it; that all may go well with thee…And thou shall love the Lord with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” The command is repeated in the New Testament by Jesus Himself as the first of the two greatest commandments, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12: 30…see also Matthew 22: 37-38 & Luke 10:27).

Admittedly, I was not aware that someone had been specifically cited in the Bible who had faithfully kept this commandment, much less that this person lived back in the history of the Old Testament. I found it very encouraging that Josiah—whose father and grandfather did evil in the sight of the Lord throughout their reigns as kings—did what was right in the sight of the Lord throughout his reign. In fact, the scripture says that he “turned not to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2); in other words, Josiah followed and did not stray from God’s narrow path of righteousness.

Jesus made it clear in His response to the scribe in Mark 12 that the command to love the Lord so fully and completely is an instruction to all of his followers, which includes believers living in our day and time. In order for us to better understand how to love God with all of our being, we will examine the life and reign of King Josiah more closely in the next post.