This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, we take a look at Josiah. Josiah was 8 years old when he became king. His father, Amon, had been assassinated by his own servants, and the people of Judah made Josiah king. (2 Kings 21:23-24) Think of the 8-year-olds you know. Are any of them suited to rule over a kingdom?
Josiah did well as king of Judah, and he didn’t step into the easiest of circumstances. His father had been a wicked king, and Judah was corrupt with idolatry. Josiah was not like his father, though. When he was a teenager, he began to seek God—the God of his ancestor David. Then Josiah made changes in Judah. He tore down the altars and idols of false gods, and he began repairing the Lord’s temple.
During the temple repair, the high priest found the book of the law of the Lord. The court secretary read the book of the law to Josiah, and Josiah tore his clothes. He knew the Lord’s righteous requirements, and the people of Judah fell short. Josiah gathered the people and read the law aloud. He made a covenant to follow God and obey His commands, and then those listening vowed to do the same. Josiah had great respect for God's law. He allowed God's word to control what he did as a king. Josiah wanted God's people to love God and obey the law too.
When we stand before the law, we too should mourn over our sin. We have fallen short of God’s standard and are cursed. (Romans 3:23; Galatians 3:10) But the gospel is good news. When Jesus came to earth, He fulfilled the law by obeying it perfectly. He died on the cross to pay for our sins. When we trust in Him, His righteousness is credited to us. Our debt is laid on Him, and He redeems us. (Galatians 3:13)
2 Chronicles 34–35
Josiah became king of Judah when he was a young boy—just 8 years old! He was a good king like his ancestor David. Josiah lived in a way that pleased God. He did what was right.
When Josiah was a teenager, he started to follow God. And a few years later, Josiah started to make changes around his kingdom. He decided to get rid of the things in Judah that were not pleasing to God. Josiah watched as the people tore down the altars to false gods. They broke the idols and crushed them until they were dust.
When Josiah was a young man, he wanted to repair the temple of the Lord. He put three men in charge of making it happen. Money was collected from all the places in the kingdom, and the men took the money to the high priest. The money was for the builders, carpenters, and workmen who would x up the temple and make it like new again.
As the temple was being repaired, the high priest found a very important document. “I have found the book of the law in the Lord’s temple!” the high priest said. He gave the book to Shaphan (SHAY fan), the secretary.
Shaphan took the book to King Josiah. “Everyone is working in the temple and doing just what you said to do,” Shaphan reported. “And here is a book the high priest gave to me.”
Shaphan read from the book of the law. When King Josiah heard the words of the law, he tore his clothes! He told Shaphan, the high priest, and some other men to go and ask God about the book of the law. “God is very angry with us!” Josiah said. “Our ancestors did not obey God. They did not do everything this book says to do!”
So the men went to a prophetess named Huldah (HUHL duh). Huldah gave the men a message from God. God said, “I am going to punish the people of Judah because they turned away from me and worshiped other gods.” But God had a special message for Josiah: “Because you were humble and were sorry for your sin when you heard the law, you will die in peace. You will not see the punishment I am bringing on the people.” Then the men told Josiah what God said.
Josiah went to the temple and gathered all the men of Judah and
all the people in the city of Jerusalem. He read the words of the law that had been found. Then Josiah made a promise to God. He promised to follow God and obey Him like the book of the law said to do. The people at the temple also agreed to follow God and obey Him. And as long as Josiah was king, the people followed God and obeyed Him.
When it was time to celebrate Passover, King Josiah wanted to
do everything just like God wanted. Josiah and the priests made sure everything was ready. The priests made offerings for the people and killed the Passover lambs. Everything was done as God said to do in the law. All the people celebrated the Passover like they were supposed to, remembering the rst Passover when God passed over the houses
of the people of Israel in Egypt and struck down the rstborn of the Egyptians.
Christ Connection: Josiah had great respect for God’s law. He allowed God’s word to control what he did as a king. Josiah wanted God’s people to love God and obey the law too. When Jesus came to earth, He ful lled the law by obeying it perfectly.