2 Kings 22:11–13
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: “Go and enquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”
Written by: Larry Van Laar
At times, it is easy to think that God’s Word has been written down for us for our individual knowledge and spirituality. But what if knowing the Word of God, reading it out loud, and doing what it said could change a nation, stave off destruction, or repair a family? What if it could put a hedge of protection around those you care for most? Can it? Just ask Josiah.
Josiah was eight years old when he became king—the third king in his family. His father and grandfather before him were two of the most wicked kings that ever ruled in Jerusalem. Yet, Josiah, scripture says, “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. . .Not turning aside to the right or the left.”
In Josiah’s 18th year of reign, he raised money to repair the temple that had been taken over by pagan worshipers, the homeless, rats, and dust, and in doing so they found the book of the law—they found a Bible. All of Jerusalem had suffered for years under the brutality of other nations and Josiah’s father and grandfather. God was bringing this disaster upon all of Israel because of their blatant disobedience. They had walked away from the one true God. However, Josiah dusted off this old crusty book and began to obey it. He led his nation to serve Yahweh once again and God relented His punishment upon Israel. But this was only until the next evil king came along—and then God poured out his wrath once again.
God does notice you. He cares for you. He cares for the things you care about. His Word is meant to guide you, care for you, and give you hope. In the case of Josiah, God’s Word—and Josiah’s obedience to it—staved off destruction for a nation. Maybe He is calling you to break out the dusty ol’ book and walk in obedience.
Thought of the day: Josiah shows us that even at a young age we can have a large influential impact on those around us when we know God’s Word and allow it to be our guide. Josiah also shows us that when we live in obedience to His living Word, there is blessing that comes from it that also spills out to others. And because of his commitment to his people and his commitment to God, the Lord said to Josiah, “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken . . . I also have heard you,’ declares the Lord.” (2 Kings 22:19) God’s Word is living and active. What are you doing to get it into you?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, come. Fill me with a desire to know Your Word. Help me to understand it fully and give me the wisdom to walk in it.