What happens when you do what is right and needed in the Lord’s eyes but still don’t receive the expected results or fruit from that faithfulness to the Lord?
Josiah recognized that God’s people and Judah needed a reformation. He started off reading them God’s Word & taught them the importance of coventing with the Lord while leading them into a covenant. He then destroyed the false idols of Baal and killed their false priests. He did the same with the false goddess Asherah and got rid rid of their cult prostitutes. Next he got rid of all false altars, temples, shrines and priests in the city before returning back to Jerusalem and then restored the Passover when returning back to Jerusalem.
And we see in God’s Word that God really appreciates King Josiah’s reformation and faithfulness. In fact verse 25 says,
Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.
And usually when a king or prophet or priest leads the rest of God’s people in such repentance and reformation, we see fruit in the action. His people were restored and redeemed. However verse 26-30 doesn’t show that. Instead, it says God did not turn from His wrath from Judah’s sins and King Josiah died in battle. These actions were still necessary but they didn’t necessarily see the fruit from it and this is an important reminder that as much as we should hope and pray for fruit in our lives and ministry, we should not be obedient to the Lord JUST FOR THE FRUIT.
In fact, a pastor friend of mine from AZ reminded me the other day how easily we can desire God’s favor and fruit instead of God Himself. If we’re only repenting, reforming and obeying for the successes and victories, then we are doing it with the wrong motives. I’m sure Josiah more then anything wanted to see Judah restored through these righteous actions. But in the end he was doing it because it was right in the Lord’s eyes, not the fruit from it.
– Do you tend to do things for the Lord or for the fruit?
– How can we check our motives to make sure we are doing things for the right reasons?
By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor