The thirty-fourth chapter of 2 Chronicles records the efforts of Josiah, king of Judah. Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem for thirty-one years (2 Chron. 34:1). Although Josiah serves as an excellent example for all of us, his actions should be particularly noted by our young people.
First, consider the path Josiah chose for his life. In the eighth year of his reign, when he was only sixteen years old, he began to seek after the God of David his father (2 Chron. 34:3). Verse two indicates that Josiah “did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left.” Josiah’s aim, early in life, was to please God. Josiah, at an early age, understood the importance of doing what was right in the sight of God rather than in the sight of men.
Second, consider Josiah’s purging, in the twelfth year of his reign, when he was only twenty years old, he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images (2 Chron. 34:3). The high places were hills where men had built altars as part of their worship to their false gods. The groves were wooded areas where men had carved images of their gods in the trees, in order to worship them. The carved and molten images were dumb, lifeless idols, yet they were worshipped, oftentimes by the very men who made them. Josiah understood the need to rid his life of evil.
Young people, it is not possible to allow yourself to be exposed to evil influences (i.e., music with inappropriate lyrics, movies with crude or suggestive dialogue, written literature that is pornographic in nature, friends that are a detriment to the Christian lifestyle, etc.) and please God at the same time. (By the way, parents, do you monitor your children’s reading, listening, and television habits?).
Third, consider Josiah’s efforts to repair the temple. In the eighteenth year of his reign, when he was only twenty-six years old, he initiated efforts to repair the house of the Lord his God (2 Chron. 34:8). We can draw a parallel between Josiah’s actions to repair the temple and the responsibilities of young people toward the temple of God today, the church (1 Cor. 3:16-17), Eph. 2:21). It is often said that young people are a big part of the church today. Young people have responsibilities toward the church and should apply themselves toward fulfilling those responsibilities. How can our young people fulfill their responsibilities to the church? By attending all worship services of the church, participating in Bible classes, inviting others to come, giving to the church financially, speaking at young people’s devotionals, helping to teach Bible classes. The list could go on and on!
By Ron Haliburton
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