When God is doing something phenomenal, something extraordinary, something truly earthshaking—you have to be part of it!
When the Magi saw the star in the heavens, they had to follow it. When Peter and John heard that the tomb was empty, they ran to see. When the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples at Pentecost, they turned the world upside down.
Is God doing something phenomenal today? I believe He is— and it’s much like what He did in the days of King Josiah.
Josiah’s grandfather Manasseh had plunged his people into a cesspool of idolatry and occult practices, including child sacrifice. Tragically, Josiah’s father, Amon, “sinned even more” (2 Chronicles 33:23 NLT). Out of that moral sewer, Josiah ascended the throne at the young age of eight. Can you imagine the boy looking at himself in the mirror wearing all that baggy regalia with his oversized crown? Most eight-year-olds wouldn’t stand still long enough to put on all that garb, much less wear the itchy stuff!
But Josiah wore it with honor, and, more importantly, “he did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight” (2 Kings 22:1–2)! His mother, Jedidah, must have guided him in godliness. Josiah had no Scriptures—his wicked predecessors had lost or destroyed all copies. So among Josiah’s only spiritual signposts were memorized Scriptures recited to him by Jedidah—talk about phenomenal parenting!
At age sixteen, “Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David” (2 Chronicles 34:3). God continued to move in Josiah’s heart, and by age twenty, the courageous king was ready to be a part of God’s reformation of the nation.
Starting in Jerusalem, Josiah set out to purify the land: He ordered that the altars of Baal be demolished. . . . He also made sure that the Asherah poles, the carved idols, and the cast images were smashed. (34:4)
Then Josiah swept through the rest of the country: He destroyed the pagan altars and the Asherah poles, and he crushed the idols into dust. (34:7)
He pulverized the idols. Nothing left but dust—now that’s phenomenally thorough! Next, Josiah appointed to his “cabinet” men who had caught his passion, supporters whom he mentored. With shared vision, they restored the temple— phenomenal team building! In the process, the priest Hilkiah found a dusty scroll: the “Book of the Law of the Lord” (34:14). Perhaps the only remaining copy—a phenomenal discovery!
Keep in mind that unlike Luther, Calvin, and Knox, Josiah initially had no written Scripture to rally his reformation. But then there it was! How precious the melody of God’s truth must have sounded! Josiah wept as he heard it read, tearing his clothes in unguarded repentance over how his nation had neglected God’s Word.
Do you remember the first time the Bible impacted you? Did your heart sing and tears flow? Finally, you had truth! Finally, you had the light! Finally you had something you could rely on to help you know what to do next.
Josiah certainly knew. He gathered the nation and read “the entire Book of the Covenant” (34:30). He “pledged to obey the LORD by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul” and required everyone to make a similar pledge (34:31–32). Then Josiah hosted the biggest Passover the nation had ever experienced. What phenomenal obedience!
Can you imagine the entire world worshiping God and celebrating the Lamb? Don’t you ache to be a part of something so phenomenal?
Well . . . you can!
Judah wouldn’t have experienced reformation without Josiah’s “cabinet.” That team couldn’t have been built if Josiah hadn’t chosen to think and act biblically. And he couldn’t have done that if Jedidah had not done her part in teaching her son God’s truth.
The phenomenal happens through our daily faithfulness to align our thoughts with God’s—to think biblically in order to act biblically . . . and so fulfill our role in God’s plans.
Something absolutely phenomenal is happening, and you can be part of it! The Father is drawing people to the Son for true redemption and eternal hope. Never forget it. Never doubt it. Stay at it!
About the Contributors
Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word and His grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. His leadership as president and now Chancellor Emeritus of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and his wife Cynthia, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.