Today’s Bible reading is 2 Kings 22 and Acts 27.
“I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” (2 Kings 22:8)
How dark must life have been in Judah for the high priest to have to notify the king’s secretary that God’s Book had been found? And of all places, in the temple of the LORD? How had it been lost in the first place?
Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. (2 Kings 22:10)
How many of God’s commandments did King Josiah hear–at that reading–for the first time? In what ways had the temple of the LORD been neglected during Josiah’s reign? How much of God’s covenant with Israel had been completely forgotten by his forefathers?
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. (2 Kings 22:11)
The lost Book had led to a lost people and a lost king. But notice the connection God draws between his Book and Josiah’s heart.
“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard how I spoke…” (2 Kings 22:18-19)
Think about that. Long ago, God had preserved words in a Book. A time came in young Josiah’s life when he personally heard those words read. And the reading of those ancient words had a profound impact on his heart.
Can’t the same be true thousands of years later? Isn’t this how our Creator continues to work? The words of the LORD (now fully revealed) can still be found in God’s Book. Hearts can still be touched and transformed by the words in that Book. Men and women are still expected to humble themselves before God when they hear how he has spoken in his Book. A life-giving connection continues to exist between God’s Book and human hearts.
Those are good reasons to spend time reading the Bible today.
May its living influence not be “lost” in minivan backseats, on dusty shelves, and empty pews this week.