10-The Mystery of Childhood

Children in the Bible

Part 9: The Boy King Josiah

1 Joash becomes king

Eight-year-old Josiah was rubbing his sleepy eyes one morning when important people rushed into his room. The oldest of them bowed before him and said with a shaky voice, “The King Amon, your father has been killed this night so you, Prince Josiah, will be made king. He pointed to a servant whose arms were piled high with all kinds of magnificent clothes and said, “We’ve got to get you dressed immediately for the special ceremony.”

Josiah got up quickly and trembled all over as he let the servants dress him in long silk robes. How could this be? he kept asking them, but there was no time to answer his questions. His hair had to be combed just right and very soon he was taken before a group of people where another cloak was laid over his shoulders and a crown placed on his head while the people shouted, “Long live King Josiah.”

2 king-josiah-started-reigning-at-age-8Of course young Josiah had to learn how to be a king, so his mother along with some good men taught him day by day as they helped him rule.

The Bible tells us that he did what was right and that he became a good king, like the great King David who ruled long before him.

His teachers also told him about the temple and how they used to worship God but sadly, it was now forgotten and falling apart. Why, because the people didn’t care about God. They’d wanted rather to worship the false gods of the people around them.

3 Josiah -grown upAs Josiah grew to be a young man he went to see the old temple and what he saw made him feel sick in his tummy. Walls were broken down and idols were laying on the ground along with all kinds of junk. He couldn’t help saying, “What is this?” as he shook his head in disgust.

So he called Shaphan, his secretary, to come and help him plan and find people who would be willing to fix up the temple and make it beautiful like it was before.

Nehemiah Rebuilding the Walls of Jerusalem Nehemiah 4:16-18

While this was being done some workers found an old scroll. A scroll was like a rolled up paper with writing on it. There was so much junk around that they wondered if it was something important or just more junk, so they showed the scroll to the high priest Hilkiah, who looked at it carefully, and then he got all excited. “This is very important,” he said. “What we have here is the book of the law of God that we lost. I’m going to show it immediately to Shaphan, the king’s secretary.”

6 Josiah shows scroll to Shaphan

When Shaphan saw it, he too opened his eyes wide with surprise. He stood up and said, “I’m going to show this scroll to the king immediately.” So off he went.

7 josiah_w_bk_of_the_law

When Shaphan reached King Josiah he showed him the scroll, and he too got excited.  He leaned forward on his throne and said, “Please read it out loud for me.”

So Shaphan read to the king, and as he did, the King got so very upset that he tore some of his clothes to show how anxious  he felt.“If only we’d had that old scroll in our hands long ago,” he said as he shook his head with deep sadness. “Of only we’d obeyed it’s warnings. We’ve got to take the message of this scroll very seriously and correct everything we’ve done wrong, because by now God must be very displeased with us. I want you to call the people to come immediately to the temple so that they too can hear God’s Word, and then decide how to make things right.

8 Reading to people

When the people came to the temple King Josiah himself read from the scroll about God’s commands not to worship idols—as they were doing—along with other bad things as well.

As they listened many got very scared. “We’re in big trouble,” they said one to another. We’re guilty because we’ve done the opposite of what God requires. We’ve got to destroy those idols right away.

So King Josiah invited the people to make a covenant or promise to God to obey His Word. Among the people there was the prophet Jeremiah who was pleased at all the king was doing, but there were also others who didn’t care. All they wanted was to be rich and popular, and to do whatever they wanted to.

King Josiah cleansing the land of idols

Still, Josiah and those who knew God, went out  and began to throw down and smash the smaller idols, and then they tore down the big statues. When all was done they bowed before God and confessed their sins, and He forgave them and did not give them the punishment they deserved.

King Josiah ruled over the kingdom of Judah for thirty-one years, and the Bible tells us that he was one of the best kings of all. Alas, after thirty-ones years of being king, he died in a war. At that time the prophet Jeremiah wept a long time because he knew that the good times for Jerusalem and all Judah were over. The people would once more worship their idols, yet God would continue to help the good people to take good care of His precious Word.

11 isaiah-scroll

How thankful we can be that the workmen  found and kept that old scroll.

12 Bible

Many, years went by as God told other men to write down more words that He wanted His people to know. After that many more years passed and God’s Holy Word, instead of being a scroll, became a book. Because God lovingly gave it to us, it became known as THE HOLY BIBLE. In it He tells us of His love and all that will help us to learn about Him, and to  love and serve Him.

 

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