We are celebrating my youngest son’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Rowan! He is nine years old.
Thanks to my lovely daughter for the photos. Check out Shae’s blog, Teen, Meet God, for more photography and insights.
My little guy reminds me of a little guy in the Bible, Josiah, who became king of Judah when he was just eight years old. Immediately, Josiah distinguished himself by turning away from idolatry and other sins that pervaded the land, and seeking God.
Like my son, Josiah was a sensitive soul, with a heart tender toward the Lord.
When Josiah turned eighteen, he had the high priest use temple offerings to repair God’s house. During the refurbishments, the high priest discovered a scroll of the book of the law and brought it to the scribe, who read it to the young king.
How sad that what should have been regularly read and discussed and treasured by the Jews was rediscovered as a relic of a bygone era! In Josiah’s day, the people had strayed so far from Jehovah that they not only worshipped idols, but sacrificed their children to them (II Kings 23:10).
But when Josiah heard the words of the scroll, his heart was incredibly moved.
And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. – II Kings 22:11
Fortunately for Judah, Josiah was moved not just to tears, but to action. Though still so young, Josiah did what he could to turn the hearts of his people back to the Lord, destroying their places of idol worship and more. Because of his actions, God promised Josiah that he would withhold his judgment of the people until after Josiah’s death.
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again. – II Kings 22:19-20
Are you as sensitive to sin as Josiah was? I wish I were. He is a reminder to maintain a tender heart and a listening ear to the Holy Spirit, and to take action when moved to change.