I was asked to share about a young man from the Bible who inspires me. I chose King Josiah.
Josiah became king after 57 years of abhorrent evil and unrighteousness that had been brought to pass by his father, the short-reigning Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh. The moral and spiritual decay of the kingdom was so great that they had lost the Almighty’s Torah, and that’s not a figure of speech. Thrust onto the throne of Judah at the age of eight, young Josiah had not been alive long enough to witness a precedent of kingly righteousness, but he came to reject the wicked ways of the culture that his earthly progenitors helped to generate and reigned instead as a servant to his heavenly Creator, YHWH. He destroyed the idols in the land and repaired the house of the LORD his God. The lost Torah was discovered by Hilkiah the priest! Josiah taught again the Torah of the Almighty and restored obedience to the land of Judah. Where his grandfather Manasseh had once shed innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, Josiah brought reform and purification.
Yet, it was under the cloud of impending judgment that Josiah did all this. He had been told, through Huldah the prophetess, that the abominations committed before him were so great that the Almighty had to punish the kingdom of Judah for them. He knew that no matter what he did, the Almighty would judge the land; however, he served Him devotedly. For this, as he had heard through Huldah, the destruction the land faced was postponed until after Josiah’s life.
I have had the blessing of a much godlier earthly father than Josiah had and a mother who is coupled with him in devotion to serving the Almighty, but the culture in which I live is at present deteriorating. If I am to go into government, as I may someday soon, I know that our nation is a profligate one that desperately needs to be returned to the Almighty. I know our sins are great, that we are slouching towards Gomorrah, and judgment may be spelled out against the land already. Nevertheless, I know that just as He was in the time of Josiah, the Almighty is forgiving and that His mercy endures forever. Furthermore, beyond any other reason for attempting reconciliation, I know what most likely animated Josiah’s heart and carried him along as he bore the burden of a long-accumulated national guilt is that no matter what blessings, temptations, or catastrophes befall us it is the duty of every man to serve the One who gave him life. Josiah did not esteem himself too young to fulfill that most noble obligation when he began to seek after the God of David his father at the age of 16 or when he began to purge the land of idols at 20. None of us can afford that excuse − that we are too young to serve the Almighty and His Son, our Lord and Savior, Yeshua haMashiach, called Jesus the Christ − or any other excuse. It is in this respect that Josiah inspires me.