This Week's Story

Can Josiah at age sixteen become a good leader despite rotten family patterns?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Is it possible? part two

“Grandpa, are you going to die?”


Josiah peered into his grandpa’s face. “Are you going to tell me a story before you go?”

“Yes. Josiah, your grandpa was a very bad king for many years. Then enemy soldiers captured me. They put a ring through my nose. I had to walk in chains a long way. Nobody helped me when I fell. I hurt. While I was walking, I prayed to God. I never had done that before. I told Him I was sorry for what a terrible king I had been. I asked him to help me.

“Soldiers took me to prison. In a year, I was set free. I was king again in Judah. God heard my prayer. I realized there’s only one God. Josiah, Grandpa changed. I helped my people to stop praying to statues.

“When I am gone, you can be sure God will want to help you. Talk to Him with your heart.

As King Manasseh and his grandson had their last conversation, the court historian listened. He wondered, What will happen to Josiah when his grandpa dies?

Soon the same historian recorded Manasseh’s death, the coronation of Josiah’s father, and later his murder. Josiah became king as an eight-year old.Eight years passed. Then one day the court historian told the court secretary, “Josiah must become a better leader than his father was.”

“How can that happen? His father was an evil man. Did he prepare Josiah for being a leader?”

“He didn’t; but rotten fathers don’t always produce rotten sons.”

“How can Josiah be someone his experience never taught him to be? Do you remember how old Josiah’s father was when Josiah was born?”

“He was sixteen, smart, and cruel.”

“Did you see him do anything with Josiah?”

“No, he ignored him.”

“Who cared for Josiah?”

“I saw palace attendants with him. I don’t know what happened to his mother.”

“Do you remember seeing Josiah at his father’s coronation?”

“Yes, I watched Josiah’s face. It was serious and sad, yet alert. Then I scarcely saw him for two years. The nation was introduced to two years of hellishness. Their new king’s thirst for highs was epic. He practiced witchcraft, infant sacrifice, and worshipped idols.  The government, courts, and Temple were all violated. He had zero reverence for God. Too many people followed his example.

“It was a relief to me when Josiah’s father was murdered, and  then Josiah was crowned as an eight year old.

“Now he is sixteen and wants to see me. What should I report to him? The Temple is not being used as intended.  Idol worship is practiced throughout the country. The people need leadership. I wonder… why does Josiah want to see me? Do you know?”

“Actually, I do. Josiah has been meeting with Hilkiah, the high priest.  He’s asking questions about God, laws, the lost books of Moses, and our history. This sixteen-year-old king of ours wants to know how to be a good king. His search has led him to seeking God.”

Four years passed. Then Josiah announced to the court historian, “It is time that I lead in making important changes in Judah.  I want you to record them in precise detail. With God’s help there will be history you will be proud to record.”

This is Barbara Steiner often inspired with Josiah’s decisions as a teenager and young man. Our next story will feature some of the great changes made during King Josiah’s reign.

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