This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
Manasseh, King of Judah and son of Hezekiah, was as evil as they came. Second Kings 21:11 gives as a summary of his life: “King Manasseh of Judah has committed all these detestable acts–worse evil than the Amorites who preceded him had done–and by means of his idols has also caused Judah to sin.” After Manasseh died, his son Amon became king and did much the same.
After Amon was assassinated, young Josiah became king. Josiah was a breath of fresh air. “He did what was right in the Lord’s sight” according to 2 Kings 22:2. Part of the reason his heart turned toward the Lord is found in 22:8-13. While repairs were being done in the temple, a book was found. This wasn’t any ordinary book. This was God’s Law, his word that he had given through various prophets to that point.
Hearing the book read, King Josiah repented before God and ordered reforms throughout Judah, including the destruction of the idols and high places for false worship that his father and grandfather had built and used.
Well before there were kings over God’s people, Moses had anticipated the day and God gave this command through him:
When [the king] is seated on his royal throne, he is to write a copy of this instruction for himself on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It is to remain with him and he is to read it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to observe all the words of this instruction, and to do these statutes. (Deuteronomy 17:18-19)
Each king was to have his own personal copy of God’s word and he was to read from it every day of his life. Yet, during the time of Manasseh and Amon, God’s word was thrown into a room and forgotten. Josiah seemed not to be aware of its existence until it was found during the repairs.
God’s word is powerful in our lives. In 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Paul described it as sacred writings, inspired by God, which give wisdom for salvation and are able to teach, rebuke, correct, and train so we are equipped for every good work.
Yet, if we neglect it, then we lack guidance in the things that honor God and fuel life in Christ. God’s word leads us away from sin and empowers us to live faithful to him Neglecting God’s word leaves us in the grip of sin.
So, treasure the word. Read it, listen to it, and take it to heart.
Scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.