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Josiah and The Great Passover
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A retelling of 2 Kings 22-23 and 2 Chronicles 34-35
By: Emilie Bishop

      Josiah became king of Judah when he was only eight

years old, but he already knew to follow God's

commands. Many others in his kingdom did not follow

God but worshipped the gods their neighbors worshipped

in special temples.

      The kings before Josiah let the people of Judah

worship in these temples, and many even worshipped

with them, forgetting about all the wonderful things God

had done for them.

       When Josiah was twenty-six years old, he sent

his secretary, Shaphan, to the one true temple of the

Lord in Jerusalem, the capital city of Judah, on an

errand. When Shaphan arrived at the temple, the high

priest, Hilkiah, met him with wonderful news.

       "I have found the Book of the Law," Hilkiah

said. "It is the word of God and hasn't been read to the

people of Judah for many years."

josiahpriest.jpg

2008 Daud Christian

       Shaphan took the book back to King Josiah and

read it to him. King Josiah cried and tore his clothes as

Shaphan read how God wants His people to love and

 worship Him, not the gods their neighbors follow. 

       Josiah felt sad as he realized his people were not

following God in the way God intended, and he decided

to take action.

       "Take these words to Huldah, a prophetess," Josiah

told Shaphan and some of his other officials. "I want to

know the meaning of them."

       Huldah told the king's officials that God had grown

angry with the people of Judah for worshipping other

gods and not remembering how much He had loved them

when he gave them their land. God was preparing to

punish the people, she said, but because King Josiah

had found His book and read it with humility, He would

not punish Judah just yet. He would give the people a

second chance to follow their Lord.

      When the king heard this, he gathered all the

people of Judah outside his palace in Jerusalem. He

read to them from the word of God, reminding them that

God had created the world and made them a people to

love and worship Him. After he had read them the lost

book, he set to work getting rid of all the other temples

in the land where the people worshipped false gods. 

       All through the kingdom of Judah, Josiah and his

officials tore down statues and temples set up to honor

the gods their neighbors followed. Josiah didn't think it

was enough to follow God by himself like some of the

earlier kings had. He wanted everyone in his kingdom to

remember the God who had created them and still loved

them.

       When all the other temples had been taken

down and only the temple of the Lord remained in

Jerusalem, Josiah issued one final decree.  "Everyone in

the land shall celebrate the Passover," he said.  The

Passover was a feast to remember the night God had

mercy on his people just before he led them out of

slavery in Egypt to the home where they still lived.

       It had not been celebrated for more than four

hundred years, but King Josiah wanted to celebrate

learning how much God loved His people. He made the

Passover a great festival, with musicians and all the

temple priests taking part  And when God saw how much

King Josiah desired to follow Him, He decided not to

punish Judah for what they had done in the past.

2008 Emilie Bishop

josiahwithcitizenglorifythelord.jpg

2008 Daud Christian

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