Introduction: Last week we ended our story with King Josiah taking
the throne of Judah when he was still a boy. He instituted reforms
with the result that God’s written word to His people(the
Pentateuch)was discovered hidden in the temple. The word of God was
shared with the people, and they “took the pledge” to obey. This week
we continue our study of this story. Let’s dive in!
- Read 2 Chronicles 35:16-18. The finding of the Law caused
Josiah to start celebrating the Passover as it had not
been celebrated since the time of Samuel. Why do you think
the finding of the Law cause this celebration?
- What relationship do you see between the Law and
- Read 1 Corinthians 5:7-8. What do you think “yeast”
represents? (Sin – “malice and wickedness.”)
- How is Jesus our “Passover lamb?” (The Passover
celebrated the protection of the Israelites from the
death angel that killed the eldest son of in the
Egyptian households. ( Exodus 12:21-27) The sacrifice
of the lamb, and the blood on the doorpost, protected
the people from death. So, the blood of Jesus
protects us from eternal death that otherwise would
come to us as a result of the Law. Finding the Law
and celebrating Passover educates the people about
the law and about grace. The letter to the
Corinthians says, “Good news, Jesus has died for you.
Don’t let sin continue in your life.”)
- Let’s go back a minute to 2 Chronicles and read chapter
35:1-3. Where was the ark? (It was not in the most holy
place of the temple where it was supposed to be.)
- Read Exodus 25:21-22. What did God direct should be
in the ark? (The “Testimony” appears to be the Ten
Commandments ( Deuteronomy 10:5). The Book of the Law
(the Pentateuch) was supposed to be beside the ark
( Deuteronomy 31:26).)
- How careful had the people been with the most sacred
articles that God had given His people? (It sounds
like a complete mess. The ark is not in the temple
and the Law is missing.)
- Josiah not only was instrumental in locating God’s
word and restoring God’s “stuff,” he put the people
on the road to incorporating God’s words into their
lives. What would be the modern parallel to finding
the Law, the ark and beginning the observance of
Passover? (Reading a Bible you can understand,
getting the connection between law and grace, and
then experiencing the practical reality of a changed
- The Neco Challenge
- Read 2 Chronicles 35:20-21. Did Pharaoh Neco want to fight
with Judah? (No.)
- Where was Neco going? ( 2 Kings 23:29 tells us Neco
was going to help the King of Assyria. Our lesson
explains that Neco was allied with Assyria against
Babylon. All Neco was doing was marching to help his
- Why would Josiah oppose Egypt passing through?
- Read Jeremiah 46:2. Did Josiah have to oppose Pharaoh
Neco? (This text in Jeremiah reveals that Neco was
defeated by Babylon. To the extent that Josiah
thought he was helping Babylon, it seems that Babylon
needed no help.)
- Turn back to 2 Chronicles 35:21 again. Note that Neco says
he has a message from God. What do you think about this?
Do you agree that God could speak through an Egyptian
Pharaoh? Do you think God did speak through Pharaoh?
- Do you think Josiah thought this was true – that Neco
had a message from God? (Since Josiah did not
retreat, I doubt he believed Neco.)
- Since Neco is hurrying on to defeat, do you
think God told him to hurry and get beaten?
- In 2 Kings 18:25, King Sennachrib of Assyria told
King Hezekiah and Judah that God had told him to
march against Judah. Did God give a message to
Sennachrib or was he lying? (It seems he was lying
because, 2 Kings 19:35, God sent an angel to destroy
- Since Pharaoh Neco and the Assyrians were allies, you just
couldn’t trust any of them with their stores of messages
from God, right?
- Read 2 Chronicles 35:22-24. Now, who do you say was
speaking through Pharaoh Neco? (This says the message was
actually from God!)
- How do you explain God using an ungodly king of a
foreign country to give Josiah a message?
- How do you explain this end to Josiah’s life?
- Josiah had been a thoroughly good King. He made one
mistake, not listening to a Pharaoh who said he had a
message from God, and he dies as a result. Is this
fair? (Josiah simply put himself in the wrong battle.
It was true that Judah should not have been involved
in a fight between Egypt and Babylon.)
- Is there a lesson in this for us today? (Yes.
Even if you are righteous, you need to be
careful not to be involved in fights that do not
concern “God’s business.”)
- Jehoahaz, etc.
- Read 2 Chronicles 36:1-4. Why does Neco have such power
in Judah? (This seems to be another result of Josiah’s
meddling in the wrong battle. Although Neco was defeated
in his battle against Babylon, he still was able to assert
authority over Judah because he had killed its king.)
- Parents, what kind of an impact did Josiah’s decision
have on the life of his son, Jehoahaz?
- Jehoahaz reigned three months, about long enough to get
his crown fitted correctly. We then see a succession of
kings in Judah after him. Let’s read 2 Chronicles 36:14-16.
- Why does God encourage us to do His will? (This text
says He had “pity” on His people. God knows that
following His way is for our benefit.)
- What was the reaction of the people to God’s Word and
His prophets? (They laughed at them.)
- Which is worse, to have someone disagree with
you or to laugh at you?
- What is the ultimate result of laughing at God?
(Verse 16 tells us there comes a point when
“there is no remedy” against God’s wrath. It is
a sobering thought.)
- The End
- Read 2 Chronicles 36:17-20. Solomon’s temple is gone!
That magnificent, gold covered, house of God. Why would
God allow His temple to be burned and the treasures of His
temple stolen? (God did not live there any more.)
- We see the utter destruction of an entire nation.
Those who survive are taken captive. Is it possible
that this kind of thing can happen to you (me) if we
turn away from God and laugh off His messages of
- Read 2 Chronicles 36:21. To what does God compare the
desolation of Judah? (The Sabbath rest. The Sabbath rest
concept applies to more than the weekly cycle of time, it
also applied to the cultivation of the land. See Leviticus
- I subscribe to the “young earth” school of thought –
that our earth is around 6,000 years old. What ideas
come to mind when you consider that God allowed the
destruction of Judah and then allowed a “Sabbath”
rest for their desecrated land? (The Bible does not
have a specific text to support the entire idea, but
those who speak of the possibility of the soon coming
return of Jesus, so that the righteous spent the
seventh millennium ( Revelation 20:4) in heaven with
Him, are engaged in a line of thinking consistent
with our story. This is not a bizarre idea.)
- Friend, this is a sad lesson. A promising young king who
has been faithful to God is killed. His descendants turn
away from God and laugh at God’s efforts to bring them
back. The result is destruction and slavery. How about
you? Are you paying attention to God’s words? Does the
will of God make a difference in your life? If you are
not seeking God’s will, now is the time to turn back.
- Next Week: We start a new quarter and a new series of lessons
about the Second Coming of Jesus.