There is a story about an eight year old king named Josiah who was declared by 2 Chron 34:2 as a king who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.”
What is interesting here is that King David was not actually his father but his great great great grandfather. King Josiah’s father was King Amon, a wicked king who did evil in the eyes of the Lord. He was later assassinated by his officials. King Amon’s father was a wicked king at first but later repented and changed his ways. King Amon did not follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, King Hezekiah.
My point here is that even though you may be a good father, your son or your children will still have to make decisions of their own.
What happened with King Josiah was that while he was young, three spiritual fathers took upon themselves the responsibility to mentor and guide him. These three spiritual fathers were Jeremiah, Zephaniah and Habakkuk — three prophets whose books are in the Old Testament.
The story of King Josiah is a great reminder to fathers and to all parents as well. We alone cannot teach our children to become good people. The story tells us that we need the church and other spiritual fathers to mentor our children. Those fathers who are spiritually mature must take the responsibility to seek out children in the church and help them grow in their spiritual lives. All fathers in the church must also allow their children to be mentored.
What were the results of the spiritual training of King Josiah?
First, there was spiritual cleansing in the land (2 Chronicles 34:3-7). He personally led the destruction of idols and the images of Baal and Ashera.
Second, the temple was repaired. (2 Chronicles 34:8-13). He made explicit instructions to repair the temple and open it again to be used by the people. King Josiah led the celebration of the Passover Feast which his father forgot to celebrate.
Third, the Scriptures were discovered again. (2 Chronicles 34:14-28). King Josiah was informed by his assistant, Shaphan that sacred scrolls were found. It was then read to him. He tore his robes upon hearing the Word of God from the Torah. It is very difficult to imagine that there was time that the people were not able to read the Scriptures. King Josiah led the way that the people were able to hear the Word of God again.
Dear fathers, let us not abdicate our responsibility to mentor our children. Let us also seek others who are spiritually mature to help us rear our children. Our children will later make their own decisions. But it is our decision now that will lead our children later.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
June 19, 2017