Bible Lesson: Josiah Finds the Law of the Lord

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This lesson plan was written for older children and teaches the importance of honoring God’s Word. Please modify this material to best fit the needs of your Sunday school class. We’d love to hear insights from other teachers, leave a comment below to share ideas with other readers.

Lesson Title:   Josiah Finds the Law of the Lord
Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 34:14-21, Matthew 4:4, Psalm 119:9, James 1:22, 1 Timothy 4:11-13, John 8:32
Target Age Group: Older Children
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: One Hour
Image Credits:  Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media

Memory Verse: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32
Gospel Connection: Through this lesson your students will see how King Josiah reacted to finding the Word of the Lord which Israel had lost many years ago.  They will be challenged to look at how they respond and treat God’s word.  They will compare their reactions to Josiah’s and learn how they should respond to God’s word.
Learning Aim: 

  1. Children will learn how they should react to the Bible.
  2. Children will realize the importance that the Bible has in their lives.

Basic Supply List:

  1. Chalk/Dry Erase Board
  2. Writing Utensils
  3. Four pieces of Newspaper
  4. Bible for each student if possible

Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <
Introduction:  Begin the lesson by displaying the question, “What impact should the Bible have in your life?” on the chalkboard (or poster board).  Draw a line down the center of the board.  Have the class answer the question and record their answers on the left side of the board.  Leave this displayed until the end of the class.  At the end of the class ask the question again and record answers on the right side of the board.
Biblical Evidence:
-Say, Today we will be learning about Josiah.  Josiah was the King of Israel and while he was King his servants found the Word of the Lord.  This copy of the law had been lost for many years and as a result Israel was living in sin against God.  Let’s read 2 Chronicles 34:14-21 and see how Josiah reacts to finding the Word of the Lord.
Read 2 Chronicles 34:14-21.  Ask the class how they think Josiah felt when they found the Law.  Help them understand that Josiah rejoiced because Israel had the Law again, but was also devastated because he realized that Israel was living in sin.
-Ask how Josiah responded to reading the Law.  Help them understand that Josiah responded by sending his priests to inquire of the Lord about the book.  He humbly admitted his mistakes and sought to make things right again.
-So, now that we know how Josiah responded to finding the law say, Josiah rejoiced because he finally had the Law of the Lord.  He allowed it to completely change his live and how he did things.  It impacted his entire kingdom because he knew that without God’s word, their kingdom would face desolation.  Thankfully, we have God’s Word readily available to us at all times.  So how do we respond to the Bible and what impact do we let it have on our own lives?
-Explain that since we have the Bible, here are three things that we should do with it.
1. We should read it.  Say, We should respond to the Bible by reading it.  We just can’t learn from God’s Word if we don’t read it.  Look at Matthew 4:4, “Jesus answered, It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  The Bible is more important to us than food.  Food will sustain us in this life, but the Bible feeds our souls and explains how we can have eternal life.  We should make reading the Bible a priority in our lives.  When Josiah found the Book of the Law of the Lord he read it immediately.  He understood the importance of the Book. 
            2.  We should do what it says.  Say, Reading the Bible is good, but we have to go a step further and do what it says.  Psalm 119:9 says, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.”  The Bible guides us and teaching us right from wrong.  The more time that we spend doing what the Bible tells us to do, the less time we will have to sin against God.  We must do what it says.  See what it says in James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”  This is like saying that actions speak louder than words.  Anyone can read the Bible, but if it is really changing your life, when you are going to do what it says.  Josiah did what the Book of the Law told him to do, even though it meant big changes for his entire kingdom. 
3.  We should share the Bible with others.  Say, As soon as Josiah had the Law, he began preparing a way to share the Law with his nation.  He understood that if he kept the law to himself he would be saved, but many others could be saved if he shared it with everyone.  This is the same with us.  The message of the Bible is for everyone and we need to share it with everyone around us.  Let’s read 1 Timothy 4:11-13, “Command and teach these things.  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.”  You are not too young to teach others about Christ, on the contrary, the Bible commands us to continue sharing the message of the Bible until Jesus returns to the Earth.
-Now go back to the board and ask once again what impact the Word of the Lord has on your life.  Allow the class to write what they have learned and on the other side of the board.  Encourage them to ask questions and share what they learned today.
-Close by having the class turn to John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Say, God’s word sets us free because it gives teaches how we can have eternal life.  Israel was living in sin and would have been destroyed if Josiah had not found the Book of the Lord and responded to it correctly.  It set Josiah free and it can set you free too.
Thinking About It: Divide the class into several small groups and encourage them to discuss what impact the Bible has on their lives, versus the impact it had on Josiah’s life. Have them encourage each other to continue reading the word and learning more about God.  It might work best to have girls talk with girls and boys with boys.  When the discussion is coming to an end have all the kids come back together and pray for them, asking God to help them understand the importance of reading his word and making it a priority in their lives. 
Reactions: This game is great for getting the class moving and just having some fun.  Students will compete against each other in this game and only one student will win.  Call two students up at a time.  The teacher will call out a scenario, and the students must act out an appropriate reaction to the scenario.  For example, if the teacher says Josiah discovers the Law of the Lord, the students must act surprised, excited or worried.  The teacher can pick the winner or the class can vote by clapping.  The winner moves on to the next round.  Keep playing until only one child is left.
Getting the Word Out:  Divide the kids into two groups for this relay game.  Give each group two pieces of newspaper. The newspaper should all be about the same size.  The children must run from one side of the paying area to the other, while only stepping on the newspaper.  They will have to put the paper on the floor, step on it, then put down the other piece and step on it, then move the piece behind them, and keep going until they have made it to the finish line.  Then they will run back and give the newspaper to the next child in line.  Whichever team finishes first is the winner.  Remind the students that a newspaper is used to share news with everyone, and they should share the word of the Lord with everyone.
Erase a Word: Use this game to memorize the Bible verse.  Write John 8:32 on the board.  Have the class say it together. Then erase one word at a time, saying the verse each time.  When all of the words have been erased, challenge the class to say the verse from memory.
Conclusion:  Close by challenging the class to make reading the Bible a priority this week. Encourage them to share what they are reading with a friend.  Pray for them, asking God to work in their lives and thanking Him for the gift of the Bible that He has given us. 

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