Josiah’s Misstep: When Peace Is Overlooked for Battle

2 Chronicles 35:22
Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.

I wish to point out the tragedy of this text. God had already spoken to King Josiah through Huldath the prophetess (see ch. 34:22-28), declaring that he would be gathered to his grave in peace, and that his eyes would not see all the evil that God would bring upon the people of the land for their disobedience. However, though the prophecy did come true in that he did not see the judgment fall in his days, yet he personally did not go to his grave in peace. Is this a contradiction of God’s Word, or is there a deeper meaning we can learn here?

First, let us consider that God had through prophecy proclaimed this season to be a season of peace for King Josiah, not a season of war. The question which should be asked is this; did God instruct King Josiah to go to war? The answer is a resounding NO! As a matter of fact, God even spoke through he whom Josiah thought was his enemy, saying, “Forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.” Here is the problem; King Josiah allowed fear to cloud his judgment to a point where he believed he was at war even though God had declared peace over his house and reign! If you will notice, our text does not even indicate a great slaughter that day; the only death it mentions is the death of King Josiah. Did the prophecy fail? NO! Here, a man with a promise for peace died in a time of peace, simply because he doubted the Word of God! The tragedy is this; he did not have to die that day!

How many times do the people of God worry and fret and fight and war, when all we need to do is rest in the power of God’s Word? I’m afraid that we fight WAY too many battles! MOST of the fights within the religious world can and should be settled, and even avoided, by simply trusting the Lord and His Word! God has declared peace to His house, yet we want war! God forbid that we fight even one more battle that’s not worth fighting!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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