Wow, today's reading was like two sides of a coin. In chapter 21 we are givin a picture of the horrors of rampant sin in leadership. The stories of Manasseh and Amon are ugly ones. These Kings seem to me to lead with selfishness and fear.
Manasseh for example didn't just worship idols, he resurected them! In Hezekiah's day the false gods temples and symbols were torn down--Manasseh went out of his way to restore them.
He then did what missguided religion tends to do he sacrficed his own "son in the fire."
I wonder what we might replce with "in the fire" today. How many fathers (kings) sacrifice what's most important to some modern version of "the fire." Seems to me "the fire" could be herion, it could be adultry, it could be harsh words that speak only of guilt and condemnation.
Turns out Manasseh was a bit of Eh, Ass, Man!
Amon, his son, no better. During his time at the helm there was no unity. The king was on one page, his officials were on another, while the people were lost.
But then we hit the contrast in 22, we get a picture of a child king. Josiah turned things around, he trusted folks with money!
5 Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the Lord— 6 the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. 7 But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.”
He trusted trustworthy people--I just love that. Then those people find the word!
He restored the nations commitment to God's word. He honors and is lead by a female prophet in a patriachal system (I wonder how many of Amon and Manasseh's leftover religious dudes complained about that?!)
In Josiah's kingdom, there is trust, faithfulness, unity.
What should we do with all of this?