Today’s Scriptures in Kings allows me to touch upon one of my favorite topics: the foundational importance of God’s Word. Josiah becomes king of Judah, and God must’ve had some sort of grace upon him because he seems to have had a tender heart toward the Lord even as an 8-year old king (and even though his father and grandfather had not been good role models). When he was only 18 he was motivated to fix up the Lord’s temple and honor Him. In the repair of the temple, an old copy of God’s Word is found, which has been thought to be lost. It is said by Jewish tradition that the previous kings Manasseh and Amon had tried to destroy all copies of the Law, and had missed this one only because it was hidden under a stone in the floor of the temple. Whatever the case, this discovery and proclamation of the Law that the Lord had given Israel so many years before sparks a remarkable revival in the land. The presence and renewed focus on the Word of the Lord made all the difference.
We live in a remarkable age where we have the Word of God all around us. I am writing this on a computer that has 4 versions of the Bible on it, I am referring to a website that has over 30 English translations on it, and my phone has another 2 versions, and I know we have several different paper Bibles scattered around our house at this moment. We take the preciousness of the Bible for granted in our culture: we read it distractedly (at least I know I do), we tune out when the pastor reads long passages in church (again, I know that at least I’m guilty), we spend more energy internalizing newspaper articles and celebrity gossip than what we read in it. Because I’ve read it and heard it all my life I subconsciously think I’ve “heard it all”. However, daily I’m reminded that I need it more and more to speak into my life and change my ways of thinking. It has the power to transform lives and to impart truth in a way that nothing else in this world can.
I’m privileged to be able to work for Wycliffe Bible Translators, an organization devoted to getting the Bible to over 350 million people in the world who speak a language that doesn’t have any portion of the Bible yet. So many don’t have even one verse of God’s Word to learn about Him and His ways. Weekly I get to hear stories of people who are thrilled with the incredible experience of hearing God’s Word for the first time in their own language. It is often an experience that transforms them. This challenges me regularly to keep seeking ways that it can transform me, because I know better than anyone how many things there still are in me that need to be transformed.
In our daily lives, we need to treat this Word with a reverence it deserves as our most precious, most clear revelation of the truths that the Almighty God of the Universe has entrusted to us. I need to treat this book less flippantly and more as a treasure. How can I honor and esteem the Bible more in my life today? How can I read it more often? How can I read it more carefully and with greater understanding? How can I obey it more sincerely?