“Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, ‘I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord’… When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes .” 2 Kings 22:8,11, NASB.
Can you imagine losing your Bible and not missing it? In front of me this AM I have six copies of the Scripture (not counting the four electronic devices with Bible on them). Misplacing the Bible and not missing it seems foreign to me. At the same time, if you go back to the era of this Scripture, it is less of a “stretch” to see how it could be misplaced.
I wonder though…do you physically have to lose the Bible to really LOSE the Bible? I think not…and perhaps our shame is even greater than those in Jerusalem in the last millennium before Christ…since we have it so readily accessible.
Josiah followed after his father and grandfather as king. He was considered a good king whereas his father and grandfather pegged the needle on evil. Grand-dad (Manasseh) undid all of Hezekiah’s reforms in a generation and went as far as erecting idols within the Temple walls before the Lord. Josiah’s dad (Amon) was no better and lived only two years before he was assassinated. But Josiah…he was a good king. He reversed the course of evil in the kingdom (mainly because a priest was his chief counselor–since Josiah was only 8 years old when he become king).
Still, when he heard the words fo the law he responded in repentance. What was different about hearing these words? Well it seems clear that he had heard about the Law of God since he had enacted many reforms and was prioritizing the renovation work at the Temple to restore worship of Yahweh to its rightful prominence. He was not unfamiliar with the Law. Still, when he heard the words read to him…he responded in humble repentance. Why?
Because the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword…able to discern between motive and action of man. It is powerful and never returns void! The Word of God is POWERFUL and always accomplishes God’s will in its proclamation.
So…if this is true (and it is even if we do not affirm or agree)…why do WE not know it better? Why is it not the first place we turn for wisdom or advice or guidance…rather than opinion polls on Facebook for instance? Why is it the least read book in our home? Even in my experience in college and grad school/Seminary…we read from the Bible daily but the bulk of my assigned reading was the writings of man ABOUT the Bible…not the Bible itself.
I appreciate the fact that there are great pieces of literature and helps in biblical understanding. I read them and grow in doing so…but if you know “Experiencing God” better than you know the experience with God in His Word…you have missed the point.
Here’s a thought…if God’s Word is so powerful and possesses the promise of its limitless ability to accomplish God’s purpose…why not make it your mission to know it as well or better than the pastor? Just a thought…