179 - The Book Is Found
JUNE 28 - Nº 179 2 Kings 22:3 – 23:3; 2 Chronicles 34:3-33
Josiah was only eight years old when he became the king of Judah. He obeyed God from the day he was crowned until he died 31 years later. When he was 20 years old, he tore down the altars his father Amon had built and smashed the idols he had encouraged others to worship. He scattered the pieces over the graves of the worshipers. When he was 26 years old, Josiah knew it was time to repair God’s Temple. He found honest men to supervise the renovation. Then he sent his secretary to Hilkiah, the high priest, with this message: “Give all the money that has been collected and stored in the Temple to the building supervisors so they can hire workers and buy supplies.” As he was gathering the money that had been stored in different rooms in the Temple, Hilkiah found the Book of the Law of the Lord. It was a written version of the laws God had given through Moses and the covenant that the Israelites had agreed to at Mount Sinai (see #49 - February 18). Moses had commanded that it should always be kept beside the Ark in the Holy of Holies (see Deuteronomy 31:24-26). Instead, it had been buried in a dusty storeroom. When Josiah’s secretary went to check on how things were going, Hilkiah handed him the Book he had found. The secretary returned to the king and gave him a progress report on the repairs. Then he showed King Josiah the Book that had been found and began to read it out loud. When Josiah heard what was written, he became very upset. He was so grieved that he ripped his clothes. He exclaimed, “God must be very angry with us! Our ancestors made a contract with Him, but we have not kept it! Go find someone who can help us understand what we should do.” Josiah’s secretary, along with the high priest and some other leaders, left to see if they could find a woman named Huldah. Her husband worked in the palace, and the leaders knew that God often spoke through her. They asked her what they should do. Huldah responded, “Tell the king that this is what the Lord says: ‘Because the people have left me so many times to worship false gods, I am going to bring disaster on Judah and its people—just as it says in the Book. Nothing can stop this judgment.’” Then she added, “I have another message for you to take to the king. God says, ‘When you heard the words of this Book, your heart was sad, and you humbled yourself. You ripped your clothes and wept. I heard your cries, and I saw your heart. Therefore, I am not going to send disaster to Judah while you are the king. I will wait until after you have been buried.’” The men took Huldah’s answer back to the king. When he heard it, Josiah gathered all the elders of Judah together and told them what had happened. They invited everyone in the nation to come to the Temple. They gathered in the courtyard and listened as Josiah read the entire Book out loud. When he was finished, King Josiah publicly committed to keep all of God’s commandments. And all the people of Judah stood in agreement. They remained faithful during the rest of Josiah’s reign.
God’s words are very powerful—not only when He speaks them out loud in Person, but when they are written and read as well. They are recorded for us in the Bible. Reading and listening to God’s words can change our hearts and our minds—and ultimately our circumstances. But we must believe them and follow them if we want His blessings!