Finding the Book

When Josiah became king of Judah, he inherited a nation in spiritual darkness. One of Josiah’s major reforms was the refurbishing of the temple, which had fallen into disuse and disrepair under the reigns of his wicked father and grandfather. In the midst of the project, the high priest Hilkiah reported an important discovery: “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord” (2 Kings 22:8). A scribe brought the book to King Josiah and read it aloud before him. What the king heard left him greatly distressed; he realized that Judah had not been doing what the law said.

What Hilkiah found that day surely was not the only existing copy of the law, but the official copy stored in the temple. Nonetheless, the fact that it had long been unused and unaccounted for was a reflection of Judah’s chronic, widespread disregard for God and His word. Just as the copy of God’s law in the temple had been missing, so had knowledge of, and reverence for, God’s law in the hearts of the people. In more ways than one, they had lost the book!

Josiah set about to change that. He abolished idolatry from the land. He saw to it that the temple and its services were restored. He read the law before the people and made a covenant with them to obey its words. He reinstituted the Passover, which was celebrated on a scale not seen since the time of the judges, centuries before. “Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him” (2 Kings 23:25).

The answers to Judah’s problems were all right there in the book—the inspired word of God. What was needed was for people to look into the book, take its words to heart, and resolve to carry them out.

And if your life is in darkness, the answers are right there in God’s book, the Bible. What’s needed is diligent study of it, a heart that is open to its message, and a renewed commitment to living as it instructs—and to glorifying the God who gave it. Find the book!