Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Boy Who Saved a Kingdom

"Josiah was 8 years old when he became king, and he ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah; she was Adaiah’s daughter and was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, and walked in the ways of his ancestor David—not deviating from it even a bit to the right or left." 2 Kings 22:1-2 (CEB)
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What were you doing when you were 8 years old? Let's see, what was I doing when I was 8? I was probably riding bikes, playing paper football, and getting up early on Saturday mornings so I could watch Super Friends and eat sugar pops. You know what Josiah in the old testament was doing? He was saving his kingdom.

Israel's first king was Saul, who did great things, but was disobedient to the Lord. So then God chose David who defeated many of their foes and unified all 12 tribes into one kingdom. His son Solomon built the temple and brought the nation to a level of glory greater than any other at the time. But he also started a trend of flirting with other gods that would prove to be a legacy embraced by many other kings to follow. So for generations, Israel would fall into a cycle of good king, bad king; follow after God, walk away from God; until it got to the point that any evidence of Israel being a God-fearing people scarcely could be found. 

Until one day when an 8 year old boy named Josiah found himself surrounded by adults who were explaining to him that his father the king was dead. He had been assassinated in the palace by some of his own officials. Now people are looking down at a boy and telling him he's the king. What was he to do? His father had not left him much of a good example because he was evil and worshiped false gods. The boy had plenty of advisers, but how could he trust them after he saw what happened to his father? What was he to do? For the first 18 years of his reign, I'm sure Josiah was wondering the same thing as he ruled the kingdom the best that he could.

But then one of his servants found a book in the temple that had been scarcely read and mostly forgotten. They dug out this relic, blew the dust off of it, and read it to the king. Lo and behold, it was the book of the law...the word of God. Young Josiah's heart crumbled under the weight of shame when he realized how far his people were compared to where God wanted them to be. He immediately ordered the book to be read to all the people. Then he sent his men to tear down all the altars and idols to false gods. He kicked out all the sorcerers and wizards, and he restored worship of the one true and living God among his people. Josiah did so much to undo all of the evil that had been done before him that the Lord said of him "and like unto him was there no king before him, that 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; neither after him arose there any like him." (2 Kings 23:25)

This is one of my favorite stories in the bible, and from all that we can gain from it, there are 3 truths I want to share. 1) If the tip of the arrow hits the target, then the whole arrow hits the target. Likewise, if the tip of the arrow misses the target, then the whole arrow misses the target. Godly leadership is important. 2) You can not have God in your life without having God's word in your life. Dig your bible out from under all the idols you have put before Him and read it! 3) Don't count out our kids. Not only can God use them for the next generation, He can use them for this one!

So today, as you think about all the things there is to thing about, don't forget the boy who saved a kingdom.

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