The Temple in Jerusalem was once again in great need of repair because of neglect. One hundred years earlier King Hezekiah had ordered the priests and Levites to sanctify themselves, sanctify the Temple, “and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.” Revival took place during Hezekiah’s day as worship was once again restored and the people consecrated themselves to the LORD and His commands (2 Chronicles 29-31).
King Josiah was just eight years old when he began to reign in Jerusalem following the reign of Hezekiah’s son Manasseh, followed by the reign of his grandson, Amon. As Hezekiah’s great-grandson, King Josiah at the age of sixteen began to seek after God and call for the destruction of idol worship prevalent throughout the land. The high places and groves where idol worship took place, along with their altars to Baal, their carved images and molten images used in their idolatrous worship “he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them.” King Josiah was very serious about destroying the sin in the land.
In the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign at the age of twenty-six, after purging the land of idolatry, he called for the repairing of the Temple of God in Jerusalem. As the workmen set about doing their work, the High Priest Hilkiah “found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses.” The nation had strayed so far from God that even God’s Word had been set aside and eventually lost within the Temple confines. As Shaphan the scribe read the Book of the Law to King Josiah, the King “rent” his clothes as was custom during times of great grief, and called for all the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem to gather at the Temple where the King “read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD.”
At the conclusion of his reading King Josiah made a covenant before the LORD and all gathered that he would keep God’s commandments, His testimonies and statutes with all his heart and with all his soul, and would perform all the words written within the Book. He encouraged all that were present to do the same in their lives, to which they covenanted together with him to do likewise. “Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the Children of Israel, and made all that were present in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. And all his days they departed not from following the LORD, the God of their fathers,” (2 Chronicles 34).
The path to revival follows the path King Josiah took with the people who were alive during his reign. Upon repenting of sin, returning to the Word of God and remaining faithful to Him, revival will come as a nation, a people, a church return to the God of the Bible and His Word. Instead of brokenness, filthiness, and uselessness, His blood cleanses from all unrighteousness and brings restoration and revival (1 John 1:7).