How many of us occasionally take a moment to open the Bible and read from the book of 2nd Kings? I suspect there are few, if any, of us that do. Still, I invite you to take a moment to read these words for 2 Kings 22: 10-11:
“Shapham the secretary informed the king, ‘The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.’ Shaphan then read it aloud to the king. When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.”
Wow! King Josiah rips off his clothes during a Bible study. You don’t see that everyday…at least I have never seen that happen during a Bible study. Why did King Josiah rip off his clothes? What made him so anxious? What was it that was read to him that moved him so deeply?
King Josiah ripped off his clothes because he realized that the book Hilkiah gave him, that had been forgotten on the shelves, or wherever, contained the Word of the Lord. And Josiah suddenly realized that generations of his ancestors did what was evil in the eyes of God.
So what did King Josiah do? Well, unlike most of the prior kings in Israel, Josiah did what was right in the eyes of God. Josiah attempted to clean up the behaviors of the house of God. And although, just as the prophetess, Huldah, proclaimed, that, yes, Israel was facing disaster, because of Josiah’s faithfulness and humility, Josiah and his generation would not experience destruction. Good news.
I wonder: how many of our Bibles have been misplaced, forgotten, or hidden away? When we brush the dust off our Bibles do the words we read move us as they did Josiah?
Whether you or I read the Bible daily, weekly, monthly or once a year, this Advent season I encourage each of us to open our Bibles and shake of the dust of our lives as we prepare the way of the Lord. Let us open our Bibles and read the words anew.
Let us be moved to a deeper faith…even to more joy…as we reflect upon our lives and prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve