A reading of First and Second Kings reveals a pattern in which there is a king that does good followed by a slippery slope of kings that fall away until a king comes along that is moved in some way to “Right the Kingdom.” Josiah is one of those kings. Read through 2 Kings 22 tells how Josiah came to hear the scrolls of the law. Verse 11 (CEB) reads, “As soon as the king heard what the Instruction Scroll said, he ripped his clothes.” As I picture this I think back to a TV show I watched when I was young. This might date me a bit, but what is age other than a number. The Incredible Hulk as a TV show and of course now with the movie being made we see man who tries to be level headed and when his anger gets too high he turns into what some might call a monster, but the story goes that he fixes the immediate injustice. When the king tears his robe I get this picture of the transforming Hulk in my mind. Josiah began by having the temple cleaned up and it was then that the “Instruction Scroll”, as the CEB puts it (Torah would be the Hebrew word), was found and taken up and read to King Josiah. Hearing the Torah he realized the ways of the Nation of Israel were off the charts, no tin the right way either. The next move is to go to the priest and a prophetess who tells them God’s anger burned against the people of Israel. Then because Josiah’s heart was broken and he submitted himself the disaster God had been planning was put on hold. (My interpretation)
Josiah was transformed by the reading of God’s word. There is power in the Bible we have today. While we may have a hard time with an angry God as sometimes portrayed in the Old Testament, eg. “God’s anger burns” if we step back and really take the whole story in God, like a parent instructing and disciplining a child, God is LOVE in its purest form.
What are your pictures of God? Is God like a police officer setting a trap so we can be caught and punished? Is God a “My way or the highway controlling God? I would be interested in your pictures of God. Please share them with me and enter into the dialogue by responding to this post.