The Guy Who Found It – Scripture Dissection

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The Guy Who Found It - Scripture Dissection
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I bet you’ve lost something on occasion. You know how it is to misplace an item – and then spent far too much time looking for it. “Keys” is the big one. (Where do those keys always disappear to?) Sometimes it’s a gift item you purchase and put it in a logical place – and then can’t find it when you need it. Then there’s your vehicle! “Where in blazes did I park in the lot outside this store?!” Well, this content highlights the guy who found it. Interestingly, he wasn’t even looking for it. Incidentally, what he found was much more precious than keys, gifts, vehicles, and other things commonly misplaced. What this young man found had been hidden a long time.

Tear Into It – The Guy Who Found It

First, I suggest – check out our initial content that launched Scripture Dissection materials: Tear Into It. That article explains how and why we introduce Scripture dissection exercises periodically.

So, now look up 2 Kings 22 and 23:1-27 in your Bible for a full story. Since you may not have a Bible at this moment, here’s a bullet backstory of developments in my words.

The Guy Who Found It – Scripture Dissection

  • Josiah is eight years old when he was crowned king.
  • He reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years.
  • He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
  • In his eighteenth year as king, he decided to repair the temple of the Lord.
  • Wisely, he hired and paid the workers, instead of enslaving them to work on the project.
  • During this process, the high priest found the Book of the Law in the temple rubbish.
  • This book was sent to Josiah and read to him.
  • In immediate sorrow, Josiah tore his robes. This book revealed how far God’s people had strayed from His ways.
  • He instinctively knew this was a “generational sin” – “those who have gone before us have not obeyed . . . “ (22:13) And he also included his current generation in that sin.
  • A prophet was asked to weigh in on this find. After he interpreted the warnings in the book, he sent word to Josiah. It was grave.
  • Basically, the warning was about the unfaithfulness of Israel. It involved these points:
      • Their idolatry.
      • Unresponsive hearts.
      • Arrogance.
  • Thankfully, the prophet included a hopeful word to Josiah – “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard . . . because you tore your robes and wept in My presence, I have also heard you, declares the Lord.” (22:19)

 

But There’s More

  • Josiah called all the elders together. And he invited all the people – “from the least to the greatest.” (23:2)
  • The king read all the words from the Book of the Covenant that had been found.
  • Then, standing by the temple pillar, Josiah renewed a commitment to the covenant in God’s presence.
  • That covenant was to ” . . . follow the Lord and keep His commands, statues, and decrees with all his heart and all his soul. (23:3) In other words, he started with himself in front of all his people.
  • Following this great example, all the people joined in that pledge.
  • He ordered the priests to remove every item that was used in idol worship and ordered them to be burned outside the city.
  • Josiah then “did away with” idolatrous priests.
  • Additionally, this exceptional king carried out a list to “set right” every single violation of the covenant throughout the land.

 

The List 

      1. Burned outside the city – all vessels used in idol worship.
      2. Deposed of all leaders who “performed” rituals in idol worship.
      3. Took out of God’s temple all the junk of false worship of idols, burned it outside the city, and beat it into dust (23:6).
      4. Destroyed abominable sexual practices and places it happened.
      5. Broke down all the high places his “bad dad” rebuilt after his grandpa (Hezekiah) had torn them down.
      6. Destroyed the places of sacrifice to Molech where burning sons and daughters took place.
      7. Removed images of horses that had been dedicated to false worship and burned chariots used to worship the sun god.
      8. Pulled down and smashed altars on the roof.
      9. Broke in pieces pillars in places of false worship.
      10. Pulled down and burned to dust any other high place he could find.
      11. Removed shrines.
      12. Sacrificed the false priests who led people in idolatry – on the altars they had used.

 

Conclusion?

This guy was thorough! Interestingly, being thorough is critical to a healthy relationship with God. Josiah knew it – so he got to work.

He put faithfulness into practice by doing practical things that promoted holiness. Simultaneously, He eliminated every single thing that interfered with 100% commitment to God. When it comes to integrity – Josiah found it!

