But he sent messengers to him, saying, "What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you." – 2 Chronicles 35v21
Here we have an interesting situation. Josiah had done a great job of bringing the word of God back to the nation and turning the people back to the Lord. This was purely by His grace to give people one more chance because their judgement was coming.
Here we have an encounter with Necho, king of Egypt. The epic battle of Carchemish was about to take place. Josiah went out to meet Necho and confront him for his actions. Before the met up Necho sent messengers to Josiah with to tell him that he did not intend to do battle with Judah. He was there to fight Assyria because God had told him to do so. ‘Don’t meddle with God Josiah, for God is with me.’
What is one to do in a situation like that? What do we do when someone says they are doing something because God told them to do it?
That is a tough one. What makes it tougher is reading examples like this and find out happens when we don’t believe them. Josiah went out to battle and was killed by an arrow.
So was Josiah right or wrong to ignore what Necho said? This is tough. After all Necho was a wicked, pagan king. He was from a nation which traditionally had been something of a cold war enemy.
We just don’t know. Today we have an advantage because we can check things out with the word of God. That is a great litmus test.
But that doesn’t always give us an answer. The scripture doesn’t answer everything. I tend to now trust the words ‘God told me…’ because He speaks through His word. But what about something like ‘the Lord led me…’ if the person is godly and doing something for Him?
I wish I had all the answers, but I think we can still learn something from this encounter.
It appears that Josiah did not ask God what to do, but just ran off to oppose Necho. The result was fatal.
No I get really confused. Did Josiah die because he did not ask God what to do, or did he die because God was going to spare him the tragedy of seeing Judah captured and taken into captivity?
I guess it is good to know that the things we deal with are nothing new. I also know that we can neither accept nor ignore this kind of situation. When we hear this we first examine it in the light of God’s word. Some things are obvious. If ‘God told me’ is contrary to the word of God we know it is wrong. I think we then consider the character of the person. Then we pray for wisdom and seek God’s will in how we should respond.