Lost and found ∙
Read [the book of the Law] in the presence of the king. – 2 Kings 22:10
2 Kings 22:11-19
11 When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his clothes.
12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest . . .
13 “Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”
18 Thus says the LORD God of Israel, “Regarding the words which you [Josiah] have heard,
19 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I spoke against this place and its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the LORD.
2 Kings 23:2-25
2 King Josiah went up to the Temple of the LORD with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets– all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the LORD’s Temple.
3 The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the LORD’s presence. He pledged to obey the LORD by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. . . all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
25 Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.
One of the great challenges of our time is losing things. Our cell phones, our keys, our wallets seem to get misplaced all too frequently. In the 1992 movie, Medicine Man, Sean Connery plays Dr. Robert Campbell a researcher looking for a cure for cancer in the biosphere of the Amazon jungle. He has a breakthrough. He discovers a natural substance in the forest with remarkable curative properties. But then he misplaces it. He exclaims, “I found a cure for the plague of the 20th century, and now I’ve lost it!”
What could be worse than losing the cure for cancer? The answer depends on your value system. What is most valuable to you? What is your most valuable possession on earth?
For the children of the King, a highly cherished possession is a copy of the Word of God itself. How would you feel if you lost it?
Can you picture what it would be like to not have access to the Word of God? In the privileged modern age of printed and digital media, we can hardly imagine it. It is virtually unthinkable.
During the dark ages of the evil, apostate kings of Judah, many valuable or highly esteemed things were misplaced, destroyed, or lost. When the scrolls of the Scripture went missing, that was the most tragic loss of all
Possibly one of the evil kings such as Manasseh or Amon had tried to destroy all copies of God’s law. Perhaps some were hidden for safekeeping like the Dead Sea Scrolls.
At any rate, that which was lost was now found. After decades of darkness, Josiah became king. A priest found the missing scrolls of the Scriptures. The law of Moses had been stashed away in the temple area.
The Scriptures were read aloud in Josiah’s presence. Something remarkable happened!
First, Josiah was utterly shocked. Apparently, Josiah had never heard the Word of God before. Can you imagine? His shock quickly turned to shame and remorse over the people’s rebellion and defiance of the Father. His remorse became tears, tears of joyful sorrow. Joyful sorrow is a remarkable emotion that tender hearts often experience when the living Word of God is read.
Josiah humbled himself before the Lord. In the seventh century BC, the Reformation of Judah began.
REFLECT & PRAY
“The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man” (Dwight L. Moody).
Father thank You for the capacity You have provided for loyal love and devotion. Encourage my heart and mind to love You totally and completely.
2 Kings 23:25 Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the LORD with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.
Despite several generations of idolatry and rebellion against the Father, somehow Josiah arose as a righteous king. Josiah was a remarkable and unique man. He had cultivated a delightful, personal love relationship with the Father.
He turned to the Father wholeheartedly without reservation. He was all in with no reserves held back. Whatever Moses laid out in the law, Josiah was totally and completely committed to living it out. He was determined to be the poster boy for the Father’s rallying call.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You must love the LORD your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.
How can we become like Josiah? It is a simple mixture of two things: a tender heart and exposure to the Word of God. What worked for Josiah, will work for any child of the King. The decision is yours.
If you want to walk with the Father, loving the Father is not merely suggested or desired, it is required and necessary. The Father requires, insists on love in action.
Why? It is all part of His intelligent design. The Father is not needy nor lonesome. He wants only the best for His children. He created us in such a way that to experience His best, we must give our best. The ability to do and give our best already resides within each child of the King. It is our choice to activate it and maintain it. It begins with a receptive heart and disposition.
This is readily found in well-trained military dogs. Such dogs are by nature and by nurture, conditioned to be lovingly devoted to their leader. This is not hard for dogs to do, as pack animals, it is natural for them to willingly follow the leader of the pack. This is expressed in their attentiveness, affection, submission, and fearless action.
Such a dog recently made international headlines. Conan, a Belgian Malinois, assigned to US special forces, aided in the pursuit of the now-deceased leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!
The Father designed all of His children with a similar nature. It merely needs to be nurtured and developed. We can be lovingly devoted to a leader. The Father is the undeniable leader of His pack. Beginning with a tender heart and exposure to His word, loyal love is the natural outcome. We have only to hear, obey, and humble ourselves.
The words which follow, flesh out love in action. The Hebrew word for heart is lev. The heart is the seat of feeling, thought, and intention. The Hebrew word rendered soul, mind, or being is nefesh. This is the seat of emotion, passion, desire, life itself.
The Hebrew word translated might or strength is meod. When this term is used as a noun, it has the sense of strong or mighty. Most typically the term is used as an adverb with the sense of completely, totally, exceedingly, wholeheartedly. In modern Hebrew, meod is the common word for very. So if you wanted to say “very good” you would say, tov meod.
Devoted loyal love for the Father is within the grasp of all children of the King. It begins
with a tender heart, humility, and exposure to the Word of God. It is good, very good, tov meod.
“Genuine devotion to God involves much more than intense feeling or heightened emotion. Those who follow God with all their heart, soul, and might, also eagerly obey His commands” (Stanley).