Waking Up to the Word
Saturday - May 22nd
Scripture to Read Today: 2 Kings 23:1-7
He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant,
which had been found in the temple of the LORD.
The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant
in the presence of the LORD—
to follow the LORD and keep his commands,
statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul.
2 Kings 23:2-3
About 2600 years ago, there was a young king of Judah named Josiah. Josiah's grandfather was King Manasseh, who for 55 years was one of the evilest of all the kings Judah ever had. Manasseh allowed the land of Israel to be filled with idolatry. He encouraged worship to those idols that was nothing but debauchery.
Josiah's father Amon was also evil, though he reigned for only two years. When Josiah was only eight years old, his father was murdered, and the young Josiah became king. So, from the age of eight on, Josiah grew up without a father. He would miss the opportunity of being nurtured to be king throughout his formative years.
God worked in young Josiah's heart despite his upbringing and the other influences around him. 2 Kings 22:2 says that Josiah "did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left." For nearly 55 years, God's temple in Jerusalem had not been used for worship because of the idolatry in Judah. In the 18th year of his reign, at age 26, King Josiah sent his assistant to order the priests to clean out the temple and prepare it for use again.
While cleaning out the temple, the priests discovered a scroll containing the Book of the Law (probably the first five books of the Bible). They had found the Bible (the portion completed at that time) that had been discarded and lost for over half a century. Josiah's assistant read the scroll of God's Word aloud to Josiah at the king's request. When Josiah heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in humility and repentance. He declared, "Great is the wrath of the LORD that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us."
King Josiah then called the people together outside the Temple. Josiah himself read the newly recovered Bible scroll to the people of Judah. According to 2 Kings 23:2-3, Josiah committed his life and his kingdom to the Lord. As soon as he made that public commitment, Josiah witnessed all the people of his kingdom do the same in response to the declaration of God's Word and the testimony of their king.
While the Scriptures have not been lost, we need to make a fresh commitment to God's Word today. In the past 13-14 months, we have heard many voices declaring things. The voices of the right and the left can be loud and exhausting. We need to spend more time hearing from God and His Word than we do the myriad of voices in our world. Take time to read Psalm one a few times this week. Let a beautiful and straightforward passage like this speak into your life!
Josiah and His generation woke up to the Word of God for their generation and for their lives. We need to wake up to what God has to say to us today!
God's Word should shape the journey ahead for us. We need to read it and commit ourselves to live it out!