Josiah became the 16th King of Judah following the split after Solomon’s reign at the ripe old age of 8. It was said about him that “He did right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways his father David did, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” If you lived under the rule of one of the Kings of Judah you had a 50-50 chance at getting one who would qualify as having “good” character. In fact, Josiah was the last one of these good character kings before the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem four kings later.
When Josiah was 24 he ordered that all the money that had been given to the Temple be entrusted to men so that they could make repairs. While construction was happening, Hilkiah the high priest said, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.”
It’s easy to either glance over this sentence as not a big deal or perhaps you congratulate Hilkiah in your mind on his lucky find, but one thing to take away from this verse is: the Book of the Law should never have been lost! This is the same book that’s referred to in Joshua 1:8, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” It should have been at the center of everything the Jewish people did. They should have been reading from it daily and meditating on it daily. How does the most important thing to your city and people get lost and then need to be found?
What this verse really does is serves as a good warning for my own walk with the Lord and for me as a dad. The people didn’t lose the Book overnight. One of the priest didn’t set it down somewhere and then forgot where he put it. My guess is that overtime they slowly stopped reading from it and after a few years or after a generation past, it was all together forgotten about.
Before I throw stones at the generation that stopped following the Book of the Law, if I don’t make it a point to stay in the Word and make sure my family is being fed spiritually, it won’t take long before it will be completely lost to the next generation. It’s so important that we do with the Bible what Deuteronomy 11 says:
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
There are a lot of things that compete for our time and attention. We must make certain we don’t neglect spending time in God’s Word, modeling it to our children and helping them grow in their personal walks with Jesus. If we begin to get lax in this area it won’t be long before God’s Word will get lost in our lives and in the lives of our family.