DO YOU think it’s hard to do what is right? *— If you say yes, most people would agree with you. Even adults find it hard to do what they know is right. Let’s see why it was especially hard for Josiah to make right choices. Do you know who he was?—
Josiah was the son of Amon, a king of Judah, who was only 16 years old when Josiah was born. Amon was very bad, as his father, King Manasseh, had been. In fact, Manasseh had been a very wicked ruler for many years. But then he was captured by the Assyrians and taken prisoner to faraway Babylon. While in prison, Manasseh begged Jehovah to forgive him, and Jehovah did.
When Manasseh was released, he returned to Jerusalem and again began to rule there as king. He right away corrected the bad things he had done and helped the people serve Jehovah. It must have made him sad when his son Amon did not follow his good example. About this time Josiah was born. The Bible does not say how much contact Manasseh had with his grandson Josiah. But do you think that Manasseh might have tried to help him to serve Jehovah?—
When Josiah was only six, Manasseh died, and Josiah’s father, Amon, became king. Amon ruled for only two years before his own servants killed him. So Josiah became king of Judah at eight years of age. (2 Chronicles, chapter 33) What do you think happened then? Did Josiah choose to follow the bad example of his father, Amon, or the good example of his repentant grandfather, Manasseh?—
Even though Josiah was young, he knew that he wanted to serve Jehovah. So he listened to those who loved Jehovah, rather than to those who had been friends of his father. Josiah was only eight years old, but he knew it was right to listen to people who loved God. (2 Chronicles 34:1, 2) Would you like to know something about those who advised Josiah and served as role models for him?—
Josiah was influenced by the prophet Zephaniah. He was a relative of Josiah’s, for he was possibly a descendant of Manasseh’s father, the good King Hezekiah. During the early part of Josiah’s rule as king, Zephaniah wrote the Bible book that bears his name. Zephaniah warned of the bad things that would happen to those who did not choose to do what was right, and Josiah obviously paid attention to those warnings.
Then there was Jeremiah, whom you may have heard about before. Jeremiah and Josiah were both young men and grew up not far from each other. Jehovah inspired Jeremiah to write the book of the Bible called by his name. When Josiah died in battle, Jeremiah wrote a special song called a dirge to express his deep sorrow. (2 Chronicles 35:25) We can just imagine how they must have encouraged each other to keep faithful to Jehovah!
What do you think you can learn from studying about Josiah?— If you, like him, do not have a father who serves Jehovah, is there someone else who can help you learn about God? Maybe that person is your mother, a grandparent, or another relative. Perhaps it is someone else who serves Jehovah, someone that your mother will allow you to study the Bible with.
Whatever the case, although Josiah was only a child, he was old enough to know that he should make friends with people who serve Jehovah. May you do the same and choose to do what is right!
^ par. 3 If you are reading with a child, the dash provides a reminder to pause and encourage the child to express himself.