The Southern Kingdom of Judah was ruled by the house of David until Juhah fell to the Babylonians sometime around 587 B.C. Josiah, who reigned from 640 B.C. to 609 B.C., became king when he was eight years old. Some time in his twenties, Josiah began to make his own decisions. Josiah looked around and saw that the worship practices of Assyria had, over time, influenced the worship practices of his people. These worship practices did not reflect what God intended worship to be. Many laws and rituals were ignored and eventually forgotten.
Now, Josiah, unlike most of Judah's kings, were faithful to God Josiah ordered thadt the Temple of Jerusalem be repaired. During the restoration of the Temple, some form of the Book of Deuteronomy was discovered (probably chapters 12-26 of our present book of Deuteronomy). Deuteronomy was the Book of Jewish Law. Huldah the prophetess verified the authenticity of the scrolls and Josiah called the people together to hear the words of the Law and for them to renew their covenant with God. The discovery of this Book of Law helped Josiah to reform the practices of the Hebrew people. Josiah established the Temple in Jerusalem as the central place of worship and reinstated the celebration of Passover.
Faithfulness of God set Judiah apart from the other kings of Judah and even from his own people. Josiah attempted to bring his people back to faithfulness to the God of the covenant, not to following the general fads of the culture around them. This sounds like a goal that might be espoused by a person today.
What does it mean to be faithful to God in the twenty-first century? Does it mean going to church and Sunday school? Does it mean praying and reading the Bible? Does it mean performing acts of service? Does it mean witnessing to others about Jesus? The answer to each of these questions is "Yes" - that and so much more. Being faithful to God and standing against pressure to conform to the fads of the day isn't easy;it never was.
This Sunday's bible lesson will tell the story of Josiah , the boy who became king of Judah when he was eight years old. Raised as a devout believer, Josiah noticed that the workship practices of Assyria had, over time, influenced the worship practices of his own people. So Josiah set out on a mission of reform. One of the reforms included the restoration of the temple. During this restoration, workers discovered a hidden cache of scrolls. Huldah then verifed the scrolls. After that Judah got the people together to reform and renew their covenant with God. is must have been difficult to call the people back to faithfulness after so long a time of doing something else. Consider your family's lifestyle? How does it conform to God's requirements? Or do you flow the times regardless?
The story this Sunday will be Josiah and the Hidden Scrolls, the games and activities will be Excavation Adventure, In Like Me, Can you dig it?, Fractured Scriptures and finally our art project will be to make a special something for Father's day which is next week.
Bible Verse: do everything God commands, and be faithful to God. Deuteronomy 11:22
Bible Story: 2 Kings 22:1-24:5