Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. (2 Kings 23:25)
When I was in college a friend asked me what I wanted written on my tombstone. That’s a big question to ask. How do you boil your life down into one, simple statement? And if you could choose how it’s reduced down, what would you want it to say?
The truth of the matter is that our lives do turn into simple statements. One day you’ll look back on your past or on a season of life, and you’ll summarize it with a line or two. “I went to such and such a high school. I was involved in this or that activity.” You share in one line what your life consists of – so what’s the one statement that represents your whole life?
Devoted father? Loving wife? Hard worker? Or something else?
Josiah is one of my favorite kings of Israel because of his tenacious spirit in removing everything from Judah that was an abomination to the Lord. His heart was broken when he realized the how far his nation had moved away from the Lord’s will, and he used his power solely to bring people back to a recognition of God. Simply put: Josiah was a man after God’s heart, and he is well-deserving of such a title.
When my friend asked me the question so many years ago, I decided that no greater honor could bestow me than “A man after God’s heart.” How do you want to be remembered? At some point your entire life will be reduced to one line. What will that one line be for you?
God, let me every desire of my life to be pursuing Your heart. Give me a passion to love You fully and to lead others to You. Thank You for the example of Josiah and for his desire to bring people to You. Let me walk in his footsteps.