Todays readings.. 2 Chronicles 34, Hosea 2, Acts 16&17
“WHILE HE WAS YET A BOY”
We learn from today’s readings in Chronicles that the reigns of the son and grandson of Hezekiah were disastrous: the Jewish nation went into 57 years of steep spiritual decline. The 10 tribe northern nation went to captivity into Assyria.
Then the final good king in Jerusalem comes on the scene. There was chaos in the land when his father was murdered and then the murderers were killed and Josiah was made king when he was only 8 years old.
“And in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father (ancestor) and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem …” [2 Chron. 34 v.3]. Do we sense that some teenagers today delay making their commitment to God? Do some think they can indulge in worldly pursuits first for awhile? How foolish – all that we feed our minds on makes a mark of some kind on us. Josiah is an example of this, as was Joseph and other young men – and women, such as Mary.
Josiah grows up to be a man of action from the age of 20. His reign is the final good reign in this era of God’s kingdom. At this time Jeremiah and Ezekiel had their youthful preparation for their later service of God. We also noted that although the northern kingdom had gone into captivity, Josiah also had zeal to act in breaking down the objects of false worship that remained in that area, see verses 6 & 7.
In our Acts reading there is the first mention of Timothy; it is obvious he was fairly young but “Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him … as they went on their way through the cities” [Acts 16 v.3,4] The rest of the chapter is about the journeys of Paul and Silas, but later, when Paul goes and stays in Athens after their adventures in Phrygia, Galatia, Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea, brethren “conducted Paul as far as Athens” [Acts 17 v.15] and at that time Paul gave a command “for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible.”
So this had been a training time for young Timothy who, it seems most likely, was with them in all these experiences “while he was yet a boy” or a very young man: an example for the youth of today and how they can and should seek for opportunities to develop their lives in Christ.