History of Israel and Judah Research Paper
Research Paper On History of Israel and Judah
Righteousness is a hallmark of good leadership throughout history. However, this virtue has evaded many a leaders and as such, history is replete with wicked leaders save for a few. In response to this question, I focus on the biblical Josiah who has been depicted as a righteous leader. The following are some biblical texts attesting to Josiah extreme righteousness. For instance, when he became the king, on his eighteenth year of reign he ordered that the money (tax) collected from the temple to be used to rebuild it.
This is a clear example of financial prudence because we do not see any financial impropriety on the side of the leader as would usually be the case with most of the leadership today. We neither see any of the subordinates engaging in financial corruption in spite of the fact that they were entrusted with all the resources. Yet again, this is an indication of good and responsible leadership of Josiah (2 kings 22: 4-8). His righteousness is also clearly portrayed when he sought repentance for the entire community for the sins of fore leaders who did not follow God’s law (2 kings 22:8-13) (RONCACE & GRAY 2005).
These actions of humility and financial transparency are desirable virtues that many in this world do not possess. Right from the Bible, king Nebuchadnezzar was a very arrogant man. He ostensibly used things meant for worship to entertain his personal guest at the table. This angered God and as such he was severely punished. David himself killed Uriah and took his wife; they bore a child who later died as a kind of punishment from God. King Ahab was a total contrast of king Josiah because throughout his reign, he presided over all manner of all things that were contrary to the law of God. It is during his reign that worship of Baal was introduced and institutionalized in the land of Israel. He supported false prophets and he even killed Naboth and took away his vine yard. There are also good leaders in the Bible whom their actions of righteousness resonated well with those of Josiah (Roncace & Gray 2005).
King Solomon was very instrumental in building the temple of God even though he is not credited with doing away with idolatry among the Israelites. Recent history in our contemporary society records corrupt leaders who have continuously continued to undermine their subjects. A good case in point here is in Africa were leaders a known to accumulate wealth for themselves at the expense of the citizen. Mobutu Seseko a former leader of Democratic Republic of Congo was at one time to have more cash than the entire country he was leading. One wonder how else he would he have acquired the money if not through financial impropriety.
Some recurrent themes in these examples are justice/injustice, oppression and arrogance/humility. Josiah was humble and just while on the other hand, pharaoh was oppressive and unjust. King Nebuchadnezzar was one arrogant king to the extent he had to use Holy place and things for personal entertainment. This characterization is useful because it allows us draw parallels among the leaders (Roncace & Gray, 2005).
Josiah carried several religious reforms in a bid to fulfill the Lord`s will. He renewed the covenant of the lord and promised to obey the covenant with all his heart and soul. He also led the people to renew their commitment with the covenant. He also sought to abolish the worship of idols; he instructed the high priest to remove all the articles from the lord’s temple, which until then had been used to worship Baal. The king also did away with wayward priest who had offered sacrifices to the idol gods. He as well went ahead and did away with the shrines and houses, which had been used to feed the idols gods; he tore down these living areas of prostitutes who attended to the Ashera pole. The king brought to Jerusalem righteous priest who had been living away to come and worship lord. The unrighteous priests were not allowed to offer sacrifices to God. The king removed from the gate the statutes of horses and as well did away with chariots, which had been dedicated to the sun by earlier kings (RONCACE & GRAY 2005).
These reforms were aimed at correcting the wrongs which had been committed by the earlier leaders. He destroyed all the idol worship articles in Jerusalem, chased away all the priests who worshipped the Baal. This was aimed at restoring what had been defiled in the book of the law. He swore to follow the law of the lord and led the people to recommit to God will.
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