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    Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD—to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.

    2 Kings 23:1-3

    Josiah was one of only two kings out of Judah’s entire history since David and Solomon that was considered godly and upright in the eyes of the Lord. In chapter 22 of 2 Kings, Bilkiah, Judah’s High Priest, finds the Book of the Law (most likely the book of Deuteronomy) and has it read in its entirety in the presence of King Josiah. Upon hearing God’s Word, Josiah “tore his robes”, realizing both God’s holiness and the nation’s sin and impending judgment for so blatantly disobeying God’s covenant with His people. Josiah took God’s Word seriously and immediately implemented reform – all the citizens pledged to keep God’s covenant for the first time in hundreds of years. An entire nation was changed.

    What is our reaction when we read God’s Word? Many people might think “that was a good story” or “there is a great moral lesson for me to learn”. But for many of us that is where it ends; we put our Bible back on the shelf and go on with our lives. What if, like Josiah, we would sit in awe of God’s holiness? What if we were so convicted of our own sin that we made immediate and radical changes in our attitudes and behavior?

    Many churches have used this passage to pray for revival in their congregation. But revival begins individually within each one of us as we see God’s Word for what it is, taking it seriously, and allowing God to transform us from the inside out.

    May God bless you this week as you read and study His Word.

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