Reading time: two minutes. You could not possibly get a better endorsement. No one among the Old Testament people of God ever did. Here’s how it reads in 2 Kings 23:25: Neither before or after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did – with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. Wow! So what exactly was it that earned Josiah the most glowing accolade recorded in the Old Testament? It’s pretty simple, really. He read his Bible. He took it to heart. His faith in God led to action, according to the Lord’s own leading by the Word. If baptismal joy is the renewing of our identity as forgiven children of the Father, spiritual joy is the lifelong walk of faith, blessed and guided by the Word of the Lord. The story of Josiah’s Reform is so fantastic, I marvel that it is not more well known to our Sunday School students than the story of Noah’s Ark! It’s so simple and so pure and so relevant for today and for the life of every disciple of Jesus. In it’s simplest form, Josiah found a Bible and the nation was transformed! Well, it’s a little more detailed than that, and that’s where the excitement lies. (You can read about it in 2 Kings 22-23). The nation had been through a bad period. Evil kings like Ahab in Israel and Manasseh in Judah had led the people astray. The temple had fallen into disrepair. There’s no indication that anyone was even familiar with the books of Moses or the Mount Sinai covenant. Josiah was just a youngster, eight years old, when anointed king. At 26 he suggested (crazy idea!) that the money collected to keep the temple in good repair be used (get this!) to keep the temple in good repair! When someone got around to dusting the church library, they found a Bible, “The Book of the Law,” which many think (as I do) that it was the book of Deuteronomy, Moses’ review of the covenant with the Lord. They dusted it off. They read the book. They told the king. He tore his robes. They read the book to all the people. They repented of their sins. They tore down the altars to false gods. (You definitely want to read all the details about this whole clean-up process). And they celebrated the Passover, a remembrance of God’s salvation by grace from slavery in Egypt. Basically, they saved the nation. Great things happen when we “read, learn, mark and inwardly digest” the Word of the Lord. In this season of Easter, the appointed readings include some of the most amazing and wonder-filled scriptures of the year. As you dig into God’s life-giving Word, may you know the joy and renewal that our loving Lord has been bringing to His people for centuries. Thanks for reading. Subscribe to Blog Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry? Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry. Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.
Spiritual JOY in the OT!
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