One of my favorite men found in scripture is a King by the name of Josiah. His life’s story is truly inspirational. In a nutshell, he became King of Israel when he was a teenager after being raised by an evil father and grandfather. Even at this young age Josiah changes the face of a nation by leading His people back to God after they had rebelled for generations. He was the picture of Godly leadership.
Yet, his story doesn’t end well. For whatever reason, Josiah fights a battle he had no business fighting and pays price. Josiah goes out to face another king in battle and here is the other king’s response:
21 But he sent envoys to him, saying, “What have we to do with each other, king of Judah? I am not coming against you this day, but against the house with which I am at war. And God has commanded me to hurry. Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you.” 22 Nevertheless, Josiah did not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to fight with him. He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to fight in the plain of Megiddo. 23 And the archers shot King Josiah. And the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am badly wounded.” 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
Here are some life truths we can glean from Josiah’s story:
1. Some battles aren’t ours to fight. Seek God’s direction and the counsel of those that are wise around you. “Cease opposing God, who is with me, lest he destroy you.”
2. If we push past God’s warnings we will pay the price. “He did not listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God….the archers shot Josiah…he died.”
3. The unwise battles we fight will have collateral damage on those around us. “All Judah and Jerusalem mourned”
4. It’s not how you start, but how you finish. Choose to end well. It’s a tragedy that the last story we read of this great leader was one of disobedience and impulsivity.
Bottom line: There will always be battles in our view. My prayer is that you and I will have the wisdom to know the difference between the battles we’re called to fight and the battles we should walk away from.
I’m praying for you.