22nd November 2019

Hidden in Plain Sight

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.’…Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.”
2 Kings 22:8, 10-11 (NIVUK)

Much as I love to read the Bible, it has not yet motivated me to rip my clothes! But when you study the featured passage and surrounding verses, it quickly becomes apparent why the word of God had such a dramatic impact on the young king.

We learn that Josiah is one of the few righteous kings the nation of Judah ever had (verse 2) and he has begun hiring carpenters, builders and masons to restore God’s temple, which had fallen into neglect (verses 4-6). Yet he is missing some vital information. For 57 years, his father Amnon and grandfather Manasseh have done everything in their power to lead the Israelites astray. And all of that time, the Book of the Law has been hidden in plain sight, gathering dust on a shelf or cupboard in the temple. Now the book is found and read out loud and Josiah’s heart is cut to the quick.

While we can’t know exactly what was read, in verse 17, where God speaks through the prophetess Huldah, there is a strong suggestion that idolatry is the central issue. “Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.”

Josiah knows exactly what to do. The tearing of his robes demonstrates that he is committed to taking action. In chapter 23 he renews the Covenant in the presence of all the people, and then he orders the removal and destruction of all traces of idolatry, both inside the temple and throughout the length and breadth of Judah.

Maybe your Bible is like the book in Josiah’s story; hidden in plain sight, waiting to be re-discovered. Why not pick it up, dust it down, look inside and read it in the presence of the King? Perhaps, like Josiah, your heart will be cut to the quick and you will be inspired to take action and clear out some of the idols in your life.

Father, your Word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating even to divide soul and spirit, joints and marrow. Help us to use it to judge the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. In Jesus’ name.

Study by Peter Mill

About the Author:
Peter Mill is an Elder and the Missions Developer of the National Ministry Team of Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. He and his wife, Jackie, are Pastoral Workers for Grace Communion International in Scotland and Ireland.

Local Congregation:
GCI, Edinburgh
Gilmerton New Church
Ravenscroft Street
EH17 8QJ

Meeting time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Peter Mill
Email: edinburgh@gracecom.church

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