Respect for the Younger Generation
2Chr. 34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn aside to the right or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to seek the God of his ancestor David, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the sacred poles, and the carved and the cast images.
Think about this young boy becoming king. He was only eight and ruled until he was thirty-nine. In all his years he worked hard to transform the country. He didn’t wait all that long, beginning by seeking God at the age of sixteen, and planning major transformational projects when he was just twenty. This young leader was able to help bring about the spiritual reformation of his country.
As every generation ages they have trouble handing over leadership to the younger generation. I know that there is concern that they will not know how to lead properly and will not have the respect for the institutions which we may have helped to build. At the same time there are some Josiahs out there — young people whose hearts are right with God and may be able to bring about a greater spiritual revolution than we may have ever imagined.
Josiah had something going for him — he was king! The people were supposed to obey their king so one might think that it was easy for him to bring about the reforms. At the same time, if we read about the history of the people of God, they didn’t always follow their leaders. They were quite notorious for turning and going in different directions even when leadership was trying to be of assistance. What we recognize is that even though he is young, he is effective.
But where did all of this begin? He was a young person who earnestly sought the LORD. He wanted to get to know God and it was out of his personal relationship of knowing God that he was able to reform the country. It didn’t matter his age — it was the power of God at work in him.
Next, he lived into his faith and was willing to be counter-cultural, making major shifts in the lives of his people. He was young, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t know what he was doing.
We have young people today who are passionate about serving the Lord. Some are speaking up and trying to help lead and guide us as a people of faith. Just because they are young doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re talking about. God can use anyone of any age, if they will seek his face. Let’s respect fellow Christ-followers, no matter the age!
Lord, thank you for the young voices who are speaking into our faith today. Amen.
Thank you to Nazarene Publishing House and Keri Mitchell for helping to create and publish Reflecting the Image. This is not a devotional book, but rather a collection of thoughts and stories which lead us in the direction of reflecting Christ. Click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.