Friday, March 1, 2013

How Precious is God's Word?...

In the 22nd and 23rd chapters of 2 Kings, there is a story of a young King of Judah named Josiah. He is only eight years old when he comes to the throne and is wisely guided by some older men namely Hilkiah, the high priest and Shaphan, the court secretary.

It is early during Josiah's reign, while they were repairing the Lord's temple, that the book of the law - God's Law - was rediscovered. Imagine a country wholly built upon the their relationship with God and the Law given by God...and they had lost their book! That they lost it is a story in itself but the story I want to focus on is what the young king Josiah did when he discovered what Hilkiah had found.

When Josiah learned that God's long-lost Law had been recovered,...

1. He tore his clothes (in repentance)
2. He ordered his officials to inquire of the Lord regarding all in the book
3. He discovered that God's impending judgement was coming on Judah
4. He gathered the leaders/elders of the city together
5. He had everyone go to the Lord's house (temple)
6. He publicly read all the scriptures so that everyone could hear God's Law
7. He publicly confessed his sins and the sins of Judah
8. He made a public covenant/renewal of covenant with God
9. He led all the people to agree/join in the renewal

I wonder how precious is God's Word to us today? Do we cherish it and fear it the way that young King Josiah did in his days? Or do we let it sit on the shelf of our studies or bedside tables only to occasionally pick it up and take it to church with us?

The Psalmist says that God's Word is to be more precious than jewels and sweeter than any honey could ever be. It should be a lamp for our feet, a light for our paths. It should be hidden in our heart that we would not sin against Him.

The Jewish faith has a celebration called the Simchat Torah. It occurs once a year at the end of the annual reading cycle of the Torah. They read the Torah publicly each Sabbath all throughout the year and then on the last day, when they complete the reading, there is celebration and dancing and singing for joy over the fact that they have completed reading God's Word. In many places the Torah scrolls are taken down from their place of honor, held closely to the breasts of the celebrants, as they dance and sing for joy over the reading of God's Word.

Oh for us to have that same love of God's Word today! How precious it is and how little we realize that fact...

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