Hello Boys and Girls,
This month I have decided to tell you a story from the Bible. I expect some of you think the Bible is very dry and stodgy, and not as exciting as some of your other story books. Perhaps this is because you haven't really tried to like it. You know the Bible is God's Holy Word to us, and we should really try and read it as often as we can, for in its pages God tells us many things. Most important of all God tells us about Jesus Christ and how He can become our own Saviour.
The Bible story this month, then, is about a young king and what he thought about God's Word. The king's name was Josiah, and he was king of Judah. Since he was only 8 years old and not old enough to rule the land, the High Priest, Hilkiah governed until Josiah was sixteen years old.
During this time the king began to seek to know more about God. He sought the Lord and did what was right. He discovered that God's house, the temple of the Lord, was being misused. One king had even set up an altar to his idol Baal. Josiah decreed that the temple must be repaired and cleaned out. So the heathen idols were taken out and burned, and the temple put in order so that the people could worship God there.
While all this was going on, the High Priest cleaned the rooms of the temple. There, hidden away, perhaps in a cupboard or drawer, he found a strange scroll. It did not take Hilkiah long to recognise this scroll as the Book of the Law of God – the commandments that god had given to Moses – and which the people were to observe in order to please God. This was their Bible.
How excited Hilkiah was. He called to Shaphan the scribe: "I have found the Book of the Law of God in the House of the Lord". The High Priest gave the precious book to Shaphan, who took it to Josiah the king. Josiah too became excited. He, of course, had never read from the book. "Read to me from the book", he told Shaphan. Shaphan read about God's promises to bless the people if they served him faithfully; then he read God's promises to punish the people if they disobeyed and worshipped idols.
How worried Josiah became. His people had disobeyed God. The king tore his clothes and wept bitterly. Josiah told the High Priest: "Go and ask of the Lord about the words in the book, for I am sure our punishment will be great because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord.
Hilkiah went to Huldah the prophetess, who said: "God will indeed punish those who break His laws, but because Josiah has humbled his heart and wept before God for the sins of his people, God will not let the people be punished while Josiah lives".
Josiah did not forget the words of God's Law. Soon, messengers were sent throughout the whole land, calling the people to come to Jerusalem, and their Josiah read to them from the wonderful Book that had been found in the temple. That day, the king promised to keep the Law of God and to serve Him with all his heart. He commanded the people to make the same promise, and they obeyed him and prayed to God for forgiveness.
Wasn't Josiah a good king, boys and girls? And remember he was just young – the same age as some of you – when he first began to trust God and learn more about Him and His commandments.
You will find this story in 11 Chronicles chapter 34. I trust that you will read it again from the Bible, and find courage and strength from God to promise, as Josiah did, to serve the Lord with all your heart.
This Page Title – Boys and Girls Page - Josiah the King
The Wicket Gate Magazine "A Continuing Witness".
Internet Edition number 38 – placed on line September 2002