small jason betz P9X327 3UyI unsplash
Missions Discipleship

“A Declaration”

“Next, the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant in the  LORD’s presence to follow the LORD and to keep his commands, his decrees, and his statutes with all his heart and with all his soul in order to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book; all the people agreed to the covenant” (2 Kings 23:3 CSB).



Josiah assumed the role of king at the age of eight.  During a project to repair the temple, workers discovered the Scriptures and presented them to King Josiah. The King gathered all the people, took his place before them, and began reading the words of the Book of the Covenant. Josiah then led the people in a revived commitment to follow God  and obey His commands.



God was clearly at work through the life of King Josiah. Josiah’s public declaration to obey God to the best of his ability influenced a large gathering of people to make a similar commitment. Theologians agree that this was an unmistakable movement of the Holy Spirit, which is something that we should pray for today.



My wife and I have something of a tradition when we attend weddings. When we have opportunity to congratulate the new couple and express our celebration of their marriage, we ask them, “So, who is this?” The response is often a look of bewilderment, but after a few moments the words, “This is my wife? This is my wife. This is my wife!” are formed and spoken by the groom for the first time. You see, while they had most certainly made a public commitment to one another through vows and statements of affirmation, there seems to be something altogether different when they use the words wife or husband for the first time. The relationship has been changed!

Unlike his father, Josiah chose to honor God and walk in obedience to Him. When the Book of the Law was discovered and Josiah read its words, he came to face-to-face with the truth that there was disobedience (sin) in his life and in the lives of the people he led. Has Scripture ever impacted you in that way? Maybe you were attending church, Bible study, and praying regularly, but when confronted with your own judgmental spirit (Matthew 7), you realized you’ve been avoiding God’s instruction (Jonah 1). Or, perhaps you came to understand that religious practice does not produce salvation (John 3). There is no doubt that each of us has had similar experiences because “the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12).

Josiah sets for us a powerful example in 2 Kings 23. Not only did he allow God’s Word to impact his personal life, he made a public profession of his commitment to live in obedience to God, and he shared the Word of God with the people. Josiah’s public confession certainly serves as an example that we should boldly live in such a way that honors God. His actions also model for us the importance of sharing God’s Word with others so that they too have opportunity to live in obedience to His commands. In addition to these, Josiah’s public announcement confirms his position to all those listening. Like a groom introducing his wife for the first time, Josiah is stating his intention to live in obedience to God—a public statement that brings with it a new level of accountability.

In these early days of a new year, could it be that God is calling us to make a commitment like Josiah?  To publicly state our intention to honor God and live in obedience to Him? To share God’s Word with others, giving them opportunity to make the same commitment? You will likely not be able to gather the whole town together for such an announcement. Instead, consider gathering your family around the dinner table, make a point to share with your friends or coworkers, or tell your Sunday School class or small group. Presenting the truth of God’s Word is a command given to every Christian (Matthew 28).  Sharing your commitment to live in obedience to Him could be the example God uses to move others toward a similar decision.


Brandon Lewis has served as student pastor in churches in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.  He and Lacey have three children: Karen, Gabriel, and Ryan. Brandon is currently serving as the youth ministry strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. In this role, he has the privilege of planning and hosting state-wide events for teenagers (YEC, Clear Camps, etc.), coordinating training events for youth ministers and youth ministry leaders, and serving as a youth ministry consultant for churches across the state.