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King Josiah: The scroll of God's laws is found

God's laws are found and read to King Josiah.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Simplified Chinese
God’s laws were written on scrolls and read to people so they could learn and memorise them. – Slide 1
Parents were encouraged to teach God’s laws to their children. – Slide 2
But during the reign of King Manasseh the scrolls of God’s laws were destroyed and burnt. It was thought that there was not a copy left in the land. – Slide 3
Instead of obeying God, people worshipped false gods. – Slide 4
Prophets and teachers of God’s laws were attacked and put to death. – Slide 5
Although wicked King Manasseh later pleaded with God to forgive him and changed his wicked ways, the damage had been done. People did not care for God or obey Him. When Manasseh died he was buried in the palace garden. – Slide 6
His 22-year-old son Amon became king but only ruled for a year. He too had no time for God. His officials attacked and killed him. His murderers were arrested and executed. – Slide 7
King Amon’s son Josiah was only 8 years old when he was crowned king. However this young boy decide he wanted to follow God rather than the wicked ways of his father and grandfather. – Slide 8
But without the scrolls of God’s laws or people to teach God’s ways, the people continued to worship false gods. – Slide 9
After reigning for 8 years King Josiah began to search for God. Four years later he ordered the altars to the false gods on the hilltops to be torn down. – Slide 10
The once magnificent temple of God that King Solomon had built had been allowed to fall into disrepair. People however gave money to have it repaired. – Slide 11
King Josiah ordered Shaphan, the ruler of Jerusalem, to take the money and give it to Hilkiah the High Priest to hire workers to do the repairs done. – Slide 12
Labourers, carpenters and builders were set to work repairing the damaged building. The Levites supervised the work. – Slide 13
Then, while the repairs were being made, Hilkiah the High Priest made an important discovery. There in the temple, hidden from view, was a scroll containing the Book of God’s laws. – Slide 14
An excited Hilkiah rushed to Shaphan. ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.’ Shaphan immediately set off to tell King Josiah the news. – Slide 15
Shephan gave the king an update of the progress of the repair work and announced, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’ He then read the Book of God’s laws to the king. When the king heard how God wanted everyone to live,he became very upset and tore his robes in grief. ‘God’s anger must be great because we have disobeyed His laws,’ he wept. – Slide 16
The King sent Shaphan and Hilkiah to a prophetess called Huldah. ‘She had a message from God for the king. ‘As we have been so disobedient, God’s will bring a disaster on this land. But, as the king has humbled himself, torn his robes and wept, this disaster will not happen in his lifetime.’ (This disaster was an invasion by the Babylonian army which happened after the death of King Josiah. The Babylonians took the Jews back to their land as captives). – Slide 17
King Josiah called a meeting in the temple of everyone in Jerusalem and Judah, along with all the priests and Levites. The King read the words of God’s laws to everyone, then promised to obey them with all his heart and soul. The people then promised to do the same. – Slide 18
The King then ordered Hilkiah and the priests to remove all the idols and items in the temple that had been used to worship false Gods. – Slide 19
All the pagan altars and sacred stones in the land were destroyed. – Slide 20
Figures of gods were pulled down and ground the dust. (Even the altar at Bethel that King Jeroboam had made many years before was destroyed. It has been prophesied that a descendant of King David would do this). – Slide 21
Pagan priests who had led people into wickedness were rounded up and executed. – Slide 22
King Josiah then ordered everyone to celebrate the Passover as it was written in God’s laws. It was a great occasion. 30,000 lambs and goats and 3,000 cattle were sacrificed as people put their lives right with God. Musicians led in worship to God. There had not been a Passover celebrated like this since the days of the prophet Samuel. King Josiah was now in the 18th year of his reign. – Slide 23
Some time later, Pharaoh Necho gathered an army to march north. He was going to join up with the Assyrian army to fight the Babylonians. King Josiah did not want the Assyrians to become more powerful and decided to intercept the Egyptians at Migiddo. – Slide 24
Pharaoh Necho sent messengers to Josiah saying, ‘Why are you planning to fight me? It is not you I am attacking. God has told me to hurry north. So stop opposing God, who is with me, or He will destroy you.’ – Slide 25
King Josiah ignored this warning and disguised himself as a soldier to lead his troops into battle. – Slide 26
But the king was shot by archers and badly wounded. – Slide 27
His officers took him out of his chariot, put him in another chariot and brought him back to Jerusalem, where he died. – Slide 28
The whole land mourned for King Josiah. Everyone was deeply upset. – Slide 29
The prophet Jeremiah composed songs of lament about Josiah which singers wailed to show how much the King would be missed. The Bible describes Josiah as a good king who did what was right. – Slide 30
Slide 31