A J-u-s-t Right Heart

From Lynda Lindsey 

He (Josiah) did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.  II Chronicles 34:2-3(a)

The Lord’s message to King Josiah through the prophetess Huldah: Because your heart was responsive, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, ... and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, ... II Kings 22:19

The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord —- to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant. II Kings 23:3

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And so Josiah did. Josiah’s reign began when he was only eight years old and he sought the Lord from the time he was young. Josiah, just as David had done years earlier, walked in the ways of God, not turning aside to the right or the left. Josiah began work to purify the land, repair and restore the temple, and initiated significant reforms based on the book of the Law found there. He purged the country of idolatrous high places, had the idols and Asherah poles cut down and burned, encouraged the priests and people to follow the Lord; and the work was faithfully accomplished.

When Josiah heard the words from the book of the Law read aloud, he tore his garments in despair, realizing the sinful, wicked condition of the people and the nation. Josiah’s responsive heart, his humble, contrite attitude when faced with his, and his nation’s sin, and his repentant posture commended him to God. The king assembled all the people to the public reading of the Law; together they collectively renewed obedience to God’s covenant. Josiah even reinstated the Passover celebration, abandoned since Samuel’s time, giving liberally from his own possessions to ensure a joyful and proper feast.

In the children’s story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldilocks wanders into the bear’s home while they are away and tries out their porridge, chairs, and beds, discovering that the only satisfactory items, for her, belong to the baby bear, whose things are j-u-s-t right. In the same manner, Josiah’s heart was j-u-s-t right. Josiah’s heart was responsive. Humble. Repentant. Tender. Josiah walked in all the ways of the Lord, not turning aside to the right or the left. He encouraged others. He loved the Lord God with all his heart, soul, and strength. Do we? If we faced a heart check-up, would it be found to be j-u-s-t right?