“Preserve the Book- 2 Kings 22 & 23”

What if you discovered a book; a lost, divine, inspired revelation from God. You open this book, begin reading, and you discover that it is a sin to wear the color red; those who wear red will be eternally lost.

King Josiah had an experience very similar to this.

Josiah became king at the age of 8. Scripture tell us that he did right in the sight of God and walked in all the ways of his father David.

When Josiah was 26 years old, a book was brought before him that he had never seen. As the book was read to him, Josiah begins to tear his clothes, he has realized that this was the Word of God and God’s wrath was great.

The people had not abided by the words of this book, they had forsaken the God of Israel, and they had given themselves over to idolatry. The Lord had set out to bring evil on Judah and all its inhabitants for their sins.

“For great is the wrath of the Lord, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book.” 2 Kings 22:13

The problems facing Judah did not just happen overnight, they happened as a result of their forefather’s lack of reverence and disobedience to the laws of God.

An immature king would have sat back, made excuses, and blamed all of his actions and the actions of his kingdom on the forefather’s disobedience; however, we don’t see this type of behavior in the actions of Josiah. Josiah repented, took responsibility, and went to God for direction.

As a result, Josiah was able to find favor in the eyes of God. God promised that he would be gathered to his fathers and would see his grave in peace and his eyes would not see all the evil that would come upon Judah.

The Lord promised to spare Josiah, but Josiah wasn’t satisfied with simply his own personal well-being, he cared about the entire nation.

In 2 Kings Chapter 23, Josiah gathers all of the people together, both small and great; and reads to them the words of this lost book. He continues to make a covenant before the Lord, declaring that he and the people will keep His commandments, testimonies, and statutes with all of their heart, soul, and might. With great zeal, Josiah reforms this entire kingdom; he removes all the idolatrous priests, he destroys all of the shrines and sacred objects associated with other gods, and he centralizes Judah’s worship in Jerusalem, re-establishing the worship of God by keeping the Passover.

This wonderful story is a great example for us today. We cannot neglect the Book, we cannot solely rely upon those who have come before us, and we must take personal accountability for our own actions or lack thereof.

As Christians, we must strive towards godliness and shine our lights in this very dark world.  

When this is neglected, it becomes very difficult for godliness to spread into future generations, and fifty years from now, some poor soul may find themselves in a situation very similar to Josiah, coming upon a “lost book”.

Josiah had been ignorant of his nation’s many sins and failures before the true God, yet the Book taught him. God will help those who desire to be helped. Preserve the Book: Read it, think about it, meditate on it, and share it with someone today.  

- Timothy G. Ruffin