JUNE 19

The Truth: Lost and Found

Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 34

Apart from the influence of the Word of God on a person or people, spiritual and moral decline are inevitable.  Wherever and whenever the Word of God is free to exercise its influence, spiritual revival and blessing are assured.

These opposing realities are graphically demonstrated in 2 Chronicles 34.  For half a century, the book of the law of the Lord had been lost to the people of Judah!  Imagine that!  God’s people lost God’s book!  During that time, and under the evil leadership of King Manasseh, the spiritual condition spiraled rapidly downward.  Idolatry, witchcraft, immorality, and violence became the norm.  Things got so bad that the deeds done in Judah were worse than the evil deeds of the pagan nations they had replaced in the land.

Then King Josiah came along.  As a reformer, he got rid of the idols and sought to restore the temple.  In the process of those repairs, the book of the Law was found.  Hilkiah the priest found the book and told Shaphan the scribe.  Shaphan took the book to the King.

We can only speculate as to the disposition of that copy of the Law. We don’t know how, or why, or by whom it was placed there in the temple. I think it is fair to assume that it was not put there by an enemy of the book, but a friend. Manasseh’s reign was so evil that he would have sought to eradicate the influence of the Law from every aspect of Jewish society. Most likely, it was a friend of the book who hid it, understanding its importance, and hoping there’d come a day when God’s people would have a heart to hear.

But though we can’t be certain as to the specific circumstances in which the Law had been placed, we can assert with all confidence that it was God who ultimately worked to preserve it safely.  God providentially led to the discovery and at just the right time.   Josiah had accomplished much.  He had rid the land of idols.  He had begun work on restoring the house of God.  But he didn’t have the Law, and without the Law, his reforms could only go so far.

So, Shaphan brought the Law and read it in the King’s presence (34:18).  In hearing of its contents and the term of God’s covenant with His people, King Josiah tore his clothes (34:19).  How anguished he must have been in hearing of the curses promised for disobedience (34:21)! Josiah sent his servants to inquire of the Lord through Huldah, the prophetess (34:22).  She confirmed the fears of the King.  God was indeed going to bring judgment on Judah and its people according to the curses written in the law, because they had forsaken Him and worshiped other gods (34:24).  But because of Josiah’s sincere and humble response, he would be spared from having to witness the destruction which was to come (34:28).

The King gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem (34:29).  He gathered all the people together, from the greatest to the least (34:30).  He read “in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord” (34:30).

The King reaffirmed, in the presence of all, his intention to walk after the Lord and keep His commandments (34:31).  Jerusalem’s inhabitants lived according to the covenant. The conclusion of the matter: “And Josiah removed all the abominations from all the lands belonging to the sons of Israel and made all who were present in Israel to serve the Lord their God.  Throughout his lifetime they did not turn from following the Lord God of their fathers” (34:33).

For a time, the Law was lost in Judah and evil proceeded from bad to worse.  Then the Law was found, and it worked to restore in amazing fashion!  So, it was.  So, it is.  The future course of a soul or a nation can be ascertained according to what it does with the Word! 

Wherever and whenever the Word of God is set free to exercise its influence on a person or a people, spiritual revival and blessing are assured.

Jerry Conklin

SINCE JESUS CAME INTO MY HEART

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I have sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Refrain:
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

I shall go there to dwell in that city, I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart! [Refrain]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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