Josiah, the King

2 Chronicles 34‑35  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Josiah was six years old when his grandfather died? His young father was king for only two years, and now, when Josiah was only eight, he sat on the big throne of the kingdom of Judah.
He probably learned and played as boys do until he was sixteen, and all that time the Word of God lay like good seed in Josiah’s heart. But at sixteen he felt his responsibilities as king, and he began to seek the only true God of King David. Josiah’s own father had been a wicked man, but here’s a lesson for you. Don’t let somebody’s bad example lead you to forget God and do evil things. If you know somebody who loves and follows the Lord Jesus, this is the example to follow. This is what Josiah did. He knew about King David, who wrote, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” and this was the Lord whom Josiah wanted to follow too.
Josiah had no Bible, but he learned a lot that was good. He could have learned a lot that was bad, as his father did, but he had a choice to make, and so do you. He knew that the Lord is the only true God, and all other worship is false, so he gave orders to break down all the idols and altars for the worship of false gods. This was his kingly duty, and he did it.
But you can’t take away idol worship and leave people with nothing at all. Josiah wanted the people to worship the true God, so he sent Shaphan and a few others to the temple of God to sweep out the mess and to repair the broken walls. Hilkiah the priest was there to help them.
Suddenly, all the brooms and shovels and hammers were quiet as everyone stopped to listen to the great news. Hilkiah had found a book! Somewhere among the rubbish he found the great Book of the Law of the Lord, written down by Moses. A real Bible! Not the whole Bible, because God had not yet come to earth in the person of His Son Jesus, and Jesus had not yet died on the cross and gone back to heaven. But it was a wonderful discovery, because it was really the Word of God.
Do you know where your Bible is? Is it under a pile of magazines? Or is it in your bookcase and never read? Shaphan carried that wonderful book to King Josiah. I am not sure if the king could read, but he listened when Shaphan read it to him. What Shaphan read made him feel terrible, just awful, because he realized the people of Judah had disobeyed the laws of the Lord, and they were facing judgments. He knew that his kingly robes could not hide him from God, and he tore his own robes in despair.
Then he sent Shaphan to ask the Lord about it. You don’t need to send somebody else to talk to the Lord for you. He assures you, “While they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:2424And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)). Call to God in the name of the Lord Jesus. He has a joyful answer for your despair, because Jesus died for you. Jesus is more willing to save you from your disobedience than you are to be saved.
God gave Josiah the answer. Nothing could change the promised judgment, because God never breaks His Word. The promised judgment was going to come, but God told Josiah that it would not come in his lifetime, because God valued his repentance.
God gives the same answer to you. Yes, the promised judgment will come on this world, but if you will repent and trust in the Lord Jesus as the One who took that judgment for you, then He promises to take you to His home before that judgment falls. Will you trust Him?
Josiah wanted to worship the Lord, but he really didn’t know how. So he searched in the Book of the Law of the Lord and found out exactly how God had told His people to worship Him. They got 30,000 lambs and young goats ready to offer to the Lord, and they killed them and offered the blood to God. They roasted them and feasted together, and the singers made a wonderful choir. It was a joyful time. Josiah was twenty-six years old when this passover feast was kept. Even King Solomon had not kept such a wonderful feast of the Lord.
Did you notice that their worship began with killing lambs for sacrifice to God? If you really want to worship God, you must begin the same way. You don’t need to kill a lamb, but thank and praise the Lord Jesus, the holy Lamb of God, who has already been sacrificed for you. The feasting and the joy and the singing come after we know that His precious blood has been offered for us. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleans-eth us from all sin” (1 John 1:77But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)).
But something else happened that we will tell you about in another story.