Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
I read the WRONG Scripture passage this morning. Let me explain.
I misread the reference for todays reading in my Pause Bible Reading Plan. I went to SECOND Kings chapter 11 instead of FIRST Kings chapter 11. Oddly, I was not only an entire book off, but I later realized I was also an entire day off.
Bottom line: I was just off.
Don’t judge me. 🙂
However, after reading the wrong chapter, on the wrong day, and then reading all the right chapters, I realized that perhaps the wrong chapters were actually right for me, right then! Get what I mean?
SECOND Kings 11 and 12 tells the story of King Joash. He was only 7 years old when he began to reign as King. Yep, you read that right.
I’m not sure about you, but I certainly wasn’t “ready to reign” at that age. To be fair, neither was Joash. He undoubtedly had advisors, coaches, teachers, parents, and palace authorities to assist hm. But it’s interesting nevertheless to consider the life of this Boy King who began to reign at 7 years old.
Here’s another number to throw at you…SIX.
“He [Joash] remained hidden at the temple of the Lord for six years…” 2 Kings 11:3
Did you catch that? He was hidden in the temple for six years, then at the age of seven he became King. The backstory is that Joash’s father, the previous King, had died, and out of anger or grief, Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah wanted to destroy the whole royal family by killing off each descendant. But a woman named Jehosheba saw fit to HIDE Joash in the temple for six years so he wouldn’t be killed.
Pretty smart lady.
Her decision and foresight to keep Joash “Hidden in the House of God” allowed this young man to become King and to rule righteously for 40 years. During that time King Joash brought about necessary repairs to the Temple. Sure, he wasn’t perfect (who is?), and he certainly could have done more to remove some of the “high places” where the people offered sacrifices to foreign gods. But, for the most part he was a righteous man.
Perhaps it was because he was Hidden in the House.
This “wrong” Scripture came at the “right” time for me. Yesterday I spent a few hours at our Middle School Camp. The week before that I had the honor of preaching the Word at our High School Camp. And a few weeks before that Denise and I were blessed beyond measure to spend a few hours at our Kids Camp.
Here’s what I know to be true: there is nothing more important than for us to ensure that our young people are Hidden in the House.
Now in my 10th year of being the Lead Pastor at West Salem Foursquare, I can so clearly observe this spiritual dynamic. Students that I remember having attended kids camp years ago, are now at middle and high school camp. They are serving as cabin leaders for our elementary and middle school students. They are leading worship at camp AND at our weekend services. Some have even come onto our church staff!
Friends, let’s keep our young people Hidden in the House. Let’s consistently and creatively find ways for them to keep growing within our/their church family. Here are some ways to do just that.
1. Invest in young people: prayerfully, relationally, emotionally and spiritually.
2. Be a church that is open to change. A rut is nothing more than a grave with the ends kicked out.
3. Remember that we’re a multi-generational congregation. Yes, a church of “Abrahams, Isaacs and Jacobs…however, the Abrahams will most likely have to pay the bills” and that’s OK because it’s an investment with eternal implications!
4. Interview a young person. Ask them some questions about their generation (stuff you don’t understand or is frustrating) and let them ask you some questions as well.
5. Ask some students to “shadow” you while you serve at church then let them do it on their own, while you find another ministry!
6. Speak encouraging words to young people when you see something good. There’s so much “bemoaning” the negative within this generation, so let’s be people that point out the positive!
7. Pray for our children and student ministry pastors.
Well…looks like I read the RIGHT Scripture after all!
Grace & Peace,