Discovery in the Temple
I am thankful for a Tuesday without a City Council meeting…already! I got in an early morning bike ride with my grandsons in tow, actually leading the way on their scooters. After a mid morning meetings, lunch meeting, nap and trip to the pool and work in the garden, it ended up being a good day. Here is a picture of Caed and Eliana in our newly planted small garden. Hard to believe our youngest in Christian’s family will be first grader next year.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY….. And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.”…. Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes.” 2 Kings 22:8,10-11 ESV
Josiah was a child king. His reign began at age 8, which means he was in a position to be under the influence of the Priests and other godly leaders. That enabled him to serve God’s people as a godly leader. In the eighteenth year of his reign repairs of the Temple were underway when a book was discovered. It was the Law of Moses!
The good new was a great discovery was made; the bad news is the law had been so neglected and disregarded that it became “lost” in the Temple. We don’t know if this happened during the 52 years of the wicked reign of Manasseh, or if it had been lost for much longer than that.
As Shaphan the royal secretary read the book to King Josiah, he would have read in Deuteronomy how Moses gave instructions hundreds of years before Israel demanded of Samuel to have a king. The Lord’s instructions included this charge to the king:
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life….” (Deuteronomy 17:18,19 ESV)
We don’t know if this instruction was ever followed, or if this “book” was a copy of the law from an early ruler, perhaps King David.
When we look at the downward spiral of God’s people, we can understand how without the Law of the Lord as a guide, they just “made it up” as they went along. There would have been the oral traditions and some degree understanding the truth from the words of the prophets. There were the ongoing rituals and sacrifices, but they became empty and meaninglessness. But the leader who was responsible for the moral direction of the people, was without any firm word or plumb line of truth to guide the people.
A well-know verse in Proverbs declares, “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild….” (Proverbs 29:18 NLT) That is certainly descriptive of God’s people and their history in the promised land.
We can readily see when God’s Word is neglected, God is neglected. When the connection to God’s Word is lost the spiritual plumb line for our life is lost. When that happens it is easy to make God into our image and “do what is right in our own eyes.”
How important it is for us to read God’s Word, listen to God’s Word and live by God’s Word. That is what will keep us headed in the right direction in our life.
We need to remember, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
Prayer for today…. Lord help us to remember how important Your Word is for our life and our well-being. Help us to know Your Word and to apply Your Word to our life.