Israel’s King Josiah was only twenty-six years of age when he faced a situation of neglect for God’s standards. In 2 Chronicles 34 we read how a copy of God’s Law–long forgotten–had been found during a large-scale renovation of the temple. Then he listened as this Law was read aloud to him–bringing inescapably to his attention God’s standards and the people’s failure to live up to them.
Josiah didn’t say, “Oh come on, we’ve lived this way for years. Let’s not get legalistic about all this!” No, he was horrified. He tore his robes as a sign of grief and despair. “Great is the Lord’s anger,” he said as he immediately acknowledged his people’s negligence, sought God’s further guidance, and immediately led the entire nation in a thorough return to obedience to God’s standards.
Knowing that God’s standard is the standard of true life, Josiah rose up and tore down everything that was in opposition to God.
Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. (2 CHRONICLES 34:33)