The context of the one described as being “yet a boy” tells us he was sixteen years old. Who was he? What did he do? In 2 Chronicles 34 we read about a really young boy who “was eight years old when he began to reign” (verse 1). His father Amon had died after reigning only two years but he was an ungodly king, like his grandfather Manasseh of whom it is said, “The LORD spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they paid no attention” (33:10).
These days Lord speaks to every generation through His written word, but few pay it any attention. But this sixteen year old boy, “in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father” (verse 3). When he was 20 he started to take action, destroying all the false places of worship. At his command, “they chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence” (verse 4). When he was 26 he gave orders to repair the Temple and make it fit for use in the worship of the LORD.
In the process of doing this, Shaphan the secretary reported to him, “I have found the book of the Law in the house of the LORD” (verse 15). After it had been read before him “the king sent and gathered together all the elders” (verse 29); then the King himself “read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the covenant” (verse 30).
The result was a great reformation! What a difference it makes when God’s word is read with intent and purpose by a heart that is seeking to know God and develop a relationship with him. How great is the need for such a reformation today. In those days it was initiated by the king as we will read tomorrow. But today it has to start with the individual and God has seen to it that His word is available in all languages. It will be read diligently by those who are alert and see the need to seek God. Those who are ready to practice the result of such a searching will make sure they read it.