In 2 Kings 22 we find one of the most unusual and noteworthy characters of all Scripture. King Josiah was just eight years old when he took the throne after his father was assassinated. Despite his extreme youth, Josiah “did all that was right in the sight of the Lord.” When he had reigned for eighteen years (and reached the ripe old age of twenty-six), the high priest made a discovery of epic proportions: he found the “lost book of the law” amidst a royal renovation project in an abandoned building—the temple.
When the high priest brought the book to Josiah, he had a scribe read it aloud. Though the book had been lost for decades, the significance of the holy writings was not lost on the young king. He was so humbled and repentant for the sins of his father and his nation that he tore his clothes in sorrow and shame. He demonstrated gratitude, reverence, and tenderness towards the truths of Scripture, hid for so long.
We have some things in common with King Josiah. We’re young, we’re leaders, and we appear to be accomplishing a lot for our age. The key difference is that Josiah had been deprived of access to God’s word for his entire life, and we are surrounded by a million ways to study Scripture. Does the convenience make it seem unimportant or cheap to us? Do we take the wisdom of Scripture for granted? Do we try to out-smart it? To throw it out like milk past the expiration date? Or do we revere it with tenderness and gratitude?
We can discard the Scripture, and wait for it to be found and dusted off by some future Josiah, or we can reach back and find the hidden truths of God’s Word and dust them off for our generation. Josiah’s actions led to a kick-start of prosperity and greatness for Israel, but it all began with simple gratitude for God’s first free gift to us; His Word.