Chapter 1: Josiah

The Boy King who Recovered the Lost Book

II Kings 22:1-23:30

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JOSIAH was only eight years old when one day a crown of gold was placed on his head, a gold rod was put into his hand, and a kingly robe was placed on his shoulders. Then he was led to a beautiful throne and made king. Before him, grown-up princes, nobles, generals, and captains bowed low to show they would carry out his commands.

Of course, since Josiah was only eight years old, he could not rule the country. Therefore his mother, the queen, with a few trustworthy and wise men governed his kingdom, while Josiah went to school. Josiah wanted to learn everything he should know to become a wise, good king like David.

Josiah’s mother also taught him about the responsibility and importance of being king. She told him all she knew about the true God.

Several years later Josiah went to see the temple. The temple had been built long before by King Solomon. It was not a beautiful temple any longer. Josiah was horrified to see it nearly in ruins. Parts of the walls were fallen. The floors had big holes in them. There was rubbish lying around. The saddest thing of all was that in God’s temple there now were many idols of wood and stone.

King Josiah decided to make the temple beautiful again. So he called Shaphan, the scribe who was in charge of all the money given into the temple, and said, “Shaphan, go to the high priest, and tell him to send for builders and artists to make our temple as beautiful again as it was during King Solomon’s time.”

One day after King Josiah’s order that the temple be cleaned, some workmen were shoveling out piles of rubbish from the small rooms of the temple when they uncovered a long dirty roll. They were just going to throw it into the rubbish cart when someone thought the dirty roll looked like an old piece of parchment. Parchment was valuable.

Books were written on long rolls of parchment in those days and so it was cleaned and taken to the high priest. The high priest immediately sent for Shaphan. By the time Shaphan came, the high priest was so excited he was trembling. He said, “Shaphan, do you know what I have?”

Together, Shaphan and the high priest examined the dirty roll They studied the Hebrew writing, almost too faint with age and dust to make out, and then they looked at each other with joy. “It is the long lost book.” said Shaphan.

Shaphan carried it to the palace and read it to the king King Josiah listened eagerly to the words of the book. He commanded that the elders of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests, and the Levites be called together at the temple.

A large crowd greeted King Josiah as he came into the temple and stood by one of the pillars. In wonder they listened to the story of the lost book. For the first time they heard the laws of Moses. The young king himself read them to the people. King Josiah made a vow to keep all the laws written in it.

In a great chorus, the people exclaimed: “We make a covenant before the Lord to keep all His commandments written in the Book of the Law.”

Soon afterwards the people gathered at the temple to see something they had never seen before. All the heathen images and idols in the temple were taken out and burned.

What a fire those idols made! King Josiah wanted his people to know that he did not want any idol worship in his land.

King Josiah reigned as king of Judah for thirty one years. The Bible says: "Like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul, and with all his might; neither after him arose there any like him."

Many, many years went by. God told other men things He wanted His people to know. Now the book is no longer a roll of parchment, but it is a book like other books. It is a holy book because it is God’s gift to you. It has in it all the things God wants you to know. God has shown great love for you in giving you this book.

In it He tells you of His love for you and about Jesus whom He sent to save you. It is in this book He tells you that He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. It is because of this command that you have been baptized and made a child of God.

You have heard how people in Josiah’s time did many wrong things while the book was lost. Since the book no longer is a lost book, you have a light on your journey through life. It is like the powerful searchlights that help airplane pilots at night to know the way and not get lost. It is like the powerful lights on cars that at night show you the sign posts. God’s book is a light that shows you many sign posts to direct you along the right paths. It shows you where the “Dangerous Curves Ahead” are. It would be dangerous to travel through life without having God’s light to show you the right and wrong ways.

What is the name of this book that is like a light on your journey through life? It is the Bible.

Since God has been such a loving Father as to give you the Bible, you will want to read it and have your mothers
and fathers read it to you. You will want to read every part of it because you will want to know all God says.

   BIBLE VERSE (Psalms 119:105): "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path."


"Dear Father in heaven, we thank Thee for the light Thou hast given us in Thy holy book, the Bible. Help us to love it, and to remember what it says. Amen.

1. The Bible has 66 books.
   2. It is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament.
   3. The book of Psalms is in the Old Testament.
   4. Find your Bible verse for today.
   5. Now look in your Old Testaments about half way between the beginning of the Bible and Psalms and you will find II Kings.
COMMENTS ON ILLUSTRATION:  The family in the illustration shows its gratitude to God because the Bible is no longer a lost book by using it for family devotion.

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