Everybody loves a good treasure hunt story. The excitement of some hidden gem or sunken treasure has kept many an explorer motivated to pursue that next clue or uncover that next piece of the puzzle. In July of 2011 one such treasure was discovered. In a 16th century Hindu temple in southern India six secret vaults were found beneath temple floors. What they discovered inside those vaults was mind blowing – gold coins, statues of gods and goddesses studded with diamonds and other precious stones. These treasures were donated to the temple by devotees over hundreds of years. They have estimated the value of the treasure to be 22 billion dollars.
Many hundreds of years prior to this, there was a treasure of greater value discovered. During the days of the divided kingdom most of the kings were wicked men who promoted idolatry and pagan worship. It was in the midst of such times that the ark was taken out of the Temple and idols took its place. Deuteronomy 31:25-26 tells us that a copy of the Law of Moses (The Pentateuch) was to be placed beside the Ark of the Covenant. Somehow, as these ungodly activities were taking place, the Scriptures were lost. It does not appear that anyone noticed or much less cared about their absence. But then along came Josiah, the young godly king, who sought to bring spiritual reform to the nation. He began getting rid of the high places and destroying the idols. He then sent designated men to the Temple to take inventory of what needed to be repaired or replaced. As Shaphan and his chosen men were doing some much needed house cleaning, the High Priest, Hilkiah came to Shaphan with these words of hope in the midst of such days of darkness, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” (2 Kings 22:8). What an amazing find! Was this the only copy of the Pentateuch available? We cannot be certain, but this may have been the case, for when Josiah heard it being read, it appeared that its contents seemed to be new revelation to him. (2 Kings 22:11-13). He knew the plight of his people was bad but the Scriptures revealed that they were far worse than he had even imagined. As 2 Kings 22 begins, we find Josiah seeking, to the best of his ability, to bring spiritual revival to Judah. He used his power to legislate good and to command order. But now that he had found “the book”, he became silent and he allowed the Word of God to speak. In fact, beginning in verse 11, we hear no more about the repairing of the Temple (it obviously continued) or the spiritual reforms of Josiah. Now that God’s Word was found, Josiah was no longer heard. The Word of God became the voice of authority and power.
There are three things concerning this passage that we must never forget. First, there is a direct link between the loss of God’s Word and the spiritual decay of Judah. With the loss of Scripture came great wickedness and idolatry. Second, God has promised to preserve His Word and He did (1 Peter 1:23). We are not to thank the evil men of that day for not destroying God’s Word, we are to thank God that He prevented them from doing so. The Word of God was close to the brink of destruction and yet never more safe and secure under the watchful eye of God. Third, upon finding God’s Word, Josiah gave prompt attention to it. When it was brought before the king, immediately it was read to him (2 Kings 22:10b). Too often we approach the Word of God as a book to be considered and not one to be obeyed.
I read recently that the average home has three Bibles. Yet, make no mistake, you can have the Word of God and not find it. It can be in your possession and not in your heart. Some of you reading this article need to find God’s Word as Josiah did. Maybe spiritual decay has settled into your life and the Word of God has gone missing. It may be missing from your life, family, home and marriage. It may be time for you to “find the Book”. Don’t allow the Word of God to be absent from your life! “Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.” (Psalm 119:40)
Post by: Matthew Little, NBBI President