‘I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD’ – 2 Chronicles 34.15From Dave Atkinson:
It was great to be encouraged and reminded, in Toni Clark’s sermon on Sunday, that although we can’t see Jesus in person, we can know him through the Bible; from the Old Testament Scripture that looked forward to Jesus’ incarnation, and from the writers of the New Testament who were first hand witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.
It was another reminder of the importance of reading the Bible so that we can understand God’s saving love for us, and how he expects us to worship him wholeheartedly in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We say it often in sermons, and we have emphasised it several times in these blogs, that reading and knowing what God’s words in the Bible say and mean, are an absolute necessity if we are committed followers of Jesus. If we don’t read the truth of the Bible, we won’t know the truth of the Bible and so we will not live by the truth of the Bible.
We are told in 2 Chronicles chapters 34-35 about King Josiah of Judah. When he came to power he committed to following God’s ways and he set about restoring the temple, removing idols and leading his people back to God. The previous two kings had, over a period of 50-60 years, allowed the temple to fall into disrepair and the laws laid out by God for the people to fall into disrepute.
During the clear up exercise, and in what was a sad indictment of the people’s relationship with God, Hilkiah, the priest, found the Book of the Law (probably what we now know as the book of Deuteronomy) among the rubbish in the temple. It was read to King Josiah who realised that their failure to read, know and live by God’s Word had resulted in, what the writer of Chronicles vividly refers to as, detestable practices and the worship of detestable idols. In repentance and humility, Josiah led the people back to God.
I doubt that your Bible is among a pile of rubbish, but it may be a while since it was opened. Or, perhaps, recent reading or listening has been rushed and without much thought? It happens to us all – we get busy, we get distracted and before we know it, we can forget how precious and delightful and vital God’s Word is. This story of God’s people is a stark reminder that less time following God’s Word means more time being influenced by culture, resulting in our priorities becoming skewed, and our relationship with the Lord affected.
Can I encourage you to find God’s Word and meditate on and delight in it because, as the writer of Psalm 1 says, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water” – and that, in turn, will help us bear fruit for Jesus.