Two long blasts. The old man scratched his head. The city watchman had just sounded two long blasts on the horn. It had been years since that signal had been sent. “What does it mean?” He asked himself.
Looking down at his hands he counted on his fingers and said, “one long blast means the king is returning. Three short blasts means that the military needs to gather. But two long blasts… I don’t remember.” As he mumbled to himself, suddenly the herald cried out, “everyone to the temple!”
“Ah, yes! That’s the sound that means we must assemble at the temple! How long has it been since everyone gathered together at the temple? Too long, apparently.”
Shaking out his apron, he turned to his wife and said, “Grandma, go get Daniel, we must go to the temple together today. King Josiah must have an important announcement to make.”
Hand in hand with his wife and grandson, Eliam and his family shuffled through the narrow streets of Jerusalem to the grounds of what used to be a majestic house of God. Now, it was falling into disrepair and had been taken over by the priests of Baal. The gold on the outside still glinted in the sun and it was obvious that some work was being done to spruce things up, but it wasn’t anything like it used to be when he was a boy.
Standing in a growing crowd of people at the base of the temple steps, Eliam sense an excitement among the people that he had not experienced in a very long time. Looking up, he noticed King Josiah, a spry, young man, pacing at the top of the steps. Next to him were Hilkiah the high priest of Yahweh and Shaphan the court secretary. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen a king talking with a priest.
At the time the crowd stopped growing, Shaphan stretched out his hands to quiet the people down. Then, with a loud voice, he began to explain that during the recent temple remodeling project, some scrolls had been found: old scrolls that contained the book of the law! Stepping aside, he motioned for King Josiah to step up onto a small platform holding only a table. On the table, the scrolls lay open.
The king cleared his throat and began to read. He read from the word of God to all of the people who gathered in Jerusalem that day. He read words unfamiliar to many. Words that brought conviction and comfort. Words that reminded these Israelites of what the Lord had done for them and what He expected from them in return. After nearly two hours of reading, Josiah finished reading all the words of the covenant.
Leaving his place on the platform, King Josiah made his way to the pillar at the corner of the temple and began to make a covenant with the Lord. He committed to following the Lord and keeping His commands, his decrees, and His statutes. He committed to carrying out the words of the covenant completely. He committed to leading in a way that pleased the Lord. He committed to removing the idols from Israel. Turning to the crowd, he asked “do you agree to follow me and keep this covenant with the Lord?” In unison the crowd responded “All that the Lord has said, we will do!”
As the priest dismissed the crowd, Daniel looked up at his grandfather and said, “Grandpa, I want to be like King Josiah when I grow up!”
This story is fiction, but based loosely on the events in Daniel and 2 Kings. To read the scripture that inspired this story, click here!
Photo taken from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Solomon’s_Temple,_Museum_f%C3%BCr_Hamburgische_Geschichte,_Hamburg,_Germany_IMG_5844_edit.jpg