Summary: 6th in the series "Revival in the Land." Josiah shows that even a young person can be a spiritual leader.
Hattie May Wiatt lived near a church where the Sunday School was very crowded, one day the pastor, Russel Conwell found her crying outside the building because there was no room inside and he told her that one day when they had raised enough money they would have buildings big enough to allow every one to attend who wanted to. Not long after that Hattie May became sick and died. Rev. Conwell was asked to do the funeral and the girl’s mother told him that Hattie May had been saving money to help build a bigger church and gave him the little purse in which she had saved 57 cents. This was in 1886 when 57 cents was no small savings account for a little girl from a poor family. Rev. Conwell had the 57 cents turned into 57 pennies, told the congregation the story of little Hattie May and sold the pennies for a return of about $250. In addition, 54 of the original 57 pennies were returned to Rev. Conwell and he later put them up on display. Some of the members of the church formed what they called the Wiatt Mite Society which was dedicated to making Hattie May’s 57 cents grow as much as possible and to buy the property for the Primary Department of the Sunday school. A house nearby was purchased with the $250 that Hattie May’s 57 cents had produced. The first classes of Temple College, later Temple University, were held in that house. It was later sold to allow Temple College to move and the growth of Temple, along with the founding of the Good Samaritan Hospital (Now the Temple University Hospital) along with the 3500 seat auditorium of Temple Baptist Church serve as powerful testimonies to the leadership of a a little girl named Hattie May. (Truthorfiction.com)
It’s easy when you’re young to suppose that making a big impact in the world is something for those who are older. That if the Lord did happen to have big plans for your life, that those plans are on hold waiting for adulthood.
But, throughout the pages of Scripture some of the Lord’s greatest victories are led by the young. The young man Joseph in spite of imprisonment and slavery saved both his family and the rest of the world from starvation. Samuel heard the Lord call his name when he was still a child. Only a boy named David defeated the Philistine champion Goliath. History’s Messiah was delivered to us by a girl named Mary who yielded herself to God’s plan and named her baby Jesus.
And here at the end of 2 Chronicles we read about a boy named Josiah who led his nation Judah in it’s last great revival.
Proposition: I believe it is and always has been God’s plan to use young people to forcefully move forward his plan.
Even in my own experience I have seen the young people of a church get on fire for God and lead the church into revival.
Interrogative: The question is how can young people and older people alike make a difference for the Lord?
Transition: I think that a key or a pattern is found in the life of Josiah. I’d like to look at three things Josiah did which I believe led to revival. The first thing is that Josiah...
I. Sought the Lord
v. 3a In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.
At a certain point in time Josiah made a decision to seek the God of his fathers, perhaps it was a decision that had been brewing for awhile, but the text makes note that it was when he was 16 years old he began to seek the Lord. He began to be dissatisfied with the status quo. He was unwilling to let things stay the way that they were.
Somewhere inside of him the way things were didn’t seem right, somewhere inside of him he longed for truth. He began to recognize that God shaped hole in his heart and he determined to fill it. Whether in the young or in the old revival always begins when individuals recognize the interior call of God and that longing gives way to an earnest seeking.
In the book of Jeremiah the Lord tells his people that a time is coming when everything comfortable will be stripped away and that in that time they will seek the Lord and that they will find him when they seek Him with all of their hearts. I believe Josiah found himself in just such a time, and I believe that he did seek the Lord with all of his heart and that God was there waiting to be found.