Finding the Lost Book Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
Josiah’s response is described in four ways.
First, Josiah heard it read (2 Kings 22:11).
The first step toward a personal discovery of God’s Word is a willingness to read it or hear it read. Josiah’s heart was tender, and when he heard it read, he humbled himself before the Lord. We hear no more about repairing the temple: no doubt that work continued; but the book had been found and it occupied the King. It was not treated as a piece of antiquity, or a rarity to be admired but was read before the King. Those who truly honor God’s Word study their Bible daily and feed on it and walk by the light that it gives.
Second, Josiah responded to the message of the book (2 Kings 22:11).
He was so moved by what he heard that he tore his clothes in grief and repentance. He was ashamed of the sin of his people and afraid of the wrath of God. He was aware of how bad the kingdom had become because he knew all about the idolatry and immorality that the people practiced. It was when the book was read to him that he understood how terrible their sin was, so he tore his clothes to show how his heart was broken for the dishonor done to God, and the ruin he saw coming to his people.
Next, we are told that Josiah read the book to all the people (2 Kings 23:1-2). He gathered all the officials and ministers together at the temple and instead of making a speech; he read the book to them. He didn’t think that it was below him to be the reader. The people listened and God spoke to their hearts as He did to Josiah’s. And they were convicted of forgotten vows, and they renewed the covenant that the nation had with the Lord. The result was that revival came in response to finding the book. The temple was cleansed of heathen worship, and the land was cleansed of idolatry.
Immorality was stamped out. The observance of the Passover was renewed. Rediscovering God’s book brought new leadership, new purpose, and a new spirit of worship to the people. May we always remember that the Word of God is powerful! It kindles a fire in our hearts. It leads to life and creates light by which to live. It is God’s Word to us!However, it seems as though many people have lost their Bibles today. Christians can lose their Bibles not just physically but spiritually. If you’re not reading your Bible with meaning, it is as lost to you as was the Word of God to the people of Judah.
You may “lose your Bible” by turning aside to wealth, pleasure, ambition, or success. Or you may lose it out of laziness and a lack of desire to put your time to that good use. But you can rediscover God’s Word! Open your Bible and begin to read it, and a new spiritual day will be yours.
Now, let’s look at how we can rediscover the Bible. We can rediscover the Bible today in three ways.
First, we can discover the Bible confidently.
The Bible is not an authority on science or history; it’s an authority on spiritual things. It is not just a book about religion; it is divine revelation. It is the book of redemption, the book of divine inspiration. It reveals God to us! The Bible is our final authority in life, the reliable basis of our faith. Goethe said, “When I go to hear a preacher preach, I may not agree with what he says, but I want him to believe it.” We need something to stand on for our faith and practice. The Bible is the answer.
We can also rediscover the Bible personally.
It has the power to speak to us personally. The Holy Spirit will open the Word to our hearts as we open our hearts to the Word. Jesus did this for the disciples on the Emmaus road as He explained the Scriptures about His coming. When their eyes were opened, they recognized Him and said, “Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way?” (Luke 24:32). Jesus still does that today in our hearts through the Spirit.
We can also rediscover the Bible practically.
One goal for our lives should be renewed emphasis on the Bible. We need to hear it. Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning.” The Bible has both, milk for babes and strong meat for strong men. This book will not only make the foolish and bad wise and good but the wise and good wiser and better. But think about this; wise men must hear and not think themselves too wise to learn. As long as we live we should strive to learn more, and those who want to increase their learning must study the Scriptures. A wise man by increasing his learning not only is profitable to himself, but to others also, because he will be sought for his wise council and he can use his position to honor God and to witness for Christ.
We also need to read it.
We forget 90 to 95 percent of what we hear. So read the Bible for yourself. Read it with a searching spirit. Read it in faith. Read it for fellowship with the Heavenly Father. Read it prayerfully.
And we should also Study it.
We forget 70 percent of what we read. So study the Scriptures personally using a notebook to take notes on what you discover. Study it in Sunday school. Study it whenever you have an opportunity.
You can memorize it too.
Hide it in your heart. Memorize verses, chapters and whole sections of Scriptures. Set a goal to commit some quantity of Scriptures to memory.
It is also a good idea to meditate on it.
The psalmist said that the person who meditates on the Word day and night is blessed (Ps. 1:2). Get up in the morning thinking about it. Go to bed at night meditating on it.
We have fellowship with the Word of God and with God Himself when we read and meditate on his Word. A good man delights in the Word.
All who are pleased that there is a God will be well pleased that there is a Bible; for it is a revelation of God, and of His will, and of the only way to happiness, which is in Him.
A good man delights in the Word of God, for those things that we love, we love to think about. When we meditate on it, we discuss in our mind the great things contained in it. We must think about them day and night, for we must have a constant and habitual regard for the Word of God, and we must have it on our minds at every occasion that occurs, whether day or night.
We should not only have our minds set upon the Word of God when we wake-up and when we go to sleep, but it should be interwoven through everything we do in business, in pleasure, and in every conversation. It should be our delight! The Bible becomes a living book to us when we experience its truth and life for ourselves.
Bishop E. Berggrav, of the Lutheran church in Norway, spent most of World War II in a Nazi concentration camp. It was there that he found Christ in the pages of the Bible. His reading it aloud brought the reality of Christ to his life so that his faith was restored and his spirit renewed.
Discover the Bible for yourself. Commit yourself to God’s Word this year. It brings new life.
Please join me in prayer. Heavenly Father, help us to be more faithful in reading and studying your word. Help us to make it an important thing for us to do. Thank you for giving us a book that reveals who you are and how we can be reconciled to you, even though we are sinners. Dear God, lead us to respond to your word by the lives we lead and by lifting up Jesus, for He said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” Bless those who have gathered here to worship and to hear your Word. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.