Grow Deep - Heroes Edition Volume 6 week 1

Week 1: July 22-28

King Josiah/the Prophet Jeremiah

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5

I don’t know how many times the words of this well-known verse have echoed around in my head. Sometimes I’m comforted by them. Sometimes I find them unnerving. Either way, the entire notion is incredible: that God knew me (some translations say chose me) before I was born … before I was born! Even if I think back to my earliest memories, I can’t recall anything that happened anywhere close to that time.

One of the things I like to remind myself and others is that God creates with intentionality. Whoever you are, He made you because He wanted you. Think about that … He wanted you! However grand or humble your beginnings, God knew you and chose you, wanted and created you. Nothing about you was an accident or a mistake. AND, your circumstances are no mystery to Him, either. As it was with Jeremiah, Josiah, and many other Biblical characters, God calls us even when we think we aren’t cut out for His work: “Oh no, Lord, I’m too _______ (you fill in the blank)!” God’s Word doesn’t say that He will always prepare you ahead of time. Instead His Word says that He will equip the called. That’s me and that’s you! On top of that, His Word says that He will complete what He began in me and what He began in you. He will complete it!

There’s a word that describes this process of accepting God’s call and stepping out where He leads: faith. Well, guess what? He provides that for you, too! So let’s do the math together. God knew you before you existed, He wanted you and created you, He is not surprised by your circumstances, He calls you to know Him and to partner with Him in His work, He will equip you for His work, He has given you the faith to walk it out, and He will complete what He began in you.

This is the God we serve: He knows you, He loves you and He even likes you. How will you respond when He calls you?

Sunday, July 22
Read: 2 Kings 21:19-22:2
In the middle of a long line of Judean kings who worshiped false gods and idols, the Lord raises up Josiah, an eight-year-old king who leads His people back to the one true God.

Reflect: In what ways was Josiah different from the kings who went before him? Think about what it means to “do right in the eyes of the Lord.” How does faith in Jesus relate to this?

For the Family: King Amon was a young king who thought he would rule for many years, but his rule lasted for only a short time. He disobeyed God and wronged many people. Sometimes when we do things that are wrong, we think we can apologize for them later. But how does the Bible call us to live? Take time to thank God for His love and forgiveness. Take time to do something kind for your family or apologize and ask for forgiveness from a friend. Do it today!

Monday, July 23
Read: Jeremiah 1
The Lord calls Jeremiah to prophesy and speak repentance to His people. Though reluctant at first, Jeremiah is equipped by the Lord Himself, who strengthens and emboldens the prophet for the task at hand.

Reflect: In what ways did the Lord prepare Jeremiah for this mission? What was Jeremiah’s main objection? What are your own objections when God calls on you? Ask God to strengthen and embolden you.

For the Family: How did Jeremiah feel about being called to be a prophet? Do you ever get nervous to do something because you think you are too young? God promised Jeremiah that He would show him where to go and what to say. How does this promise still apply to God’s children today?

Tuesday, July 24

Read: 2 Kings 22:3-20
In this passage, King Josiah seeks to restore God’s temple and God’s law and ultimately, through repentance, also seeks to restore the hearts of the people. King Josiah seeks to turn His people back to God Himself.

Reflect: How does Josiah come to realize his need for repentance? Compare God’s response to the people with His response to Josiah. How does faith in Jesus change this dynamic? Ask God about areas of your life where repentance may be required.

For the Family: Imagine how Josiah must have felt when he was told he would not face disaster because he repented when he heard God’s Word! How do you feel when you sin against someone? How do you feel once you repent and are forgiven? Thank God today for showing you His unending mercy and forgiveness.

Wednesday, July 25

Read: Jeremiah 3:6-25
As he did with Judah, Jeremiah turns now to Israel and speaks the Word of the Lord – a word of repentance, of turning away from idolatry and turning their hearts back to God.

Reflect: How is the sin of Israel different from that of Judah? What relationships between God and Israel are specifically named in this passage? How are these relationships like our relationship to Jesus?

For the Family: How do you feel when you disobey your parents? Israel was God’s chosen people. They disobeyed Him over and over. In spite of their disobedience, He never gave up on them. What picture of God do you see in this passage?

Thursday, July 26

Read: 2 Kings 23:1-23
Josiah renews the covenant between the people of Judah and the Lord, and then proceeds to destroy all the altars and priests of the idols and false gods that were established in the high places of the land.

Reflect: What is a covenant? Why is it important that ALL the symbols of idolatry be destroyed? How does this passage point you to Jesus?

For the Family: After King Josiah read the Word of God, he made a covenant before the Lord to walk in His ways. Read verse 3 again and listen to Josiah’s covenant. How should our lives reflect this covenant today? What virtues did Josiah exhibit when he turned from his wicked ancestors’ ways and began walking with the Lord? 

Friday, July 27

Read: 2 Kings 23:24-24:4
King Josiah finishes the work of destroying the symbols of idolatry, but he does not live to see the punishment God has reserved for the people of Judah. Ultimately the king could not save the people; he could only temporarily abate God’s anger.

Reflect: In this passage, which commandment is Josiah specifically noted as fulfilling? What is the significance of the restoration of the Passover celebrations? Reflect on a time when God changed your heart.

For the Family: Josiah received a message from God that even though he repented, there was no preventing the ruin of Jerusalem. What did he do? Have you had situations where it feels like there is nothing to do but give up? How can we use Josiah’s attitude of doing his duty and trusting God at the same time as an example in our lives?

Saturday, July 28

Read: Jeremiah 32
In what appears to be the final days of Judah, the Lord leads Jeremiah to buy a field. Though destruction by the Babylonians seemed imminent, this field represented hope and the restoration of the relationship between God and His people.

Reflect: Think of a time or situation when you struggled with your faith in God’s ability to help you. How does this Scripture passage challenge you? How does it encourage you?

For the Family: In the beginning of this passage, Jeremiah is in jail for foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem. How do you think he felt when he had to tell the king the prophesy God gave him? How does Jeremiah show integrity? Sometimes we have to do hard things, but having integrity means we are able to be true to God and ourselves. How can you show integrity today?