King Josiah listened to Jeremiah’s wise counsel and brought about some spiritual reforms during his reign. But what about the next generation? Would Josiah’s son follow in his footsteps? When Josiah died, God told Jeremiah to go right up to the palace in Jerusalem and address the new king. What are the signs that make a king a good leader? Jeremiah boldly proclaimed, “But a beautiful cedar palace does not make a great king! Your father, Josiah, also had plenty to eat and drink. But he was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him.”
Tragedy would strike because Josiah’s son was wholeheartedly set on dishonest profit. He did not provide care for people who could not care for themselves. He and those who followed his evil ways faced captivity by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and Judah was about to find out that life was not going to be lived in luxury for much longer. The beautiful cedar palace did not protect them. The only thing that will ultimately protect us is a right relationship with God. He blesses those who deal with situations in right and just ways.