In 2 Chronicles 34-35 and also in 2 Kings 22-23 the Lord tells us about Josiah, one of the very few good kings of Judah. I was reminded while reading about him of a very interesting comment made when the Law was found by Hilkiah.
We read in 2 Chronicles 34:15 that Hilkiah found the book of the law (the Torah, or Pentateuch) God gave to Israel through Moses and told Shaphan the scribe, but notice where he found it. “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” It had probably been hidden by the priests during the reign of the evil Manasseh.
As I was thinking about this I was contemplating all the evil that arises in the heart of man when God’s Word is hidden away. Without going into all the details, prior to Josiah’s reign, much sin had overtaken God’s people, but once God’s Word had been revealed again, Josiah made a gallant effort to amend all the wrongs of past sins.
Many years later, in our day, evil people are once again being inspired by Satan to rid the people of God’s Word. At this junction of time it is unlikely that we will have a Josiah type leader to reverse our sinful actions and bring us to repentance as a nation. However, we can be a type of Josiah in our own lives and of those we love. It just takes a willingness to do so.
God’s book, the Bible, really isn’t hidden in a physical sense in this country. Bibles happen to be very plentiful in our land, but considering the message that comes from this holy book, is it possible it may be hidden in plain sight? I think so.
Josiah took great effort in destroying every idol and object of idol worship. He cleared the whole land of all the detestable offenses against God. When the book was found and read, repentance was the outcome, and Josiah’s reign was excluded from God’s judgement that would come later.
Maybe we cannot have a national repentance and returning to God as in the days of Josiah. Maybe we have gone too far. But we can have a personal repentance and returning to God if we choose. God waits with open arms for each of His own children that need to repent. He offers freely, forgiveness through His Son for all those who will come to Him to be saved.
Returning once again to Hilkiah’s words, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord,” is it possible the Book that sits openly in plain view is not seen in God’s own house today?
Bibles sit in the churches on pews, pulpits, and laps, but do we have eyes that see and ears that hear, or do we overlook the obvious? Do we use what we carry from the car to the pew? Is it even being opened at the pulpit?
Have we come to the point in our ‘modern’ culture that we use other books rather than the Book? Opinions override and the Book is ignored.
It is sad but true that often the Book is plainly visible in the temple of our time, but is purposely overlooked for words that tickle the ears. If we would only proclaim this Book, in its entirety, before the people, would we not be more blessed than we could imagine?
We seek what we don’t find and find what never lasts, because we aren’t looking in the right place. There are blessings in store for all those who will open the Book and hear with their ears.
The heart of man has a vacuum that must be filled. There are many things we pour into that heart in our search for happiness, but have we found it? No? Could it be that the one thing we keep ignoring is the only thing that will satisfy that longing? God says it is. Those who have it know that it is. Happiness, peace, contentment, joy, love, hope, can only come from God.
So many go through their entire life looking for something to make them happy, something to fulfill them, but nothing ever works. Oh, some things may work for a while, a short while, and then the longing returns stronger than ever, or either it’s been brushed aside so often, we can no longer hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit.
Satan pulls mankind into his web of lies and without the power of God on our side; we fall for the lie, just as Eve did. Jesus said, “… I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) It is in Him that we have the real Truth and the life He so freely gives. By putting our faith in Him, we can be born again (spiritually) to a new life that is eternal. As a Christian, our joy can be rekindled by returning to the Father, as the prodigal son, and receive His warm welcome.
Life is hard. We think the other guy has it easy, but we all have our problems, and they don’t come from God. They come from a fallen world. God has the answer though, and He took great pains over many years to give it to us in writing. The answer is in a book we call the Bible, and the answer is about the Son of God, Jesus Christ. This Book, we often hide in plain view, is all about Him.
“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27)
If we insist on hiding the Truth, let us at least hide it where it will work in our lives. The psalmist says, “Thy word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalms 119:11) The word “hidden” in this verse actually means “treasured.” If we are willing, we can decide today to see with our eyes and hear with our ears the Truth that comes only from a loving God.
The world is still going to throw us many curves. Satan will still keep fighting against us, but we won’t be alone. Almighty God will be in our corner, and we will know and enjoy His assurances as we allow His Word to be revealed in our heart.