Leaving Good Tracks – Man as Instructor

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and the metal images. […] And Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord, the God of their fathers. - 2 Chronicles 34:1-4, 33 (ESV)

Josiah became the king of Judah at the young age of eight years old! His desire to serve God and walk in the ways of his forefather, David, brought revival to Judah, which had forgotten the God who had blessed them and made them a nation. But before there could be revival, much work needed to be done.

Josiah sought after God as a 16-year-old, but it was after he turned 20 that he began to make an impact in his arena of influence by removing the false gods from the kingdom of Judah and later in the kingdom of Israel as well.

Josiah then directed the priests to clean up the neglected house of God, and that’s when things got interesting! Workers found the forgotten book of the law of God, likely Deuteronomy, in the temple. When it was read aloud in his presence, young King Josiah tore his clothes and wept in repentance because the nation had forgotten God and His Word. Josiah ordered that the book of the law be read to the people. A great revival broke out, and the people of God remembered who they were and where they came from. The most important thing to note about Josiah’s life and legacy is stated in verse 2: “And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” Let that be our legacy as Instructors, men of God!

Because this young man lived out his faith, many followed suit and were blessed. When our walk matches our talk in our arena of influence, God can do extraordinary things with our lives!

The reverse is also true. I remember the story of a ruthless businessman who once announced to writer Mark Twain, “Before I die, I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top.” “I have a better idea,” replied Twain. “You could stay at home and keep them.”[1] We need to live lives in a manner worthy of others following.

  It’s true that everyone leaves a legacy. We all leave footprints behind us, whether they be good, bad, or even indifferent. We will be remembered for our obedience or disobedience to God and our generosity or selfishness towards others. Those who mourn us will remember the ways we loved them or the ways we didn’t. There’s only one way to leave a Christ-like legacy, to leave good footprints worthy of following. You’ve got to know Jesus as your personal Savior, let Him fill you with His Spirit, and then be obedient as He empowers and teaches you how to love Him and others. It is then that the tracks you leave will lead those who follow to the Savior!
  • When you look back on your life, what moments of obedience would you point to as worthy of others following? How can you build upon those moments of obedience?
  • What would someone writing about your life say about your faithfulness and obedience to God? How do you need to change course to make a positive impact on that evaluation?
  • Ask the Lord to help you stand courageous in this generation and be found faithful by those who walk in our footsteps and follow our example!
   [1] Moody Bible Institute’s Today in the Word, September 1991, 32.