Around 2,600 years ago there was a young king named Josiah. When he was 18 (he’d been ruling for 10 years by then), Josiah had the high priest Hilkiah [חִלְקִיָּ֣ה “YHWH is my portion”] on a temple task, counting and distributing money. But as he sought the treasure that the people had given to the Lord, he found the treasure that the Lord gave to the people; he re-discovered the Book of the Law.
[Sidebar quote! “There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write ‘damnation.'” – Spurgeon]
Hilkiah sent the book back to Josiah [יֹאשִׁיָּ֑הוּ “YHWH supports; whom YHWH heals; the fire of YHWH”]; the king heard it read, and tore his clothes. He said to Hilkiah, “Go, inquire of YHWH for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of God that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” Hilkiah and his fellows consulted a priestess, who gave them a message of impending doom from the hand of God, yet also a message of mercy because of Josiah’s penitent and humble heart.
Josiah’s response was reform. He read the Law in the hearing of the people, and renewed their covenant with YHWH. He tore down the high places, burned the vessels for false gods, and he “defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no one might burn his son or daughter as an offering to Molech.”
Josiah is one of the men in Scripture that most stirs my heart. And the Lord this year has given me a taste of Josiah’s reform… I feel as though someone (you know who you are) brought me the Book of the Law, and read it in my presence. By the grace of God in the power of the Spirit, I have begun tearing down high places that I didn’t even know existed. And surely he is doing more than simply bringing me his life giving words anew; I have seen the same thing happen (in different ways, but just as powerfully) in so many brothers and sisters in Christ, during the last several months. We are reading the Book aloud in each others’ presence, and God is glorified.
This new blog of mine is somewhere for me, and perhaps friends of mine, to process gleanings from the Word of God. A place for us to savor in each others’ presence the choice morsels in the rich feast spread before us. May it be not a place of vanity, but of humility and thoughtfulness. My prayerful goal is that, in the reading of the testimony of the work of the Lord, you will discover anew the treasure the Lord has for you in his word.
May he continue his work in us all, and may he alone receive the glory.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.