You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate. You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord (2 Kings 22:19 NLT).
Josiah, one of the few righteous kings of his era, tore his clothes and repented of the sins of his nation. Josiah displayed the behavior and uttered the words that always catch the eye of the Father.
Josiah was a good man and King who did what was right according to knowledge he possessed. He was broken hearted over the sins of Judah as revealed by an ancient scroll. Although he may not have been involved in these transgressions himself, he identified with the sins perpetrated in his land. Judgment always starts at the household of God. A prayer that God always hears is not, forgive them because “they” have sinned, but forgive us because “we” have sinned. When we are appalled with the unrighteousness in our land, we must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I.
What precipitated the reforms that Josiah was able to accomplish? It was a serious reading of God’s Word along with a truly repentant heart. The outworking of these things was a commitment to obey completely the instructions given in the Holy Scriptures. Incomplete obedience is always disobedience. Josiah mourned over the sins of his people and cried out to the Lord with godly sorrow. The Father heard his weeping and gave him the will to rid Judah of all their idolatry.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing