At That Time Jesus Answered: David  —  Josiah  —  Jesus

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 10
There is one, and only one, life that ever gave forth its unvarying answer to God.
If we think of a David, Jehovah's anointed king over the hosts of Israel, we have in sorrow to read: "It came to pass... at the time when kings go forth to battle,... David tarried still at Jerusalem." 2 Sam. 11:11And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 11:1). That is to say, he gave up conflict; and, having so done, we have the record of the sad sequel.
Later on in the checkered history of that favored people, we read of another of their kings, Josiah by name, who, in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, began to seek after the God of David his father. In the twelfth he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from idolatry; and in the eighteenth, to repair the house of Jehovah his God, displaying great energy as to the keeping of the passover. But, turning to the next page of his history, what meets the eye? "After all this" (2 Chron. 35:20). The one who at eight years of age declined neither to the right hand nor to the left, from that tender age was characterized as one that sought after the God of David his father, consequently set his face against idolatry, even to the purging of the land and the house, until, in the eighteenth year of his reign, he cared for the house of Jehovah his God, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. And there was no passover like to that kept in Israel from the day of Samuel the prophet; neither did all the kings of Israel keep such a passover as Josiah kept. "After all this" of such a one it has to be recorded, that he went out in a conflict unwarranted by Jehovah his God; and (as with David, so with Josiah) down he falls. David failed to maintain conflict at the time of conflict, "at the time when kings go forth to battle," and Josiah became involved in a conflict that brought him into variance with God Himself. (2 Chron. 35:21, 2221But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not. 22Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. (2 Chronicles 35:21‑22).) And such is the blotted history of the first man, look at it where we may.
Beloved! what volumes do those three words, "after all this," speak to one's heart! If perchance, through grace, a measure of steadiness may have marked our pathway hitherto, while many leaders have fallen, what sorrow, if after so much grace shown us, the Spirit of God should have to write an "after all this" in our history, to chronicle our declension of heart (for surely that is where declension has its start) as exhibited in our ways. Assuredly it is a time of going "forth to battle," "to earnestly contend," and to be "strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might." And the conflict has to be maintained until with a Paul we are given to say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth"-not conflict, but-"a crown." But if on the other hand we are found meddling with the world in one way or another, even it may be with the view of setting it right (as Josiah got involved, as we have seen, with Egypt's king), just as Josiah was brought down under the forces of Egypt, so will we succumb to the forces of the world and its prince.
"After all this," what a relief to the sorrowful heart to turn to the record of that one life which in all its minute details met the eye of God and was well pleasing to Him.
A king truly, yea, the King of Israel (and never had such a one been presented to Israel before), but what glories come before our eyes in the perusal of the pages of His sojourn. And, look at His pathway where we may, it is only to discover the unvarying answer to God, not from His lips only, but in every look of His eye, in His every footstep, yea, in every movement of His heart and hand.
View Him for a moment in Matt. 11-a King, truly, as we have said, but without a kingdom-despised and rejected of His subjects, His testimony and His mighty works unheeded. What then? "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, 0 Father." "Answered" to what, beloved, or rather to whom, seeing there was no audible voice at the moment? Ah! but here as elsewhere, He recognizes in circumstances themselves most untoward, His Father's voice and answers to God in all.
Or if, with adoring reverence, we view Him hanging on the tree, what is it to find? That, while in all the bitterness of that moment, He owns Himself the forsaken One, forsaken of God, yet, in unswerving fidelity, He owns the One who had forsaken Him: "My God, My God." And the very question He raises in the hour of the travail of His soul, He waits not for His God to give the answer to; but, in all that sorrow, He Himself answers it and, in answering it, answers to God, and (blessed be His glorious name forever) answers to God for us (Psalm 22:33But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Psalm 22:3)).
Beloved saints of God, what a voice has all this for us! We each, in our individual pathway, have encountered difficult circumstances, sorrows, and trials; but has there been in all, from our hearts and lips, the answering to God?
The Blessed One, who in revealing the Father to us has given us rest, has also graciously made known to us how these-in themselves-commonplace, everyday lives of ours can yield to the Father the answer our hearts would delight to render, even by taking His yoke upon us and learning of Him, the One meek and lowly in heart, and thus finding rest unto our souls day by day under His easy yoke.