A boy named Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah. His father had been a bad king but Josiah wanted to be good. He obeyed God and tried to teach the people to obey God too. He was king for 31 years.
King Josiah wanted to clean up and repair the temple of the Lord. The people had ignored the temple and it looked worn out and dirty. King Josiah sent his royal assistant, Shaphan, to the temple of the Lord to tell the priests to clean up the temple. Shaphan told the High Priest, Hilkiah to gather the temple money that the people had given. The money was to be given to those who would do all of the repair work.
Everyone worked very hard to repair and clean the temple. Hilkiah found something in the temple and brought it to Shaphan. It was a scroll. This scroll was very special. It told all about the Law of God. Some of the laws in the scroll were laws that the people had forgotten about. Hilkiah told Shaphan to read it because it was God’s word. When Shaphan read the scroll he knew it was very important. Shaphan read the scroll to King Josiah.
Josiah was very upset when he heard the words of the scroll. He knew that the people had not been obeying the Lord. He sent word to Hilkiah the priest that he wanted everyone to obey God’s word. King Josiah told Hilkiah and four of his most important helpers to go and ask advice from the Prophetess, Huldah. As a prophetess, Huldah gave people special messages from God. Huldah’s message was that the people had disobeyed God for a very long time and they would have to be punished.
The Lord knew that the King loved his people so the message from the prophetess was that King Josiah would not live to see his people suffer.Once King Josiah heard God’s message he asked the elders of the people to gather all of the people. The King went to the temple and spoke in front of all the people. He made a promise to God. He promised to follow God and obey His commands, rules and laws. He promised to do what was written in God’s Word. Then all the people made the same promise.
One of the things written in the scroll was about the Passover. The Law of God said that the Jews should celebrate the Passover every year. The people had not celebrated the Passover for many years. They had not obeyed God because they had not read his word. It is easy to disobey the Lord if we do not read his words. When the people heard what God wanted, they celebrated the Passover. They learned God’s Word and obeyed Him. The people were happy that they could read God’s Word. Have you read God’s word – the bible – today?