“Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of Megiddo.”
-2 Chronicles 35:22
Oh, my heart sinks when I read verses like this. Josiah had done so much good. And we were praying, in light of 2 Chronicles chapter 34, about all that he had done since he was eight years old, 16 years old, to seek God and all the reforms he brought about. 2 Chronicles 34 is an awesome chapter. And specifically, I mean, some of the commentary on Josiah’s life in 2 Chronicles 34:27, God says, “Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before me and tore your clothes and wept before me over sin among my people,” this is the picture we have of Josiah in 2 Chronicles chapter 34. But then we get to 2 Chronicles chapter 35 and Josiah doesn’t listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God. He doesn’t listen to God and everything changes.
We pray that you’d help us to be faithful all the way to the end.
And I read this and I am reminded that seeking God and listening to God and being an instrument in God’s hands for God’s glory and for the good of others is a daily battle, and it will be until the day we die. I read 2 Chronicles 35 and I just think, “God, please, please, please help me to always relentlessly, continually, until I see your face, listen to and obey your word.” Can we just pray that, knowing that seeking him today doesn’t guarantee seeking him tomorrow or a year from now, or 10 years from now?
So God, we pray. We pray that you’d help us to be faithful all the way to the end. God, I pray this over my life, pray this over every single person listening right now. God don’t let us fall away. Keep us, preserve our faith, we pray. Help us to persevere in faith amidst all the challenges that maybe we’re walking through right now, that are to come in the next year. God, we pray that you would help us to faithfully walk with you based on your faithfulness to us. God, we praise you that you will always be faithful to us, God, that you will always speak to us. You will always guide us and lead us as we look to you.
God, we look to you as our faithful rock and we pray that you would help us to faithfully walk with you all the way to the end, God, we pray. None of us knows, especially as we come to the end of this year and going into the next year, none of us knows what the next year holds. But God, we pray that whatever it holds, you would help us to be faithful to you. God, help us to fight for faith daily in our hearts and our minds, to seek you with all our hearts, to love you with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, God, in ever-increasing measure. We pray that in the next year you would help us to experience deeper intimacy with you than we’ve ever experienced before. God, we don’t want to wane over the next year when it comes to intimacy with you. We don’t want to take steps backward. We just want to go deeper, farther with you.
So God, may it be so, and we pray all this because we know, we know from all that we read in your word and specifically Josiah’s life here, that we are weak and frail people, prone to wander. And so we praise you, Jesus, as the one who never wandered and the one whose life is our life. So keep us close to you, we pray. Help us to obey your word daily, to faithfully walk with you. God, we want to get to the end and hear you say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” May it be so by your grace, we pray, according to 2 Chronicles 35:22, in Jesus’ name. Amen.