Let’s Tear IntoThe Guy Who Found It

There are always four categories we explore in Scripture dissection:

  1. What Does It Say?
  2. What Does It Mean?
  3. Make It Personal
  4. Make A Commitment.

 

1. What Does It Say?

Josiah is a breath of fresh air, don’t you think? This young man is only 8 years old when he becomes king! He pleases God like few of his ancestors. Even with a “bad dad,” he chooses what is right. It takes some upheaval, hard work, time, and probably stepping on some people’s toes. Yet, he “performs” his kingly duties and leads by example.

First, Josiah puts a plan into place to clean up the temple so people can again freely worship God. Subsequently, upon finding the Book of the Covenant, Josiah has it read to him. Further, he sends it to a trusted prophet to interpret the meaning of the document. Josiah is pro-active, careful, and committed. Today, you might say he’s “a self-starter.”

Once Josiah gathers facts, he gives a new direction. Consequently, this means applying God’s words down to the detail. So, what is the new direction – the new plan? Simply put – do whatever it takes to get things back on track to trust and obey God. Josiah cleans house! In fact, he cleans the entire nation down to the cubby holes and corners! In essence, he works to right the wrongs committed by the nation. This is what a nation’s leaders should do.

Then he “[stands] by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord.” (23:3) That covenant includes:

  1. To walk in God’s ways.
  2. To keep all His commands and ways.
  3. How? ” . . . with all his heart and all his soul to perform the words of this covenant . . . written in this book.” (23:3c)

 

This young king goes first by example. And God affirms Josiah is doing what is right and good. His message to Josiah – “your heart [is] penitent, and you humbled yourself before the Lord.” (22:19) Regarding pleasing God, Josiah found it!

2. What Does It Mean?

Josiah conducts a deep, thorough cleansing of his entire country. He commands people to keep the Passover that was established when God freed them from slavery in Egypt. It hadn’t been celebrated for many years.

All this positive change results from Josiah getting into God’s Word and getting God’s Word into him. Josiah responds beautifully and eliminates any influence that might pull him away from God.

I love the word “perform” in 23:3c. Notably, some folks may not like that word when describing a relationship with God. Nevertheless, that word accurately describes motives of human behavior:

  • To gain others’ approval.
  • Acting out of conscience and integrity.
  • Even more admirably, flowing out of a desire to gain God’s approval.

 

Often in our content, we say – “What you practice is what you become.” Notably, to perform (in its best sense) is to make practical decisions to do what is right – from the heart. Incidentally, it’s also an act of worship. Regarding performing, have you found it?

3. Make It Personal

Josiah does everything in his power to “establish the words of the Law.” (23:24) Here’s a beautiful assessment of Josiah’s life – “Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might!” (23:25) Does this remind you of what Jesus commanded – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and might?

Are you doing everything in your power to live like this? With all your heart? With all your soul? With all your might?

Notice how people respond when questioned or challenged.

  • They may be defensive, give excuses, try to sound intelligent.
  • Or they may explore, discover, and make any adjustments necessary to be a healthy person.

 

You can be defensive – or you can be reflective and make healthy changes. Integrity is critical to be healthy and well-adjusted.

Does your passion, leadership, and personal example prove you’ve found it?

4. Make A Commitment – Application Thoughts And Questions

Ask – “what’s in my heart” by considering these good questions:

  1. Do you have an eager heart?
  2. Is your heart quickly repentant like Josiah’s?
  3. How often do you ask if you are on track?
  4. Do you fix things to match God’s ways?
  5. Do you clean up what is not pleasing to the Lord?
  6. Are you pro-active, careful, and committed?
  7. When it comes to integrity, have you found it?

 

P.S. Remarkably, Josiah was only 26 years old when he made these life-changing decisions. He found it! You can, too!

 

I invite you to follow us on your favorite social media. Do sign up on our email list to receive weekly articles. PLUS tune-in to our weekly podcast using your preferred podcast app or use our online player at the top of each article.

Visit our website for resources to get into God’s Word and live an Alive and Active Life.

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