When Josiah became king, he cleansed Israel of idolatry and began rebuilding the temple. That’s when a priest discovered some long-lost scrolls containing God’s Word. As Josiah heard what they said, he was deeply moved upon realising his people had drifted far from God. So he sent word to the prophetess Huldah asking what would become of the people. She told him that since he had repented when he heard God’s Word, his nation would be spared while he lived (see 2 Chronicles 34:14–27).
An entire generation received grace because of the integrity of one man. And that one man had a lot to overcome. Josiah’s grandfather, Manasseh, was like the Hitler of the Old Testament. He filled Jerusalem ‘from one end to the other with innocent blood.’ (2 Kings 21:16 NLT) And Josiah’s father died at the hands of his own officers. ‘He did what was wrong’, most likely reads his epitaph.
Josiah was only eight when he ascended the throne. Immediately he chose righteousness and didn’t stop doing what was right all his life. What’s the point? You can’t pick your parents, but you can pick your role models. You can’t change your past, but you can rise above it. Your parents may have given you your DNA, but Jesus will give you a new beginning.
‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children.’ (Ephesians 5:1 NIV) Your past doesn’t have to be your prison. You have a say in your life, you have a voice in your destiny, and you have a choice in the path you take. So choose well, and someday—generations from now—others will thank God for your legacy.