The Lost Bible

by John Knapp II based on 2 Kings 22 and 23

The very first Bible
God gave to the Jews
Was kept in the temple
For all men to use. 

But since nobody cared
To stop and page through it,
The Bible got lost
Before anyone knew it! 

So at temple they worshiped
The stars and the trees,
The sun and the moon—
Whatever they pleased. 

But one day at temple
The priest said, “What’s this?”
When he found the old Bible
That nobody missed. 

All day the scribe read
From that book to the king,
Not knowing the grief
That God’s message would bring. 

“We’ve done everything wrong!”
The king cried and arose
From his throne in great sorrow
And ripped up his clothes. 

“No more will we worship
The stars and the trees,
The sun and the moon—
Whatever we please! 

“We’ll only serve God
In the way He has shown!”
With that the king dressed
And got back on his throne. 

He next called his people
From far and from wide,
And read from this Bible
Then to God he cried. 

The king prayed to heaven
And promised he would
Serve only the true God
Just as he should. 

The king cleansed the temple
Bad idols he burned 
To show every person 
God’s lesson he’d learned. 

The Good King

The king in this poem was named Josiah. He became king of Judah when he was just 8 years old. Josiah’s father and grandfather had been very bad kings who used God’s temple to worship false gods.

After 18 years as king, Josiah decided to repair God’s temple. The priest found the missing Bible, and the scribe read it to the king. Then King Josiah knew God must be very angry with His people, because they had been worshiping things instead of God.

King Josiah called the people together and read God’s book to them. The king said they must not worship the sun, moon and stars anymore. They would only worship God. The people agreed.

Then King Josiah burned all the idols. He pulled down and smashed the places where people had worshiped false gods. He led the people to celebrate the Passover Feast, remembering how God had brought the people out of slavery in Egypt.

God was very pleased with King Josiah and blessed him.

“Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength” (2 Kings 23:25, NIV).

Your turn! Even though King Josiah was younger than many of the people he ruled, he led them to worship the one, true God. How can you be a good leader like King Josiah?

This article originally appeared in the July 2009 issue of Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. magazine. Copyright © 2009 John Knapp II. Used by permission. Illustration © David Hohn.