Since this series is called Practical National Repentance, it’s time get actually practical. Now when you read the chapters preceeding and following 2 Kings 22-23, it becomes evident how bad things got and how quickly things when downhill again after Josiah’s reign. It was Josiah who had repented, but had repented enough to buy his kingdom several more years of peace. He turned to the Lord, but it does not seem that the people were able to do the same despite their pledge to the covenant. So what does Practical National Repentance really ask of us?
1.) It will require an emotional impact – waterworks will probably be invovled
2.) It will require a heart impact – humbleness is called for
3.) It will require a recommitment on your part – remember the heights from which you have fallen, do what you did at first!
4.) It will require a lot of effort – that which keeps you from Him must be dealt with and/or destroyed
5.) It will require your very soul – to be turned to God
6.) It will require your focus – what is right is not always popular, I can imagine that the people were not thrilled when their convienient idol-religion was literally burnt-up all around them.
7.) It will require your time – Josiah got to work restoring Judah according to the law, it called for him to travel throughout the land and get his hands dirty, he did not rest, go back home and put his feet up, until his work was done.
Josiah wasn’t the only recorded instance of repentance on a grand scale. The Ninehvites were also called to repentance. They fasted and brought out the sackcloth. Another tradition foreign to us, but it too is symbolic. It is a token of mourning and a sign of submission. Sadly, Nineveh could not remain true to God and the prophet Nahum spoke against it. God is a Holy and Righteous God, He can be provoke to only so much anger before the nations are visited with trouble. Failure to remain in obedience and submission to God isn’t rewarded. Ultimately, the Ninehvites had a run in with the Medes, Babylonians, and Susians. The city was razed to the ground. Those who weren’t massacred were deported. Now Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire and it was divided between the Medes and Babylonians.