Could you imagine becoming a king, or president, or even a responsible adult at the age of eight years old? I certainly could not imagine it. In our reading today that is exactly what we find, an eight year old boy who becomes king over God’s people. It is assumed that he had some sort of official ruling for him until he was old enough and wise enough to actually rule. Whoever that person was, they must have been a person in love with God. The previous examples that Josiah sees in his father Amon and grandfather Manasseh had no real love for God (Manasseh developed it late in life after his world crashed around him). This was very fortunate for the people of Judah.
Unlike his father Josiah had a deep love for God himself. During his reign he did many great things to bring Judah back into worshiping God. In his effort, not only did he focus their hearts on God, but he also cut out from Judah everything that pointed to the worship of false gods. This was an important part of the heart purification. 2 Kings 23 really highlights all that Josiah did.
What lesson can we learn from Josiah? The important one is this … to truly worship God your life has to be purged of everything that does not honor God. Start with the small things. Continue working each and every day, week, month, and year to become more and more like God. Understand that it may not happen over night, but it is a process you must go through.