Daniel was born during the reign of the good and godly King Josiah. Josiah was the first good king in the kingdom of Judah in 57 years. For 55 years, Manasseh ruled in Judah and he was a wretched, wicked, sinful king. According to the Bible, even God refused to forgive King Manasseh. His son, Amon, followed him and became even worse than his father. Amon was only king for 2 years. Amon was such a wicked king that the slaves of his own household conspired against him and killed him in his own house. His young son, Josiah, followed him to the throne. Josiah was only 8 years old when he became king of Judah. And one of the greatest revivals this world has ever seen took place under the leadership of young King Josiah.
Josiah reined Judah until he was 39 years old. 2 Chronicles chapter 34 tells us that in the 8th years of Josiah’s reign he began to seek after God. In the 12th year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the idols that had been placed in the land. Josiah was convicted about the terrible condition of Solomon’s temple and he undertook to have it refurbished and rebuilt.
While they were rebuilding the temple, they found a book – the book of the Law. Let me take a moment and expresses to you how amazing it is that the book of the Law could be lost in a place of worship! But as I make this statement, let me go on to say that it is the common experience of people all over America to regularly attend church, and for all intensive purposes, the book of the Law might as well be lost. Well, the book of the Law quickly regained its place of authority in Josiah’s time, and the people were led back into a godly lifestyle.
In 2 Kings 23: 1-3 we read, “Then the king sent, and all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem were gathered to him. 2 And the king went up to the house of the LORD, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the LORD. 3 And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.” As a result, idolatry was destroyed, homosexuality was obliterated, and the idolatrous priests were killed. The mediums and the wizards, images and idols were all broken down and destroyed. And little Daniel was growing up in Jerusalem while all of this was taking place.
Most people don’t know that Daniel was a prince in the king’s court during those years. In fact, there is very good evidence that Daniel might have been related to King Zedekiah, which would have made him a royal son – very much a part of the inner workings of Josiah’s revival.
Now, this revival of Josiah’s doesn’t seem to be very effective on the surface. For instance, Josiah had 3 sons: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, and a grandson named Jehoiachin. Every one of those men were evil and wicked men. That revival appears to be a failure because it didn’t even have an impact on his own family. But this revival wasn’t a total failure because there was a young man named Daniel who was profoundly touched by that revival. When we read of Daniel’s great moral strength in Daniel 1:8 we must remember that God in heaven had been preparing Daniel for that very moment when he would stand alone in the presence of the King of Babylon. Daniel had been prepared by the influence of Josiah on the throne and Jeremiah the prophet in the pulpit.
Would you like to know more about Daniel and his life? Take some time and listen to the talk and learn how Daniel was prepared to accomplish great things for God…