Reading: 2 Chronicles 34 & 35
Focus: 2 Chronicles 34:18
Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king.
King Josiah began his reign at 8 years old. Can you imagine?? I have a 10-year-old… I’m thinking he’s not quite up to that task. This passage says that Josiah did what was right in the sight of God, though. In his first 18 years as king, he destroyed pagan shrines and idols, and he purified Judah and Jerusalem, and he ordered the temple restored. Kudos, kiddo! In the clean-up process, one of the priests found the scrolls that contained God’s law (written by Moses). All that time, Josiah thought he was doing well by God. And he was, just not all the way. It’s hard to know what you don’t know.
Do you know where your Bible is? Do you have one? When was the last time you opened it? We can think that we’re doing right by God, but the honest truth is that if we’re not reading his instructions, we have no idea what that really means.
“Well, the Bible is old and outdated. It’s not relevant any more.”
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
For the word of God is alive and active. Hebrews 4:12a
God knew, even waaaaaay back when the Bible was written, that we would say this. It is very clearly stated here that the word of God is alive. Not only then, as God is unchanging, but now, too. It is relevant and current.
“But I don’t understand the Bible. It’s too hard to read.”
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
God says that when we ask for wisdom we will receive it. So ask for it! Next problem, please…?
“I don’t have time to read the Bible. There are too many other things I have to do.”
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:4-7
Apart from God, we can do nothing. So how important is it to you to have Him on your side? We regularly make time for the things that are important and for the things that we desire. Deep down in there somewhere you know that’s true. So what’s important to you? That TV show? That app game? Your email? That football game? (Uh, oh… now I’ve hit a nerve.) If you desire to know God and His plan for you, you’ll make time for it.
Let me be clear in saying that this message is as much for me as it is for anyone else. I fall short. Regularly. As I learn and grow in my faith, though, I’m more familiar and more comfortable understanding what God asks of me. And, unlike Josiah in today’s passage, when I know I’ve failed, I don’t fear God’s wrath. I ask for forgiveness, knowing that Jesus already paid the price for me.
God’s mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness. Know where I learned that? The Bible. Dust it off!
God, give me the desire to read your instruction book, your Word. I know that I’ve fallen short, but I want to know you more. Help me make you a priority in my life, and give me the wisdom to understand so I can bear the fruit you planned for me. Thank you, Father, for your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.