King Josiah Renews the Covenant; the Passover Is Reinstituted (2 Kings 23:1 – 28; 2 Chronicles 35:1 – 19)

Scripture Texts:

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2 Kings 23:1 – 28

2 Chronicles 35:1 – 19

1. Are you a “clean freak” or a “slob”? If your best friend were to hire spring cleaners to help you organize your home, where would they start? What will you never throw out despite all their begging?

2. Are sawdust-trail revival meetings a part of your family history (past or present)? Any memories of powerful speakers? Closing hymns? Heat?

3. What yearly ritual do you always observe in some special way: the county fair? 4th of July? Thanksgiving? the Super Bowl? Other?

4. What holiday (or special day) have you stopped celebrating and why? Your birthday? Valentine’s Day? Other?

5. What does it mean to “renew the covenant”? What must Judah do? What will God do? How extensive is the revival here?

6. In what condition is the Temple? Are these repairs the kind that money and workers alone could fix? What more is necessary?

7. Why were the priests burning incense at the high places? Why does Josiah destroy these independent shrines (see Deuteronomy 12:2 – 7)? What do shrine prostitutes do that’s so vile (see Exodus 34:15, 16 and Deuteronomy 23:17, 18)?

8. What kings have been responsible for putting up and tearing down the ever-present Asherah poles (see 1 Kings 12:28 – 33; 2 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 21:7; 2 Chronicles 33:11 – 15, 22)?

9. What could be the point in scattering Asherah dust over graves (see Numbers 19:16)? Who is the man of God who foretold these things and whose bones were left undisturbed (see 1 Kings 13:1, 2, 31, 32)?

10. With the regional shrines closed down, where do the priests look for work (2 Kings 23:8, 9)?

11. What message does burning tainted military hardware send to the people? Why are altars on rooftops (verse 12; see Jeremiah 19:3)? Which kings are responsible for these (2 Kings 16:1 – 4, 10 – 16; 2 Kings 21:1 – 3, 19 – 22)?

12. Why had even King Solomon built detestable high places (see 1 Kings 11:3 – 8)?

13. Where does the revival move from Judah (2 Kings 23:15, 19, 20)? Who’s living there now (see 2 Kings 17:27 – 34)? What does this indicate about the current state of Assyrian power?

14. On a scale of 1 to 10, how wholehearted is this revival? Who else has tried this before (2 Kings 18:4)? What had happened that Josiah’s reforms became necessary (2 Kings 21:3 – 7)?

15. Why is King Josiah so relentless? Does he get what he hoped for? Is all the trouble to no avail? Why doesn’t all his good outweigh King Manasseh’s evil? (Is God in the weights and measurements business, anyway?)

16. What would getting your life in line with God’s expectations require?

  • a little fine tuning?
  • a regular tune-up?
  • major repairs?
  • a complete overhaul?

17. Why do you want to obey God?

  • It’s the right thing to do.
  • I don’t want to hurt others.
  • I love God.
  • I fear God’s punishment.

18. What is the one “idol” that would be hardest for you to give up?

  • a relationship
  • my job
  • certain possessions
  • a habit
  • other: ________

19. What extremes have you gone to in your efforts to live a pure faith? In retrospect, would you do such actions again?

20. Do you know any buildings in your town or city that would come down quickly in a real revival? Would the building where your church meets survive?

21. Do you feel it’s time to renew your commitment to God? Once your faith is in order, what will you do in concert with others to spread revival? Or is revival dependent all and only on God?

22. If psychics, astrologers and channellers are doing the same things as “mediums and spiritists” were doing in Josiah’s day, should these people be wiped out today?

23. Concerning the Passover. One gets the impression that tons of preparation went in to the Passover celebration. What is the Passover and the Feast (Festival) of Unleavened Bread (see Exodus 12)?

24. What were King Josiah’s specific instructions for preparing for Passover? Who provided the sheep, goats and cattle for the offerings and main dish? What was the priests’ role?

25. Are rituals as important in your life as they were to the ancient Israelites? How attached are rituals to your faith and spiritual growth? What’s the good and bad of rituals?

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