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Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace. 2 Kings xxii. 20.

AS a matter of fact, Josiah's death was not a peaceful one. He persisted in going into conflict with Pharaoh-necho, king of Egypt, against the latter's earnest remonstrance (see 2 Chron. xxxv. 20-22); and, in consequence of his hardihood, met his death. His servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo (ch. xxiii. 30). Is there, then, any real contradiction between the prophet's prediction and this sad event?

Certainly not! The one tells us what God was prepared to do for his servant; the other what he brought on himself by his own folly. There are many instances of this change of purpose in the Word of God. One of them is known as "his breach of promise," or "altering of purpose " (Num. xiv. 34, marg.). He would have saved his people from the forty years' wandering in the wilderness, but they made Him to serve with their sins, and wearied Him with their iniquities. He would have gathered Jerusalem as a hen gathers her brood, but she would not.

Let us beware lest, a promise being left us, we should seem to come short of it; lest there be in any of us an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, and frustrating some blessed purpose of his heart. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him "; but we may limit the Holy One of Israel, and so restrain Him by our unbelief as to stay the mighty works which are in his plan for us. He may desire for us a prosperous life and a peaceful death; but we may close our dying eyes amid disaster and defeat, because we wilfully chose our own way.

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