Tag Archives: 2 Chronicles 35

Who Will Sing for Me?

All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. Jeremiah also uttered a lament for Josiah, and all the singing men and singing women have spoken of Josiah in their laments to this day. They made these a custom in Israel; they are recorded in the Laments.
2 Chronicles 35:24-25 (NRSVCE)

We don’t talk much about lament anymore which is a reality that I, well, lament. Lament is a great word that can either be used as a noun or a verb. When used in its verb form, it means to grieve and feel sorrow or loss. When used in its noun form, it points to a particular expression of grief. In history a lament was typically a song or a poetic lyric used during periods of grief. It’s the ancient ancestor of the blues.

In today’s chapter, the Chronicler adds a curious detail to the death of Josiah that he has used with no other King in all the biographical accounts he’s provided in the previous 34 chapters. He explains that the prophet Jeremiah (an all-star prophet) had uttered a lament for Josiah and that the choirs of Judah had sung laments for Josiah even to the Chronicler’s day. Generations later, they felt Josiah’s loss and continued to sing the blues.

This morning in the quiet the Chroniclers detail brought to mind an old-timey bluegrass ballad called Who Will Sing for Me? It’s got me thinking and meditating on the idea that how we live our daily lives in the present will affect how others will feel our loss when this earthly journey is over. How interesting that Josiah was lamented, but the Chronicler didn’t say that of Asa, or Manasseh, or Hezekiah. Josiah was lamented for generations.

As I begin this week I’m enter into the task list asking myself how I’m living this journey and what kind of difference I’m making. It has me mulling over a simple question in the back of my head: Who Will Sing for Me?

Lester? Earl? Take it away…

Have a great week, my friend. Live well.


Chapter-a-Day 2 Chronicles 35

But Josiah was spoiling for a fight and wouldn’t listen to a thing Neco said…. 2 Chronicles 35:22 (MSG)

Just the other night, Wendy and I were talking about times in life when we dive headlong into foolish decisions. We can both look back on life’s journey and point to decisions, relationships, and actions that now make us scratch our heads and shake our heads with incredulity. In retrospect, it’s almost inconceivable how we strike out on our own with blinders on. No one can convince us we’re making a mistake. Our ears are deaf to wisdom.

I’d like to think that time and hard lessons have taught me to recognize when those I trust are providing me fair warning. I hope that I am more willing to realize when my appetites have me driving 90 m.p.h. down a dead end street.

In Josiah’s case, it cost him his life.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and marlon bunday