“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right…When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing everything it says we must do.'” 2 Kings 22:1-2 AND 2 Kings 22:11-13
Josiah: Note from the Christian Basics Bible
Only eight years old when he came to the throne, Josiah became one of Judah’s most godly kings. At the age of sixteen he “began to seek the God of his ancestor David” (2 Chronicles 34:3). By twenty, he was purging the land of idolatry and destroying shrines to Baal and all idols (2 Chronicles 34:3-7). But it was when Josiah was twenty-six (2 Kings 22:3) that the biggest transformation took place.
During renovations in the Temple, “the Book of the Law” (22:8) was discovered—probably the book of Deuteronomy. As it was read to him, Josiah was appalled at how far God’s people had fallen from his ways; he immediately led the nation in a covenant renewal ceremony (chapter 23) and completed his spiritual reforms in the land. He died in battle, trying to stop Egypt from marching to Assyria’s aid (2 Kings 23:29). Josiah shows us that we don’t understand everything about God at the beginning, but if we keep our hearts open, we can keep growing, changing, and having a powerful impact.