Having spent the last two posts looking at what is in the Word I now want to look at how some key figures in scripture lived out of and by the Word. What do Josiah and John the Baptist have in common? They both saw themselves in the scriptures.
We will start with John since he is so familiar to the church. The verse below was quoted a number of times in the New Testament.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.” Is. 40:3 (NKJV)
This verse is part of a longer passage where Isaiah begins to speak comfort to Israel and prophesies a future hope.
The Gospel writers, Matthew (3:3), Mark (1:3) and Luke 3:4-6) all speak to this after the fact and reference John’s ministry as the fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied. What is more interesting in John is that when asked who he was John the Baptist answered.
23 He said: “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the LORD,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” Jn. 1:23 (NKJV)
John embraced the scriptures as a heart level and thus was able to see his own calling and purpose in them.
What of Josiah? Josiah was the greatest reformer and revivalist in the history of the kings of Judah. Jeremiah the prophet extoled Josiah’s virtues (Jer. 22:15) and lamented his death (2 Chron. 35:25). The scriptures provide this testimony.
25 Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him. 2 Kings 23:25 (NKJV)
Josiah became king at age 8 and became a great reformer at age 26 when the Book of the Law was found in the temple and read to him. Scripture doesn’t tell us what portion of the law of Moses was found or whether there were more than the books of the law. Did Josiah have the following read to him? Is it what launched his great reforms and revivals?
1 And behold, a man of God went from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. 2 Then he cried out against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar! Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, a child, Josiah by name, shall be born to the house of David; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and men’s bones shall be burned on you.’ ” 1 Kings 13:1-2 (NKJV)
This prophecy was given over 3 centuries before Josiah was born. Was Josiah a passionate fiery reformer because he, like John the Baptist, saw his calling in the scriptures? Do we see our purpose and calling in His Word? It is there.