There is something about revivals that we ought to know. They never last. They are temporal. God sends them and then withdraws them. He knows exactly why He does this. Maybe it’s so that it does not become novel, expected and causes people to lose “working hard” at holiness. Take Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son.
2Ki 21:2 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” 5 In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. 6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger. 7 He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple.
This is not unusual. Many good, godly men find their children following other “god’s” even though they were raised in a god fearing home and environment. In this case it seems as though the “revival” subsided whilst Hezekiah was still alive. As you see in the text above, Manasseh was extremely evil. He did everything God, through Moses has forbidden in the strongest terms. Apart from reversing everything his father stopped, he bowed in worship to the created (poles and stars), desecrated the temple of God, worshipped the god Molech by sacrificing his own son in the fire and practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He took the temple, the people of Jerusalem as well as all Judah back into paganism. God was extremely angry. Manasseh was followed by his son Amon.
2Ki 21:20 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He walked in all the ways of his father; he worshiped the idols his father had worshiped, and bowed down to them. 22 He forsook the LORD, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the LORD. 23 Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace. 24 Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.
He wanted nothing to do with the LORD. He was as pagan as his father. What is interesting is that his officials killed him … and the citizens, who were as corrupt spiritually as the king, killed the assassins. This gives you an idea of how low the morality of the Southern Kingdom has fallen from Hezekiah’s death to Amon’s death. Pastors come and go as do church council members and congregants. In the process the spirituality and level of maturity of a congregation could easily change. Personally I have seen this a few times. A congregation has a huge responsibility before God to be careful in their choice of council members as well as pastors. Sometimes when a church fails it might be due to sloppy selections of office bearers. Strangely, Amon’s son which is Manasseh’s grandson is installed as king. He was totally different to these his immediate forefathers.
2Ki 22:1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
Like his great, great grandfather, Hezekiah, he was god fearing. More than that, he followed the theology laid before by king David. He was part of the bloodline to Messiah. To me it would seem that his mother and possibly grandmother (Jedidah and Adaiah) played a huge role in him following the Lord. It seems that all too often fathers neglect their responsibility before God to be the spiritual leaders in the home with the task falling to the mother and even grandmothers. God will hold the father to account because they are the responsible ones God appointed to disciple the children for Him. Amon turned out to be a good man who followed God faithfully.
1) He was a great administrator and finance offer.
2Ki 22:3 In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD. He said: 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. 5 Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the LORD— 6 the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. 7 But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are acting faithfully.”
These two offices involve trust. He must have known the High Priest, the temple staff as well as the people in charge of repairing the temple very well … well enough to trust them as honest workers. Where in the church and according to law we need to keep a strict record of all monies coming into and going out of the church’s bank account, we need to trust those doing the work because as a church we have exercised due diligence in their appointment. We know they are godly, have a track record of integrity and are truly gospel people whom we can trust with the resources of God. I have worked with many church treasurers. To my knowledge all of them were good people … but it there is one thing I have found … if you can find a good gospel person who has no financial needs, such is the best church treasurer you could ever want.
2) A revival is about to start.
2Ki 22:8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. 9 Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: “Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the LORD and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
The Book of the Law was found! It was lost for so many years because of paganism in the temple, induced by evil kings. Not only was it found but it was read to the King. A revival was about to start!
O God, let revival happen in our time. Amen.