"And when the Lord saw it, He abhorred them, Because of the provoking of His sons, and of His daughters. And He said, I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be: For they are a very froward generation, Children in whom is no faith. They have moved Me to jealousy with that which is not God; They have provoked Me to anger with their vanities: And I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation."
"I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend Mine arrows upon them. They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, And with bitter destruction."
"For they are a nation void of counsel, Neither is there any understanding in them. O that they were wise, that they understood this, That they would consider their latter end!
How should one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Except their rock had sold them, And the Lord had shut them up? For their rock is not as our Rock, Even our enemies themselves being judges."
"Is not this laid up in store with Me, And sealed up among My treasures? To Me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; Their foot shall slide in due time: For the day of their calamity is at hand, And the things that shall come upon them make haste." Verses 15:21, 23, 24, 28-31, 34, 35.
These and similar passages revealed to Josiah God's love for His people and His abhorrence of sin. As the king read the prophecies of swift judgment upon those who should persist in rebellion, he trembled for the future. The perversity of Judah had been great; what was to be the outcome of their continued apostasy?
In former years the king had not been indifferent to the prevailing idolatry. "In the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young," he had consecrated himself fully to the service of God. Four years later, at the age of twenty, he had made an earnest effort to remove temptation from his subjects by purging "Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images." "They brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence; and the images, that were on high above them, he cut down; and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strowed it upon the graves of them that had sacrificed unto them. And he burnt the bones of the priests
upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem." 2 Chronicles 34:3-5.