SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- We will see that Josiah is the rare king of Israel who obeys God completely.
- "in the ways of his father David" (verse 2) - David was not literally Josiah's father. He was his great-great-great-great-add-a-few-more-great-grandfather. "His father" was just a way of speaking about an ancestor back then.
- The "Book of the Law" that was found in the temple (verse 8) was either the "Pentateuch" (the name given to the first 5 books of the Bible) or just Deuteronomy (the fifth book of the Bible).
- Tearing your clothes (verse 11) was a way of expressing intense grief back then. Josiah is overcome with grief that he and his people had not been living the way God wants, and, will will see, he then springs into action.
- God had mercy on Josiah and his nation because of Josiah's repentant attitude (see verse 19-20).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Josiah is only eight years old when he becomes king. We're going to see that as he grows up he lived and led in a completely God-honoring way. His story reminds us that children are the future leaders of the church, and of the world. If we can help kids to have a foundation of love and respect for God, they will grow up to live and lead in a way that honors Him.
- Because of the evil leadership in Israel, the Word of God had been completely ignored for generations. When it's found, and Josiah realizes he and his people have not been living according to it, he is overwhelmed with sadness. What is your response when you encounter a teaching of God (either through reading the Bible, or hearing it taught, perhaps in a sermon) and realize that you (or your family, or your country) have not been living according to it? Our love for God should lead us to grief and repentance when it comes to our attention that we have not been honoring Him with our lives.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- How could you take the importance of children (and their futures) more seriously?
- If you have kids, are you focused on helping them to know and love God? Is it your highest priority for your kids, or are you more focused on their education and activities? Education and activities are important, but they pale in importance compared to the priority of your kid's relationship with God and learning to make Him their priority.
- Do you volunteer with kids? You could do so in the church, or at school, or in a sports team or scouts troop. Investing in kids is a great way to use your time and talent!
- Where do you know that your life isn't lining up with God's Word? How do you feel about that? If it doesn't cause grief, pray and ask God to reveal your heart to you. Why aren't you having a Josiah-like reaction? If it is causing grief, is it leading you to repentance (a change in your behavior)? If not, why not? And what could you do to get help making the changes necessary to live by God's Word?