Josiah Gets It Right
2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34; Prophets and Kings, pp. 384, 385, 392–406
I can be a good example to others.
“[Josiah] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 34:2).
Have you ever been in a situation where a friend tries to get you to do something you know is not right? How easy is it to say no? Josiah was surrounded by people doing bad things, but he learned to say no and changed a whole country.
King Josiah was not at all like his father, King Amon, or his grandfather, King Manasseh. His grandfather did a lot of evil things. He built places for people to worship false gods and to worship the stars in the sky. He even offered one of his sons as a burnt sacrifice to one of the gods. King Manasseh built strange idols and altars in God’s temple. He hurt a lot of people who did not do anything wrong.
While Manasseh was king, the scroll with God’s Book of the Law disappeared. The priests were supposed to read from this scroll to the people every day. Without the scroll, the people could not learn about God.
Josiah’s father, King Amon, did even worse things. His officers hated him so much that they killed him in his own palace. And then the people killed those officers. And that’s how Josiah became king when he was still just 8 years old.
King Josiah was not like his father and grandfather. He really loved God. He always tried to do the right thing. As a teenager he dedicated himself to God.
When King Josiah was 20, he began to get rid of all the idols and altars to false gods. He destroyed their worship places. He tore down their altars. He had men break up the idols and grind them into powder.
When King Josiah was 26, he decided to purify the land and repair the temple. He sent his royal assistant, Shaphan, to see Hilkiah, the high priest. Before Shaphan left, King Josiah gave him some instructions.
“Tell Hilkiah to gather all the money the gatekeeper-priests have collected from people at the temple,” King Josiah said. “Tell him that this money is to be used to repair the temple. He is to give the money to the builders. They are to pay workers and buy supplies with it.”
Shaphan entered the temple and found Hilkiah. Hilkiah listened carefully to King Josiah’s instructions. Immediately Hilkiah told the gatekeeper-priests to gather the money. The temple would be repaired! At this same time, Hilkiah had news for King Josiah. He said to Shaphan, “I have found the Book of the Law!
“Look at this,” he said, holding up a big scroll and smiling. “It was right here in the temple all along.”
Hilkiah handed the book to Shaphan. Shaphan read a few paragraphs. “The king needs to see this!” he exclaimed.
“Please take it to him,” said Hilkiah.
And Shaphan did.
Next week we will discover what happened when King Josiah received the long-lost book.