Here's the short version of much more involved set of thoughts surrounding this remarkable King of Judah. You can read his story in 2 Kings 21-23 and 2 Chronicles 34-34.
Josiah is commended in 2 Kings 23:25 with these words, "Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his hear and with all his soul and with all his might, according to al the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him."
This young king led a reformation of his nation that was, and is, unparalleled. It was a time of national renewal that, though remarkable, was insufficient. While Josiah was apparently pursuing the reformation with a pure heart it is evident that the people were simply "along for the ride." Josiah made it "hip to be holy" and people joined in with zeal. It is saddening to realize that the people of Judah were "doing all the right things" but their hearts remained far from God.
Sounds painfully familiar. We live in culture that is obsessed with looking good. I assure you that if it became the fashionable thing to be "holy" people would be lining up to be among those counted as "holy." We would love to have a Josiah arise in our day; someone with rock star appeal who genuinely pursued God. We would love to have someone like this champion our pet causes and who would lead our nation to return to its spiritual roots. As much as we would love to have that happen it is not what we need.
Josiah brought about public renewal that did not result in personal renewal. We need personal renewal that will result in public renewal. We are looking for Josiah but we need Jeremiah.
I will explain further next week.