A preacher once said, “Be careful what you pray for. You just might get it.” Israel asked for and longed for a king, just like the nations around it. The people got what they asked for, and so much of Israelite history after the era of the judges was the story of how these kings corrupted themselves on the throne and, as a result, corrupted the nation, as well. Nevertheless, there were always exceptions, such as King Josiah, who ascended the throne in 639 b.c. and ruled until 608 b.c.
What was the context in which the new king had come to the throne? (See 2 Chron. 33:25.)
Though democracy is supposed to be rulership by the people, it generally wasn’t conceived of functioning as it did in this case. Nevertheless, the people made their will known, and it was done according to their will. The young king came to the throne at a time of great turmoil, apostasy, and violence, even at the highest levels of government. Seeing what was going on, many faithful in the land had wondered whether God’s promises to ancient Israel could ever be fulfilled. “From a human point of view the divine purpose for the chosen nation seemed almost impossible of accomplishment.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 384.
The anxiety of the faithful ones was expressed in the words of the prophet Habakkuk in Habakkuk 1:2–4. What is the prophet saying?
Unfortunately, the answer to the problems of iniquity, violence, strife, and lawlessness would come, but from the north, from the Babylonians, whom God would use to bring judgment upon His wayward people. As we have seen all along, it didn’t have to be that way; however, because of their refusal to repent, they faced the punishment that their sins brought upon them.
From a human point of view, how often does “the divine purpose” seem to be impossible to accomplish? What does this tell us about how we need to reach out in faith beyond what we see or fully understand?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 8 – Josiah’s Reforms