LLost yet wonderfully recovered ∙
Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to 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 against 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. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and 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 and 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 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?
During the dark ages of the evil, apostate kings of Judah, many valuable or highly esteemed things were misplaced, lost, or stolen. But the most tragic loss was when the scrolls of the Scriptures went missing. Possibly one of the evil kings such as Manasseh or Amon had tried to destroy copies of God’s law. Perhaps some of them had been hidden like the Dead Sea Scrolls to protect them. But for all practical purposes, they were lost to the people of Israel.
Can you imagine 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 envisage it.
At any rate, what was lost, was now found. After decades of darkness, Josiah became king. It was during this time, that a priest found missing scrolls of the Scriptures. The law of Moses was stashed away in the temple area. It was 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 Nation’s rebellion and defiance of the Father. His remorse became tears, tears of joyful sorrow. Joyful sorrow is a very unusual emotion that hearing the living Word of God produces.
Josiah humbled himself before the Lord. The 7th century BC Reformation began.
2 Kings 23:3 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. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.
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 given in all children of the King to have 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 a personal love relationship with the Father. He turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses. He lived out the greatest of all commandments.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You must love the LORD your God with your whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.
“You must love the LORD your God!” The Father does not merely desire love, He requires it. The Father is not needy nor lonesome. But He knows for His children to experience His best, they must give their best. The Father desires that the love His children give to Him is like His own. It is not timid, weak, affection. It is a purposeful, robust, enduring commitment. Father asks His children to give devoted and loyal love to Him.
This type of love is readily found in well-trained military dogs. Such dogs are by nature and by training, 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 is our undeniable leader. He designed and built into us the capability of following Him and expressing and letting out loyal love. We have the capacity by design. But it is our decision to make.
The content of this love in action is fleshed out through the terms the terms that follow. The Hebrew word translated heart is lev. It is conceived of as the seat of feeling, thought, and intention.
The Hebrew word rendered soul, mind, or whole being is nefesh. It is that immaterial part of our humanity that is the seat of our emotions, passions, and desires.
To do something with all the heart and soul means to do it with the totality of one’s thoughts, feelings, intentions, and desires, that is undivided devotion (Tigay). Being “all in.”
The Hebrew word translated might; strength is meod. When this term is used as a noun, it has the sense of strong or mighty. Such strength may be mental or physical. But 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.