Can you imagine being friends with someone and not talking with them ever? That wouldn’t be much of a friendship, would it? Imagine if you called yourself “best friends” with someone, but didn’t talk to them for 75 years. Clearly, that would not be a real relationship. God gave the Israelites a book of the Law for them because he LOVED them, and wanted what was best for them. In the days of the kings of Israel (like in the story we studied this week), people didn’t have their own copy of the Law to read and follow. They depended on the kings to read it to them and to teach them what God said. So if the kings ignored God’s words, the people did too. God wanted a relationship with His people (just like He wants a relationship with us), but the kings of the day had shut it down.
We looked at the story of a young king this week: Josiah! In 2 Chronicles 34, the story of Josiah is told, who started his rule at age 8! That’s the same age as some of your kids out there- can you imagine them running a nation?! Josiah ended up being one of the wiser kings of Israel, in part because of what happens in this chapter. Josiah finds the book of the Law that God had written (probably Deuteronomy), and read it aloud to the people. When he realized how far they had drifted from God’s commands, he was sad and ripped his clothes. Then Josiah declared that God’s word was good and trustworthy enough to be followed! He led the Israelites back to the God who loved them.
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At dinner this week, look at Deuteronomy 6:4-5, 7:9, and 10:12. What do these verses tell you about God? What do they tell you God wants you to do? Why does God want us to love Him first above anything else?
While driving in the car this week, start a discussion about idols. What is an idol? What do you think idols were back in the days of King Josiah? What do you think some could be today? (money, success, popularity, being the best at something, having the most stuff, sports, etc.)
During bedtime this week, ask your kids how they can know God loves them. What are some examples even from today? (A pretty sunset, fun time with a friend, good news, etc.) Look up a verse in the Bible together that will help you remember God is good and He loves you! Feel free to pick any verse that reminds you of God’s love, like Psalm 103:11. Write down the verse you picked and put it up where you and your child can see it every morning to remember.
Josiah and the Israelites didn’t have the opportunity to read God’s word anytime they wanted like we do. They didn’t even know what it said! We get to pull out a Bible at any moment, or even online anywhere we are, but sometimes we need to remember God’s words even faster. This is why we hide God’s word in our hearts through memorizing verses! Practice this month’s memory verse together with your family, and then pick random times throughout the week to see who knows it best!
Thank God for the gift of His Word & that you can read it for yourself. Ask Him to help you identify the idols that you are placing in front of Him so that you are freed to love Him with all your heart, soul & strength.
Next week we continue studying the character trait of LOVE, and we will talk about how knowing God better helps us love others! We will look at the lives of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20.
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