Story: King Josiah
2 Kings 22-23
Josiah was only 8 years old when he was made the king of Judah, but his reign would last 31 years. Josiah followed God’s word and lived and ruled faithfully in him. This is special because so many of the kings who came before him turned away from God and worshipped false idols. Josiah also sought to restore the temple of the Lord, and there in the restoration, they rediscovered the lost book of the law from Moses’ time. After hearing the words of the law, he tore his clothes in sorrow, for he knew Israel was not keeping to the law. He ordered the law to be read to everyone in Judah and everyone vowed to keep to it. False Gods and idols in the land were destroyed and cast out, and with God at his side, Josiah brought the brought the people back to the Lord.
“Before him, there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.” 2 Kings 23:25
Josiah was the age of a second grader when he was called to lead a nation. Furthermore, at the age of most college students, he was leading Israel back to God. He was also not the only child to make a difference in the Bible; David, Samuel, Joseph and many more, despite their age, were all called to amazing things for God.
Josiah was a good king in the midst of evil and cruel kings before him, even his own father was wicked. Yet Josiah changed that legacy, he took the time to learn about God and repent. Because he kept his faith and eyes on God, Judah was changed. He led the nation into revival, rebuilt the temple and restored the relationship with God that had been lost for so long.
One of the most important things we forget about children is their potential to live for God. Being able to learn about God early on allows them to establish a strong foundation in Christ. God describes us all as “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14), filled to the brim with amazing talents and minds.
Jesus knew the importance of children. The New Testament is full of verses about children, take a look at this section from Mark.
“He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to like these. Truly I tell you, anyone, who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” — Mark 10:14-16
Children have the potential to do incredible things with God. Empowering them to discover their faith for themselves allows them to use their gifts to impact the lives of others around them.