The Lost Book

Bible Reading: 2 Kings 22:3-8; 23:4-24; 2 Chronicles 34:8-33; 35:1-19, 26-27

In the eighteenth year of King Josiah's reign, the Book of the Law of the Lord that had been given through Moses was found in the temple. When the newly-discovered book was read to the king, he responded with repentance, rededication and sweeping reforms.

I'm not sure how the Israelites had "lost" the book of the Lord in the temple, but perhaps it is similar to how many of us have "lost" the Bible in our own homes. For days, weeks, months, even years, it sits untouched, collecting dust on a shelf. Many people own Bibles but have never read them. For most of my life, I have not read mine consistently or thoroughly. I read through it a few times when I was young, but then did not read it from cover to cover for over 20 years. When I "found" The Daily Bible, through the gift and challenge of a friend, I re-discovered many of the Old Testament writings. The words I read caused me, like Josiah, to humble myself before God and to weep in his presence.

The Israelites probably thought they knew what was in the book of the Lord, yet they hadn't read it for years (centuries). It is hard to believe how corrupt their religious practices had become, as they interpreted God's heart however they wanted and developed their own religious beliefs and methods of worship. They thought they knew God because they were "God's people," yet they took him for granted.

Many people today have never read through the Bible, yet because we live in a land of religious freedom that claims "In God we trust," they think they know who God is and what his word contains. They develop their own religious interpretation and beliefs that are based only on what they've experienced and on what they desire God to be. I have often neglected reading my Bible and have relied on the knowledge I gained as a young adult instead of letting God's word remain fresh in my life and letting God's spirit daily speak to me. I have, at times, formed my own interpretation of God's will and ways based on my own experience and desires, rather than on the foundation of his word.

May we renew our pledge in the presence of the Lord - to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all our heart and all our soul, and to obey every word written in the book of the Lord (2C 34:31). May his word cause us to humble ourselves before him, to remove sin from our lives, to reform our ways in accordance to his will, and to serve him faithfully. Let us not fail to follow the Lord as long as we live (2C 34:33). May his word remain fresh, effective and vibrant in our lives as we respond with joy, repentance and obedience.