This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, we take a look at Josiah. Josiah was 8 years old when he became king. His father, Amon, had been assassinated by his own servants, and the people of Judah made Josiah king. (2 Kings 21:23-24) Think of the 8-year-olds you know. Are any of them suited to rule over a kingdom?
Josiah did well as king of Judah, and he didn’t step into the easiest of circumstances. His father had been a wicked king, and Judah was corrupt with idolatry. Josiah was not like his father, though. When he was a teenager, he began to seek God—the God of his ancestor David. Then Josiah made changes in Judah. He tore down the altars and idols of false gods, and he began repairing the Lord’s temple.
During the temple repair, the high priest found the book of the law of the Lord. The court secretary read the book of the law to Josiah, and Josiah tore his clothes. He knew the Lord’s righteous requirements, and the people of Judah fell short. Josiah gathered the people and read the law aloud. He made a covenant to follow God and obey His commands, and then those listening vowed to do the same. Josiah had great respect for God’s law. He allowed God’s word to control what he did as a king. Josiah wanted God’s people to love God and obey the law too.
When we stand before the law, we too should mourn over our sin. We have fallen short of God’s standard and are cursed. (Romans 3:23; Galatians 3:10) But the gospel is good news. When Jesus came to earth, He fulfilled the law by obeying it perfectly. He died on the cross to pay for our sins. When we trust in Him, His righteousness is credited to us. Our debt is laid on Him, and He redeems us. (Galatians 3:13)
Materials: family Bible
Hide the family Bible, and then give your kids time to find it. If you have a competitive bunch, hide a Bible for each child. Once kids retrieve the Bible, recall the story about King Josiah.
Ask: “What were some of the reforms or changes Josiah made during his reign as king?”
The Bible says Josiah “did what was right in the Lord’s sight” (2 Chron. 34:2). Even at a young age, in the midst of many foreign gods, Josiah took a stand for God. He did not worry about what other people thought, but he sought and obeyed God. Josiah tore down carved and cast images, repaired the temple, and—in the process—discovered the book of the law written by Moses.
Remind your family that as good of a king as Josiah was, even he could not keep all the commandments and neither can we. Only Jesus kept the law perfectly. Because Jesus never sinned, He is the only way to have a relationship with God the Father.
Ask: “Do you know friends who follow a different religion?” Talk about how following Jesus is different than following a religion. Remind your family that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
Pray, thanking God that your family knows Jesus never sinned, and He died on the cross so you could have a relationship when you put your faith and trust in Him.