And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and made them an ordinance in Israel: and, behold, they are written in the lamentations. ~2 Chronicles 35:25
Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. His ministry was one spent in calling Jerusalem and Judah back to God. His ministry spanned over 30 years and included three kings of Judah. He was God’s prophet to King Josiah for 18 years. Even though King Josiah is noted as a good king, the people still unashamedly worshipped idols while still practicing the worship of God. They were a people with divided hearts. The king had died, and the nation was in a state of mourning. This morning, our attention is given to Jeremiah’s lamentation of Josiah.
We see the memories.
At the memorial for Josiah, Jeremiah reflected on the wonderful memories of him. Josiah came to the throne at the age of eight. Despite his immaturity, his godly mother, Jedidah, instilled character and strong spiritual values that helped him become a great king. At the age of 16, he sought after God with all his heart and purged the kingdom of idols and groves. At the age of 26, he led the kingdom to repair the house of God. He led the people in raising the funds needed for this noble venture. He led the people in hearing the words of the Lord and made a covenant to keep God’s Word. Jeremiah began his ministry in the 13th year of Josiah’s reign. Jeremiah had precious memories of this righteous king leading the nation in realizing the need to worship and serve the Lord with a fervent heart. Josiah was remembered as a man who loved the Lord and wanted the kingdom to do the same.
We see the mourning.
Jeremiah lamented for Josiah. A lamentation was mourning that was done in song and music. They lamented that a man who loved the Bible was gone. A God-fearing man knows that the Bible must be the authority for his life and practices. They lamented that a man who was bold in his stand for God was gone. It took Spirit-filled boldness to tell the people that they needed to do away with the abominable practices of idol worship. He boldly led them to publicly acknowledge their sins and put away idolatry. They lamented that a man who was a blessing was gone. Josiah lived his life and reigned to be a blessing to the people. He was not a man in a leadership position who used it for his personal benefit, but he used it to bring about a spiritual revival. Jeremiah mourned the loss of a righteous and godly man.
We see the moral.
Jeremiah’s lamentation is rich in moral and spiritual lessons. First, we only have one life. C.T. Studd wrote, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last." Second, we should be thankful for spiritual leaders who take a stand for God, especially when doing so is not popular with the majority. Third, we should hold up the hands of spiritual leaders in helping to advance the cause of Christ. We lift up holy hands through intercessory prayer. We lift up holy hands by being faithful and in our place. Fourth, we must carry the torch that has been passed down to us. I remember back in the early 80s, at a winter retreat, hearing of the homegoing of Dr. John R. Rice from Dr. Jack Hudson. Even though I did not know Dr. Rice personally, his books and recorded sermons were a blessing. I felt a deep loss. I made a decision to be one of many to carry the torch he passed on. Let’s have a heart for spiritual leaders who impact our lives and to come alongside of the ministry God has given them.
Have a tender-hearted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Malachi 1-4