I really like the story of Josiah. I don’t know how it really works out to be king at 8 years old, but I love what happens when Josiah is 16. 2 Chronicles 34 talks about how eight years into his reign, “while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.”
I wonder why? What was going on in his kingdom that led him to seek God? Grandpa and dad had both been kings who “did evil” in God’s eyes, so what was different about Josiah? What freed him from their cycle of self-serving idol worship?
The spiritual climate students live in today may not be all that different from the cultural religion of Josiah’s day. Plently of idols to choose from, lots of god-options to ‘play with’, cultural approval of evil. But Josiah chose something different. At the age of 16, he shunned the gods his family had adopted from the surrounding nations in order to seek David’s God. At 20, he “began to purge Judah and Jerusalem” of the elements of worship to the false gods. Then at 26, he set out to restore the Temple and reacquaint his nation with the one true God who’d rescued them so many times before.
My prayer for students is that they’d be like Josiah and seek the God of David. I see many kids who have no idea who He is. Kids who’ve never even thought of the church as a point of contact with their Creator. Some of these have never been a part of the church, but some have grown up in the midst of God’s people, yet failed to meet Him.
How are we missing like this? What idols are we substituting, even in the church, into God’s place? It’s interesting that even without the Scriptures, Josiah’s heart longed for someone more than the false gods that surrounded Him. If the church is not holding up our Creator God who longs to rescue every heart that beats, then what are we doing? What will cause our young people to seek God like Josiah did?