Rediscover the Word of God this year
In the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, an account is given of a young king that stood out from a long list of prior kings that often has the description “he did evil in the sight of the Lord.” In chapter 22 we are introduced to King Josiah who inherited the throne of Judah at age 8. Josiah's description is that “he did what was pleasing in the Lord's sight.” Josiah was a good man and a good king, desperately trying to undo what so many evil kings had instituted before him.
In what seemed a mundane administrative chore, King Josiah instructed his court secretary Shaphan and the High Priest Hilkiah to go through the Temple closets and do an inventory, which evidently had not been done for a long time, for the purpose of restoring the Temple. After years of corruption, it is probable that hordes of money and treasure had been garnered off the books by gatekeepers and priests.
But that's not really what the story is about! Shockingly, the High Priest Hilkiah finds the sacred Book of Law in the process which had been unused and forgotten. Excitedly, Hilkiah shows Shaphan who reads it from cover to cover, then runs to show it to King Josiah. Josiah reads the text and is filled with remorse, tearing his tunic. To see how far Judah had fallen away from the Will of God broke his heart.
Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, "I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD."
And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan who read it. Shaphan the scribe came to the king and brought back word to the king and said, "Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the LORD."
Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read it in the presence of the king. When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes. (2 Kings 22:8-11)
There's a beautiful grace that overlays this entire moment, though. Only the priests, and most importantly the High Priest, were supposed to have access to the sacred Book of Law. It had been so long that protocol had been forgotten. Shaphan should not have read the scroll, technically. But God gave some grace so that this sacred text of Moses could be brought back to the forefront. Josiah would use this rediscovered text to bring revival to Judah.
Here's my question -what were the priests and the High Priest doing before without the Book of Law? I'm sure they kept themselves busy, but were they doing God's Will or their own? What did the teach and instruct from? How did they learn about the Promises of God and Blood Covenant? How did they issue Godly justice without the instruction manual?
How do we live today without the Word of God in our lives? Has your Bible been hidden on some bookshelf or closet? Has it been years since you've studied it? Is the Word of God your instruction manual or just a book of stories?
Rediscover the Word of God this year! Aspire to dig into your Bible and read. Let this ancient but living text inspire and renew you. That's where revival often begins.