Dream word – PRESUMPTION
2 Chronicles 35:20-24
“After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. But he sent messengers to him, saying, ‘What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.’ Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, ‘Take me away, for I am severely wounded.’ His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.” NKJV.
The mess at Megiddo, or the consumption of presumption
Foremost of all the sons of David, that very breath of Judah, regarded as the physical representation of the shadow of the Almighty, Josiah the once boy king, stands tall in his unswerving and unwavering loyalty to the Lord. Small time, but in that small time most greatly lived this star of Judah, Josiah the King.
During Josiah’s right and bloody reform of the people of God, the book of the law, long since lost, was found in the temple. Upon reading of the coming curses upon Israel for her continued carnal sins of cavorting whoring, Josiah quaked in his boots and sought Huldah the “Ogdenite”, that great prophetess of old, who responded to Josiah by saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man who sent you to Me, Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants — all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read — because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.’”But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard — because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.” ... 2 Kings 22:15-20 Despite God’s tender blessing of Josiah, there are no buts or yet-if-yous’ here in this word from the Lord towards His wayward people. The judgement of Jehovah against His forgetful and whoring children is set firm and stands as hard and as cold as reinforced concrete on a wet Friday afternoon in Putney.
I believe Josiah’s reforms were done in part in the right hope and deep desire that God might change his mind. God knew however, that the sins of Israel ran deep and even now had not disappeared but were right there and then burning rebelliously in their hearts. So, now with bloody constraint; in fierce tempest, thunder, earthquake, famine and fire, Jehovah will come raking for the crown of His Majesty in their sin fuelled hearts and like a mad bull terrier, His vasty jaws would fix themselves around these most sinful of Jews, chomping them all to pieces and swallowing them up in His righteous controversy. God would not relent in doing this.
I think Josiah thought He might.
And so in our text for tonight, Josiah involves himself in trying to pry open the closing jaws of Jehovah and despite a vehement warning from the mouth of Necho, yes despite Josiah’s disguise, he is crushed on God’s right molar at Meggido. It was not hope that slew Josiah, no, it was presumption. Yes, it was presumption that got the great reformer killed.
There are two most terrible observations here. The first is that God’s most certain and immovable judgements are sometimes long time a coming. I wonder if the force of their landing is directly proportional to the length of the time of their arrival? I think it is. God help us here then, in all our Western lands.
The second is that the right zeal and jealous love of good reformers can take them beyond the right bounds of their operation. I have seen this principle all too often in my own life. It is a truism that stands tall and flashing like a bold Belicia beacon at a zebra crossing screaming out at us in the night time. to beware of judgement and death, even now crossing before our speeding and presumptuous car. Reformer, beware!
The loss to Israel of this reforming King was profound. The truth is however, that the unstoppable pendulum of God’s wrath was already swinging. Josiah should have learned that sometime judgment cannot be stopped. It can only be prepared for.
Listen: “Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel; and indeed they are written in the Laments.” - 2 Chronicles 35:25 NKJV.
“The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the Lord, was caught in their pits, of whom we said, ‘Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.’” - Lamentations 4:20 NKJV
Pray: Lord, give Your listening singers, songs of true lament, that some may hear and prepare their hearts and mend their ways before You as You come in righteous judgement. Have mercy upon us, for Jesus sake we pray, amen.
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