A Lost Book

Today’s Reading
2 Kings 22-23


Did you know that there was a period of time in which the word of God became a lost book? This happened in the days of the reign of Josiah. Who is Josiah? Josiah became king of Judah as a little second-grader (age 8), but he is forever remembered as one of history’s greatest kings.

Josiah’s 31-year reign was one of religious reform and spiritual restoration. The catalyst for this reform and restoration was the discovery of something which had been long been lost. In the 18th year of Josiah’s reign, when he was 26 years old, Josiah led an effort to repair the Jerusalem temple (2 Kgs. 22:3-7). During this effort, the Jewish high priest found a book. This was no ordinary book! The book which was found was the Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses (Deut. 31:25-26; 2 Kgs. 22:8; 2 Chron. 34:14). Had someone hidden the book from one who made an effort to destroy it? Had it been forgotten due to simple neglect? Had the book been merely misplaced? Regardless of the reason, God’s word had been found!

Josiah’s secretary read the book before his king, and the very words which Josiah heard cut him to the heart (cf. Acts 2:37; Heb. 4:12). It became apparent to Josiah that Judah’s fathers had not obeyed the words of this lost book. He now understood that the wrath of the Lord was kindled against them (2 Kgs. 22:13). So, Josiah decided to gather all of Judah together, and he read all the words of the Book of the Covenant. They each resolved to keep the Lord’s commandments, testimonies, and statues with all their heart and soul and be doers of the word (2 Kgs. 23:2-3; cf. Jas. 1:21-25). They cleaned house! They beat down, broke down, and burned down all traces of idolatry throughout the kingdom (2 Kgs. 23:4-20, 24).

Finally, Josiah called for Israel to observe the Passover (2 Kgs. 23:21-23; cf. Deut. 16:1-8). It had not been since the days of Samuel the prophet that Israel had observed the feast (2 Kgs. 23:22; 2 Chron. 35:18)! This means that the children of Abraham went nearly 400 years in neglecting to remember the deliverance God gave their forefathers out of Egypt!

For Israel, it was far past time for them to get back to the word of God. What about us? Far too many of us have lost God’s word in our lives. The problem that so many of us have today is not that we do not have access to the word. Multiple copies of The Bible are lined up on our bookshelves. The Bible is carried with us wherever we go, as it is now a sleek app we have downloaded on our cell phones. Our problem is not one of access; our problem is one of approach. Far too many of us are not consistently approaching God’s word with any regularity. Frankly, there are no excuses for this! The result is that far too many of us are spiritually malnourished and in need of religious reform and spiritual restoration.

Do not allow the word of God to be a lost book in your life.  Approach God’s word every day and find the abundance of blessings which God has in store for you.

About Barry Gilreath

Barry is the pulpit minister of the Macland Road Church of Christ.

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