Josiah's Grandfather

2 Chronicles 33  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Josiah was a little boy prince in the royal family of Judah. His father, Amon, was just a teenager when Josiah was born, but he was a very wicked teenager.
But there was something special about Josiah’s old grandfather. He was a king in Jerusalem for 55 years, and for many of those years he was a very bad king. Among other evil things, he was responsible for innocent people being killed. God sent warnings to him, but he would not listen. You could hardly read of a more wicked man than Josiah’s grandfather. His name was Manas-seh.
And then something happened. When King Manasseh was in his middle years, God suddenly interfered and stopped him. God sent an enemy who captured Manasseh. The enemy king bound him with heavy chains and carried him to the faraway city of Babylon. Now, without his palace and his power, Manasseh had time to think of the messages he had heard about the God of heaven. In his misery, he was ready to confess the sin of his heart and the sins of his life. This great king of Judah learned that he was only a guilty sinner in the eyes of God whom he had despised.
Do you think the great God of holiness would listen to the prayer of such a man? He certainly did. When God’s Son, the Lord Jesus, was here on earth, it was said of Him, “This man receiveth sinners” (Luke 15:22And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. (Luke 15:2)). “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:1515This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15)). God was ready to save that repenting king in his misery, and He is ready to save you right now. Are you sorry about your sins? “He that [covers] his sins shall not prosper: but whoso [confesses] and [forsakes] them shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:1313He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)).
I cannot tell you how, but somehow God in His mercy to Manasseh gave him back his kingly throne in Jerusalem, and now he was a new man. He wanted no more false gods and no more cruelty and murder. Instead, he wanted to build up the city and defend it for the Lord’s sake. The people obeyed him, but their hearts were not changed.
This was the grandfather that little Josiah knew. The boy heard good words from him about the true God, and Josiah listened and remembered. He was only six when the old man died, but even though he had no Bible, the Word of God went deep into his heart and he remembered.
His young father became king when the grandfather died, and King Amon was as wicked as his father had been in his worst days. Little Josiah heard and saw lots of wickedness in the two years his father was king, but nothing erased from his heart the words that God had placed there.
Are you six, or maybe older? Do you listen and remember when the Word of God is spoken to you? You are certainly old enough to listen and remember, and it will change your life.
Our next story will tell you what happened to the little boy Josiah.