In the passage below, we read of prophesy, signs and miracles which can all seem a bit fantastical, especially as the prophet himself is mysteriously not named and remains known only as “a man of God”. But today, I am more interested in his prophesy. The man of God speaks of a child named Josiah who will sacrifice the pagan priests themselves upon this pagan alter and their very bones will be burned along with the incense. This passage, containing the prophesy of the child, Josiah, has caught my attention because of a message I heard preached only last Sunday. A man named Olly Goldenberg spoke about a movement he referred to as “The Josiah Generation” in the City Temple in Cardiff.
1 Kings 13:1-6 NLT
At the Lord’s command, a man of God from Judah went to Bethel, arriving there just as Jeroboam was approaching the altar to burn incense. Then at the Lord’s command, he shouted, “O altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: A child named Josiah will be born into the dynasty of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests from the pagan shrines who come here to burn incense, and human bones will be burned on you.” That same day the man of God gave a sign to prove his message. He said, “The Lord has promised to give this sign: This altar will split apart, and its ashes will be poured out on the ground.” When King Jeroboam heard the man of God speaking against the altar at Bethel, he pointed at him and shouted, “Seize that man!” But instantly the king’s hand became paralysed in that position, and he couldn’t pull it back. At the same time a wide crack appeared in the altar, and the ashes poured out, just as the man of God had predicted in his message from the Lord. The king cried out to the man of God, “Please ask the Lord your God to restore my hand again!” So the man of God prayed to the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored and he could move it again.
Olly Goldenberg is a champion of children’s ministry and he spoke of many children of primary school age who were leading their classmates to Jesus and then pastoring and discipling them. Then he said something that really struck a chord in my heart. He said, faith in Jesus is not only for adults – you don’t have to wait until you are grown up before you can read and obey God’s word and follow Jesus. I had wanted to follow Jesus when I was a child but I hadn’t known how and so I had wandered alone until I was thirty five years old! Josiah was only eight years old when he became King and during his reign he destroyed absolutely every idol and pagan alter in his kingdom. My goal is to take to heart the example of this child king of God, and tear down all the idols and false alters in my life in order to be an example for my daughter. It is our children who are the Josiah Generation. They need us to teach them that their young, child’s faith is powerful too.
The reign of Josiah is recorded in the 2nd Book of Chronicles in chapters 34-35.
1 Kings 12:20-13:34, Acts 9:26-43, Psalm 132:1-18, Proverbs 17:6