A dusty scroll unfurls words that pierce a king’s heart
Suddenly all his righteous deeds seem as nothing.
With torn robes and trembling heart
He asks the question:
What will befall my people?
We have forsaken the Lord,
Forgotten His Word,
Abandoned His paths,
Gone our own way.
So Josiah collected all the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read out to them all the words of the Torah which had been lately discovered in the House of the Lord. Commandments, promises, instructions, the story of their deliverance from Egypt, testimonies of the Lord’s provision and protection, blessings and warnings… all rolled over the people.
Centuries later Paul wryly observed, “Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.” ( 2Co 3:15 ESV)
In Josiah’s day too, the assembled people received the reading matter-of-factly. They heard the reading, and in their hearts shrugged and said, ‘K bro, whatever.’
Interesting, that when Jonah went and grudgingly delivered God’s message to the Ninevites, they immediately called for a fast and repented of their evil ways. Decades later, when Ezra read out the Torah to the exiles who had participated in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls – they wept. They wept because they knew just how much they had forfeited when their forefathers had not kept their side of the Covenant.
But at this point in time, the birds of the air came to gather the seed of the Word. It did not enter their hearts.
Josiah made a covenant before the LORD,
to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes,
with all his heart and all his soul,
to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. (2Ch 34:31 ESV)
And notice this – the people didn’t come up rushing to follow suit.
Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it. 2Ch 34:32
This Josiah dude is way too intense, man!
He needs to chill.
Yahweh, Ashteroth, Baal, Moloch…
What difference does it make?
They’re all the same.
All the same, man,
I tell you, you’d be wise to take the oath.
Kings have power.
If you want to keep company with your head
I’d say, nod and say ‘Amen!’
Soul Searcher: Why do I do what I do? What am I motivated by – fear of God, or fear of man?
(Read 2 Chronicles 34-35 for the full story)