Knowing the ‘WILL OF GOD’ through the ‘WORD OF GOD’: "Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant." (2 Kings 23:3)
King Josiah, who started ruling Judah at the tender age of 8, was the last of the God-fearing kings of Judah before Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians. No other king who occupied David’s throne matched him for godliness of life and commitment to covenant principles (22:2; 23:25). He started with the temple restoration project that resulted from the discovery of a long-lost copy of the laws of God through Moses (22:3–13). When Josiah read the scroll he became aware of God’s will for them and determined to lead his people in a great spiritual reformation (23:1–3). Like Moses (Exodus 24:3–8), Joshua (Joshua 8:34, 35; 24:1–28) and Jehoiada (2 Kings 11:17) before him, Josiah followed the ancient standard for godly leadership (Deut. 17:18–20; 31:9–13) and assembled the people to renew the covenant (Joshua 24).
As a whole community, the people of Judah swore to obey God’s covenant. King Josiah engaged the people in the most solemn manner to abolish idolatry, and to serve God in righteousness and true holiness. After Josiah read the law to all the people (vv. 1, 2), he renewed the covenant between God and them (v.3), cleansed the temple (v. 4), rooted out idolatry (vv. 5-20), kept a solemn Passover (vv. 21-23), and cleared the land of witches (v. 24). The godly Josiah did what a righteous ruler in Israel was expected to do (Deut. 31:10–13), and this was known only through knowing God’s will through reading God’s Word.
The Open Bible commentary states that without doubt the most important factor in finding God’s will is the Bible itself. God speaks to us through the Scriptures always.
- First, the Scriptures declare that God has a definite will for our lives. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalms 37:23). “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go” (Psalms 32:8).
- Second, God desires us to know His will for our lives. “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).
- Third, God’s will for us is continuous and follows through our lives (see Isaiah 58:11).
- Fourth, God’s will is specific. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).
- Fifth, God’s will is profitable for us (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:1–3).
- It is His will that we learn more about God (Col. 1:9).
- It is His will that we grow in grace (1 Thess. 4:3).
- It is His will that we study His Word (2 Tim. 3:14–17).
- It is His will that we share our faith (Acts 1:8; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9).