Week 33: 2 Kings 22

King Josiah's new Book

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Kiddo Activity

King Josiah…8-year old King of Action!

Our 8-year old King Josiah was very special. The Bible says “ neither a king before or after this king turned to the Lord as this king did…with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength.” 

Your activity this week is based on part of King Josiah’s story that isn’t in your Story Bible this week. There are many parts of King Josiah’s story that I just love but what I really loved was he was a young man of action. He found God’s Word, he read God’s Word, and then he didn’t stop there. He responded to what God’s Word said and set to obey it and correct mistakes. I know I’ve often been guilty of reading parts of the Bible, thinking I should change, really feeling like I should change (The Holy Spirit working on me) but then still doing the same sin over and over. Not Josiah. The people had been worshipping false gods and Josiah put a stop to that right away. He was bold. He destroyed and smashed all the idols and altars that had been built. 

We might not be bowing down to big huge statues or altars but I know if I’m being honest I have some “idols,” things and people that definitely come before God more often than I want to admit.  For your activity this week, you are going to make 6 idols. Three of the idols you can add the stickers too and make silly faces. Three of the idols have white labels on them. Can you or your parents write down some idols in your life that might come before God? I put my phone (it’s ALWAYS with me), my family (which sounds like a good thing but sometimes I put them above anything) and sports. I love competitive sports a bit too much at times.

Now it’s time to “bowl” your idols. Have fun setting them up and smashing or knocking them down with the Styrofoam ball just like Josiah!

I hope you realize that you, just like Josiah, can do great things when you obey God and follow Him with your heart, your soul, and your strength! Have fun!!

Devotions

Written by people you worship with at St Matthew.

 

Lessons from a Youthful Leader

By Lori Wieneke

As someone who absolutely loves kids and my weekly encounters of often admiring the “faith of a child” in JAM, I am obviously a big fan of the special King who is our focus this week. 2 Kings 23:25 states that “neither a king before or after this king turned to the Lord as this king did…with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength”. We’re not talking about King David, or Solomon, but King Josiah, who was made king at the ripe old age of 8 years old. 

8 years old! Would you let your 8 year-old drive a car? Stay home all alone? Have unlimited access to your credit cards? Be in charge of all household duties and organization and meal plans? When I was 8, all I wanted to do was play outside and eat Twinkies (they really were a special treat A LONG time ago).  To top it off, this appointed 8 year-old didn’t inherit this position from a loving father (and his grandpa was bad news too). Can you imagine having a dad so evil that his employees took him out? Like literally killed him? Basically a second grade boy learns his father has been killed and then is made king. It can be easy to just gloss over details like this in Scripture because, well, it’s a Bible story. But if you stop and realize these were real people, Josiah was a real 8-year old boy, it changes the story dramatically. What amazes me is Josiah proceeds to do what had to be pretty unnatural; he does exactly the opposite of what his dad would have done. Josiah follow’s God’s commands. Even though he was young, he “began to seek the God of his father David” (2 Chronicles 34:3).

I feel there are some great takeaways and reminders in this Bible story (aren’t there always with stories in the Bible?). Here’s my top 3:

  1. You’re never too young for God to use. People often worry about the state of our nation (and I can’t say I haven’t had some agony and stress especially this past year) but when I spend time with your children each week, when I watch them talk about their love of Jesus and others, when I see that love in action through kindness and grace, and when they share their faith with great ease and joy, God has MIGHTY plans for our kiddos. As parents and grandparents and members of our church, when we, just like Josiah, teach them to turn to the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind and strength…well, we know the assurance that Jesus will always be with them and the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promises “will teach you all the things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). Bonus: You’re never too OLD for God to use either. ☺ Just ask Abraham and Sarah. 
  2. The scrolls were in the Temple the whole time. In 2 Kings 22 when Josiah heard the Book of the Law, he tore his robes and said, “Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of the book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” The scrolls were lost, forgotten and the people and kings before Josiah lived godless lives. We, as followers of Jesus, must read our Bible, not only own one. This one hit a bit home for me. I was blessed enough to grow up in a home where both of my parents read God’s Word daily. We saw them as kids growing up. We still do. My mom and dad just visited last week and I saw my mom up early like normal with her coffee reading and writing in her journal. My dad thoroughly enjoys arguing with anyone about Bible facts, especially pastors (not saying that’s always a good thing, but he does know the Bible). There are so many awesome Christian podcasts, authors, blogs, daily devotions that help in this manner, but nothing truly compares to just diving in God’s Word without any outside influence or bias. If this is something you’ve never done before, our Staff would love to walk alongside you with this. There is value to God’s Word; Josiah treasured it.  
  3. Josiah was a man of action and excited to share Scripture with others. 

Josiah made changes immediately. 2 Kings 23 is full of those bold moves. He repented and God showed grace to Josiah. He promised to follow the Lord and keep His commands and the people pledged themselves to this as well. He loved God’s Word, which we know is living and active and shared it with people just as we are called to do. Besides reading, besides sharing, Josiah responded to what it said and set to obey it and correct mistakes. This is often the step I miss more often than I’d like to admit. Love your enemies? Yeah, right. Is coveting really that bad? I mean, it’s the last commandments, right? But Josiah, in his eighteenth year of reign, demolished all the idols and altars that had been built. He slaughtered the priests and got rid of all the mediums, household gods, and other “detestable” things. I looked at my phone last night, which truly is an idol to me in many ways. So is our WiFi. We literally break down when it goes out. So is my family, if I’m being completely honest. Although I’m not going to smash my phone or destroy my family anytime soon ☺, I do need to make some changes with the idols in my life. Amazing how God’s Word and the story of an 8 year old king has so many practical applications for today. 

I hope this story doesn’t leave you feeling hopeless but quite the opposite. Look what God can do with an 8 year old from a terrible family who completely turned to the Lord and His ways. The same God who saw Josiah’s repentance, spared him judgment and showed him grace, gives us that same grace and mercy through Jesus. 1 John 1:9 reminds us “that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 

So if you are 8 or 88, God is ready to use you in the hills and valleys of life in His mighty ways. It doesn’t matter where you are placed in history, you are called and here from God for this moment. Go, read God’s word, make some changes. Be a King Josiah today. 

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