JOSIAH – CHILD KING
When Paul wrote to Timothy, he wrote from the heart to his son in the Gospel, instructing him to be “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” In this way, Paul was leaving his son an inheritance, not of silver or gold, but a good conscience. He urged him to “... be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, the same entrust to reliable men who will be qualified to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:1-2). When we consider Timothy, the mind imagines his mother taking his little hand, following along, tracing out the characters, thus early in life he came to know the feel of the parchment, the look of the letters. Then, too, his first stories were learned from sacred Scriptures. Oh how wise and happy are the teachers who nourish little open minds from such a source (2 Tim. 3:14-17). Those who have a like privilege need to follow a similar plan: to make the Word of God the child’s book of letters. Timothy will forever profit by the early influence of his mother’s love for the Holy Word of God.
However, in this brief study our focus will be on the child king, Josiah; his earliest history revealed in 2 Kings 22, his later history in 2 Chronicles 34, 35. It is dolmen and affecting to contemplate the lethargy and indifference of religious systems professing to have the truth. All Christians should feel deeply for children growing up in the atmosphere presently surrounding us, an atmosphere that appears to be getting darker and darker. We long to see more earnestness on the part of Christians in seeking to store the minds of children with the precious soul-saving knowledge of the Word of God.
The child Josiah, as well as the child Timothy, should incite us to greater diligence in the instruction of the young. We cannot afford to fold our arms and say, “When God’s time comes, our children will be converted; and till then, our efforts are useless.” This is a fatal mistake. “God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11). He blesses our prayerful efforts in the instruction of children. Who can estimate the blessing of being led in the right way early in life; of having character formed amid holy influences, and the mind stored with what is true, pure, and lovely? On the other hand, who will undertake to foretell the evil consequences of allowing children to grow up in ignorance of Divine things? Who can portray the evils of a polluted imagination; of a mind stored with vanity, folly, and falsehood; of a heart familiarized from infancy with scenes of moral degradation? We do not hesitate to say that when we allow evil to preoccupy the minds of children when they are most susceptible, we incur very heavy and awful responsibility. (Unless otherwise noted, the Kind James translation is used in this study)