Josiah was one of the most righteous kings of the Southern Kingdom (Judah). He called the people to repent and return to the Lord. He destroyed all the high places where the people sacrificed to false Gods and committed terrible acts of rebellion. But the people’s repentance wasn’t from the heart and they soon turned back to their wicked ways.
God blames Judah not only for her rebellion, but also because she had the witness of the Northern Kingdom who refused to repent that was destroyed 100 years before!
The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord.
Then the Lord said to me, “Backsliding Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say:
‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you.
For I am merciful,’ says the Lord;
‘I will not remain angry forever.
Only acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God,
And have scattered your charms
To alien deities under every green tree,
And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord.
PRAY FOR BACKSLIDING ISRAEL TO REPENT AND RETURN TO THE LORD GOD BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN YESHUA.