In 622 B.C. a restoration of truth and zeal for it swept over God’s people. Josiah had ascended to the throne of Judah at the age of eight in the year 640 B.C. “And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2, ESV). In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, in the process of gathering money to repair the house of God, the Book of the Law was found in the temple by Hilkiah, the high priest.
Now herein is a marvel. The Book of God’s law had somehow been lost and—of all places—it was lost in the temple! So long had they gone without God’s written instruction, that the finding of this Book was a major event. There are so many people today who have Bibles on their bookshelves, and yet it would be a remarkable thing if they ever stumbled onto the truth contained therein. Because of disuse, God’s word has been lost in their own houses.
So what happened when the Book of God was found in the temple? Shaphan the scribe took it to King Josiah and read it in his hearing. The king was floored as he listened, realizing that his people had not been keeping the law. He tore his clothes in anguish and ordered the high priest and others to “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us” (2 Kings 22:13).
All of Judah, from priest to king, from small to great, gathered at the temple in Jerusalem. The Book of the Covenant was read in the hearing of the people. “Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow 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 this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant” (2 Kings 23:3, NKJV).
“All the people took a stand for the covenant” —what a sentiment! What if everyone in the world decided to take a stand for God’s word? Not likely, you say. What if we could convince everyone in America to take a stand for truth? Only in a perfect world (not influenced by the devil) would that happen. Well, what if every single member of one congregation took a stand for the gospel?
If each of us gives his heart to the Lord, the amount of good we can do for the kingdom is beyond the ability of any instrument to measure. If we allow God to will and work in us (Philippians 2:13), great things will happen. But the Lord’s church deserves every member fully committed to the task, without hesitation or reservation. Remember how one undedicated man—Achan—brought God’s army to defeat at the battle of Ai (Joshua 7)? Are you an asset or liability to the kingdom? Don’t let the word of God be lost on you. Take a stand for the Lord’s covenant!
-Weylan Deaver, TBC Online Instructor