- 2 Chronicles 34:1-2 (NKJV) Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
Sonja and I are in that “grandparent” stage of life. While we love our children and their spouses with all our hearts, the focus at Christmas has shifted from our children to their children. So one of the leading questions of the Christmas season for Sonja and me is: “What should we get the grandchildren?”
With that in mind, I ran across the story of Manasseh, king of Judah. Manasseh was one of the most wicked and all-around bad kings Judah ever had (maybe the worse). Predictably, upon his death his son Amon took right up where he left all (like father—like son). But what followed took me by surprise. Amon’s son, Josiah, (Manasseh’s grandson) turned out to be one of the most righteous and all-around good kings Judah ever had (maybe the best). How did that happen?
Well I did a little math which I will not bore you with but the essence of it is that Manasseh had a late life conversion and returned passionately to the God of his fathers. It just so happens that his last six years of life coincided with Josiah’s first six years of life. Is it too much think that a godly “papa” broke the moral downward spiral of the House of David by passing on his faith to his grandson?
I do know that in the Hebrew culture of that time it was the responsibility of grandfathers to teach their children and grandchildren the righteous standards of God (that is one of the reasons the elderly were so honored in their culture).
History records that Amon was assassinated after only two years as king. Following him on the throne, age eight, was his son Josiah—having spent the first six years of his life playing around the feet of a godly grandfather–that had to have had an impact.
The point is this: whether parent or grandparent, don’t forget the greatest gift you absolutely must give your little ones. More important than the gifts under the tree, is being sure your children know the story behind the tree.
A whole lot is riding on that—who knows, like with Josiah, maybe even the future of our nation.