2 Chronicles 34: God Entrusted an Eight Year Old
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When I was eight years old, I felt very special. My grandfather entrusted his utility (name of a pickup truck in Australia) to me when he taught me how to drive it on his farm. I thought it was fantastic. My friends were so jealous.
When Josiah was eight years old, he would have felt very special, because God entrusted him with his whole plan to save the world when he made him King of Judah (2 Chronicles 34:1).
Of course, Josiah’s father and grandfather were kings too, but they didn’t trust in God’s plan to use the small kingdom of Judah to save the world. Perhaps they believed that God wanted to Make Judah Great Again so it could save the world? In any case, it must have been so hard to trust God’s plan, when you were a king of a small kingdom surrounded by superpowers like Egypt and Assyria.
Josiah’s father, Amon, and grandfather, Manasseh, certainly acted as though God’s plan needed their help if it were to succeed as they hedged their bets with the world, the surrounding nations, and their false gods. It must have been easy to convince themselves that they were really working toward the same ends as God, just by a different means. But such half-truths, presented as if whole truths, were simply lies.
A half-truth Amon and Manasseh wanted to believe was that God wanted to protect and bless the nation he created as he saved his people from Egypt. The whole truth was that God wanted to protect and bless the faithful people he had gathered from Egypt.
A half-truth they wanted to believe was that God would protect his Temple and Jerusalem to protect his own name. The whole truth was that God would protect his Temple and Jerusalem to protect a people who honoured his name. God didn’t want an unfaithful people to bear his name; people who dishonoured him before the surrounding nations.
The eight-year-old Josiah seemed to see straight through the half-truth that God wanted to Make Judah Great Again and understood the whole truth that God wanted to Make Judah Faithful Again.
This uncompromising clarity of thought demonstrated by the young Josiah does not surprise those of us who have children or have worked in ministry to children and youth. It is evident that God dwells in their hearts by His Holy Spirt, revealing truth to them with such clarity and precision that we are humbled (compare Matthew 18:3).
As Josiah looked back over the history of Judah—and Israel—he would have seen that God had fought for the faithful King David and turned away from the unfaithful and compromising kings. So, Josiah modelled his reign on King David. If God wanted a faithful kingdom, Josiah was going to give him a faithful kingdom and would trust him to protect it. And so, Josiah acted.
Many of us, today, have the luxury of holding beliefs that we are seldom, if ever, called to act upon. Not Josiah. His acts reflected his beliefs. He trusted God. He began to purge his kingdom of all the false practices that previous kings had introduced into Judah to distract the people from God (2 Chronicles 34:3).
The high point of Judah’s pre-exilic history was when God entrusted an eight-year-old with his plan to save the world.
The Lift Up Your Hearts devotional series for the month of March 2021 are provided by Canon Craig Roberts, CEO, and his colleagues from Anglican Youthworks in Australia. Today’s devotion was written by Andrew Baartz, Chief Financial Officer, Youthworks. You can find more of Youthworks excellent resources here.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
At the beginning of February, we prayed for rain in the drought and famine-stricken Diocese of Toliara in south-west Madagascar. Rev Osoro Victor Aunda thanks the prayer network and reports that we can thank and praise God for answered prayers. There has been abundant rain. There is now a good water base and clean water has also been stored. They look forward to a great harvest. Pray for the period before the harvest. Many still need help because of the famine and because of moving away from the villages during the drought.
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