Scripture Reading:
2 Chron. 34

“And in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek after the God of David his father.”(2 Chronicles 34:3a)
josiah invested his youth in god

The history of Josiah, recorded in 2 Chronicles 34, is a good example for us that is very encouraging. Josiah began to reign in Jerusalem when he was eight years old. After that, he did what was right before the Lord and walked in the ways of David, a man according to God's heart. What an example! An eight year old child is normally given to playing and running around. Our children today only think about video games, martial arts heroes, comic strips, etc. But here in this section we see a young person who decided to walk in the ways of the Lord; he did not despise his youth.

Josiah began to seek the God of David, his father, when he was sixteen years old. Let us suppose that the time when he was "eight years old" corresponds to a person's experience of regeneration, of receiving Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Although he is saved, it is only after a period of time that something happens in him. This would correspond to the "sixteen years old." At that time, a believer is awakened to live to God. It is at that time that an "awakening" occurs in his life and he really begins to seek the God to whom he had given himself to years before. From then on, this person begins to seek to have his own experiences with God. Before, he only belonged to God, but now he is personally related to Him. Firstly, God came to seek him; now he is the one seeking after God.

What about you? Have you had this awakening? What are you seeking after today? What is your spiritual age, comparing it to the experience of Josiah? Have you made the same decision as Josiah? When do you pray to the Lord? Is it only when you are in trouble at school? Or do you seek the Lord with all your heart because you love Him? From the experience of Josiah, we see that there has to be a day when we begin to seek after God, whether others are seeking Him or not.

After seeking and having fellowship with the Lord for four years, at twenty years old, Josiah began to purge Judah and Jerusalem (34:3b-7). He discovered that there were many idols, many things that were replacing God. Consequently, he performed a thorough, drastic cleansing, not only in his own life, but also in that of all the people. Here we see a progressive, normal experience in the life of someone who has given himself to the Lord. He is saved, begins to seek after God, and, as a result of this seeking, begins to purge out all of his wrongdoings and to help others to be purged also.

This is how, at twenty-six years of age, Josiah was at the high peak of his experience. He saw the need for the house of God to be recovered. It is not enough for us to only take care of our own spirituality. After we have a strong experience with God we will begin to seek what is on His heart. In the Old Testament, God's heart was set on having a place of rest. David saw this and this is why he was a man according to God's heart. The temple was built so that God could have a place of rest. Through the temple in Jerusalem, God was able to have an expression of Himself on the earth.

Today, God's dwelling place is the church. After he sought the Lord very much and purged out all the idols, Josiah saw that the temple needed to be restored. In the same way, we need to be today's "Josiah's." We need to be concerned for the recovery of the proper church life, the oneness of the Body of Christ, so that God may have His expression and His testimony among men and thus His glory will be manifested.

When Josiah began to restore the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law (vv. 14-18) and read what was written in it to the king. When the king heard the words God had spoken to Moses, he tore his clothes because he saw that his fathers had not kept all the words of Jehovah (vv. 19-21). Something that spontaneously arises when the proper church life is recovered is the revelation of the word of God. We have seen how clear His word is regarding the church life, the oneness of the children of God, the practical expression of the church in each city and many other things. We also see how many divergences from the biblical truths there are among Christians today.

Due to Josiah's stand, the punishment that was coming upon Jerusalem was delayed (vv. 27-28). Josiah commanded all the people to gather together to read the words of the book of the covenant. Later, he made a covenant before Jehovah and made everyone serve the Lord; he celebrated the Passover as it had never been celebrated, since the days of Samuel; and he established priests and encouraged them to serve Jehovah. As a result of Josiah's living it is written, "Throughout his days they did not turn from following after Jehovah, the God of their fathers" (v 33). If all the young Christians would have such a progressive experience and invest their youth in the Lord and in the church, how strong the Lord's testimony would be in their city!

Key Point:
What difference can young people make in the church life?