Crossroads: When You Feel Like You’re Too Young to Do Anything- Josiah

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2 Chronicles 34:1-4, 29-33

Stats About Josiah

– Became king at the age of 8, experienced a conversion and began worshiping Yahweh at 16, purged Judah of idols at the age of 20, and began cleaning and rebuilding the Temple when he was 26 years old
– Alive at the same time as the prophet Jeremiah—Jeremiah wrote a lament over Josiah’s death

My Story

“You’re too young.” “You’ll be able to do this when you’re older.” Sound familiar? Chances are you’ve heard this before, and perhaps have even said this to your children. It seems like most of our lives as children are spent impatiently waiting to grow up, waiting to reach that age when you can do anything. And once you get there, you look back and wish that you could recapture some of those moments in childhood and relive the times during which you weren’t responsible for everything. When I was three, my favorite phrase was “I drive.” I was convinced that I could drive, even though I couldn’t even reach the pedals or see over the steering wheel. I wanted to be independent and thought that driving would do that. But of course, I was told for years that I was too young. For milestones like driving, it is important for children to learn to be patient and to receive a “not right now” answer. But we are sometimes guilty of telling children that they are too young to do things like share God’s love with others, help others who are less fortunate than themselves, and even that they are too young to accept God for who God is. There are times when we, as parents and leaders of children, must discern when they are too young. But there are also many things that children can do to further the Kingdom of God in this world.

Your Story

Have you ever been told that you were too young to do something? Tell your children that story and share how you felt when you were told that you were too young.

The Bible Story

Read 2 Chronicles 34:1-4, 29-33 in The New Living Translation

“Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. During the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David. Then in the twelfth year he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem, destroying all the pagan shrines, the Asherah poles, and the carved idols and cast images. He ordered that the altars of Baal be demolished and that the incense altars which stood above them be broken down. He also made sure that the Asherah poles, the carved idols, and the cast images were smashed and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them….

Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. And the king went up to the Temple of the LORD with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the Levites—all the people from the greatest to the least. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the LORD’s Temple. The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the LORD’s presence. He pledged to obey the LORD by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. He promised to obey all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll. And he required everyone in Jerusalem and the people of Benjamin to make a similar pledge. The people of Jerusalem did so, renewing their covenant with God, the God of their ancestors. So Josiah removed all detestable idols from the entire land of Israel and required everyone to worship the LORD their God. And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the LORD, the God of their ancestors.”

Josiah became king when he was 8 years old. 8 years old! Ask your child to imagine being king or queen right now—how would they feel? Would they be scared to make all of the decisions for the people? Many of the kings who came before Josiah weren’t good people—they did the wrong thing and led the people astray. But Josiah was different. He began to seek God when he was 16, and purified Jerusalem, getting rid of all of the idols. He had the Temple cleaned out, and that was when they found the Law of God, the Book of the Covenant (what is now part of our Bible). When Josiah heard what it said, he grieved because he knew he and his people had been breaking God’s laws for a long time and that they would be punished. So he asked a priest to speak to God and ask for forgiveness. He then called all of the people together and read everything that was written in the Book of the Covenant. He had the people commit themselves to the covenant of God and they didn’t turn from God while Josiah was still alive.

Discussion

Josiah had a big job, especially for a young person. But he followed after God and did what was right. Sometimes it seems like we aren’t old enough to do things. But there’s a lot we can do when God is with us. No, you still won’t be able to drive until you’re old enough, but you can show others God’s love. You can help other people. There’s a lot you can do at the exact age you are right now.

Ask your children if they have been told that they were too young to do something. Ask them how they felt—you may be surprised by the answer.

Prayer and Action

– Thank God that it doesn’t matter how young or old we are, that we all can serve Him. Ask God to show you as a parent ways in which your child can participate in the Kingdom of God.
– As a family, talk about ways in which the whole family can help others or show God’s love. Think of ways to get your children involved. Our preschoolers at church have done this by packing sack lunches for the homeless. What are some ways you can get your children involved in helping others?

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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