Oh To Be Wise Meditations
The Book of the Law found. May the book of the Law be found in our nation today and in our hearts. Listen to this story found in Scripture 2 Kings 22:
After Josiah had been king for 18 years, he told Shaphan,+ one of his highest officials:
Go to the LORD's temple 4and ask Hilkiah the high priest to collect from the guards all the money that the people have donated. 5Tell Hilkiah to give it to the men supervising the repairs to the temple. They can use some of the money to pay 6the workers, and with the rest of it they can buy wood and stone for the repair work. 7 They are honest, so we won't ask them to keep track of the money.
8While Shaphan was at the temple, Hilkiah handed him a book and said, “Look what I found here in the temple—The Book of God's Law.”
Shaphan read it, 9then went back to Josiah and reported, “Your officials collected the money in the temple and gave it to the men supervising the repairs. 10But there's something else, Your Majesty. The priest Hilkiah gave me this book.” Then Shaphan read it out loud.
11When Josiah heard what was in The Book of God's Law, he tore his clothes in sorrow. 12At once he called together Hilkiah, Shaphan, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, and his own servant Asaiah. He said, 13“The LORD must be furious with me and everyone else in Judah, because our ancestors did not obey the laws written in this book. Go find out what the LORD wants us to do.”
14The five men left at once and went to talk with Huldah the prophet. Her husband was Shallum,+ who was in charge of the king's clothes. Huldah lived in the northern part of Jerusalem, and when they met in her home, 15she said:
You were sent here by King Josiah, and this is what the LORD God of Israel says to him: 16“Josiah, I am the LORD! And I will see to it that this country and everyone living in it will be destroyed. It will happen just as this book says. 17The people of Judah have rejected me. They have offered sacrifices to foreign gods and have worshiped their own idols. I cannot stand it any longer. I am furious.
18“Josiah, listen to what I am going to do. 19I noticed how sad you were when you read that this country and its people would be completely wiped out. You even tore your clothes in sorrow, and I heard you cry. 20So I will let you die in peace, before I destroy this place.”
The men left and took Huldah's answer back to Josiah.
When King Josiah heard about the book, he was very sad. He asked his officials to discover what God wanted him to do. Josiah realized that God was very angry with the people in Judah. They had not obeyed God’s laws. Josiah wanted to do something so that God would not still be angry with them. Josiah wanted to hear what he should do about that. The officials went to talk to Huldah, a female prophet. It seems that her husband was well-known. He had an important job, perhaps in the temple as our translation says, or perhaps in the palace. And maybe that is how the officials knew about Huldah.
Huldah told Josiah that God would destroy Jerusalem. And God would punish its people. The people had made him very angry because they had worshipped *idols. Their evil deeds had become so severe that they could not avoid punishment.
God forgive a nation that makes itself an enemy of God. We as Christians all we can do is weep and ask for mercy as King Josiah did. We learn from the Bible how God wants us to behave. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 tells us that the Bible is God’s message to us. Like Josiah, we need to read God’s message. We also need to discover what it means. Then we must obey what God tells us to do in it.
Like Josiah, we too live in an age when God’s punishment is certain (2 Peter 3:10-11). God will not allow evil governments to rule this world always. He will end their power. That is certain and nothing can prevent it. (See Revelation chapter 18.) God would not be a fair judge if he did not act to punish sin.
But although God’s punishment is certain, we do not have to suffer that punishment. Like Josiah, we can be humble in front of God. We can repent and we can choose to trust God. Jesus himself suffered the punishment on behalf of those people who will trust him. And in the end, the people who trust God will live in his new heaven and new earth.
As God promised, Josiah did not see the disaster. But he did not live a long life. As we shall see in 23:29, Josiah died in an unnecessary battle. At that time, he was foolish. And he did not ask God what he should do.
But Josiah was not foolish when he received Huldah’s message. He was completely loyal to God. Josiah knew that he could not prevent disaster in Judah. But he could still do many good things. He could stop the worship of idols. He could teach God’s law to the people. He himself could obey God. And he could try to persuade everyone else in Judah to do the same things.
We must do the same for our country regardless of the politics and religion. We must live as if the book of the law has been found in our hearts. This so when judgment comes from God in righteous fashion, we will not be found ashamed of the Gospel. Living a dead life, having a form of godliness but denying the power of Gods word in you over sin and death.
The Book of the Law found. May the book of the Law be found in our nation today and in our hearts.