II Kings 22:13 “Go to the Temple and speak to the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah. Ask him about the words written in this scroll that has been found. The LORD’s anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing what this scroll says we must do.”
Hilkiah, the high priest in Judah at the time, found the Word of God hidden in the Temple and went and told King Josiah about it. Josiah was a godly man and had maintained his godliness under the direction of the priests. Even though he did not have the Word of God at his disposal, he was able to discern right from wrong and chose to do what was right before God. When the Word was brought to him, he eagerly devoured it. He wanted to know what God had said, because he had a real heart for God.
We notice a few things about what Josiah discovered and how he responded to it. The nation of Israel had been given clear direction on how they were to live life. There was no confusion on the matter for God had it written down for all to see. However, it was obvious that they had ignored God and lived life the way they wanted to. Even though they often had declared their allegiance to God, their lives told a different story.
Josiah discovered that God had also made it clear that there were consequences for ignoring Him. God promised to bless those who lived obedient lives and punish those who didn’t. It was obvious that the nation of Israel was in serious trouble with God. Josiah believed what he read and took it to heart. We find ourselves in the same position as Josiah. We have a choice to make. Do we believe what we read in God’s Word or do we dismiss it? If we truly believe that all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for our faith and living, then does it not make sense for us to take it seriously? Yet, it is obvious that most who claim to believe the Word is true do not seriously endeavor to live by it.
Josiah was overcome by fear when he read what God had to say. He knew that serious trouble was just around the corner unless they repented of their sins. He believed that God was holy and would indeed deal with sin. He feared the wrath of God. We would do well to have the same sense of fear in our hearts. Most of us do not fear the wrath of God. We hide behind the cloak of God’s love and grace and figure that there is nothing to fear when we disobey God. I believe there is a great deterrent in believing that God deals with sin. A proper understanding of God’s view of sin helps us to think twice before we decide to jump into it. God is holy and must deal with sin wherever it is found. He is just and will judge the heart. He knows the intent of the heart and when it is set on sinning against Him, He will hold the sinner accountable for it.