Now it happened when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes. – 2 Kings 22:11
Josiah became King of Judah after his father had died and turned away from the ways of his father, Hezekiah. Apparently the Book of the Law (Deuteronomy most likely) had not been used in a long time in Judah because the Bible says it had been “found” in the temple. When the king’s servant found it and read it to the king, Josiah felt God’s Spirit convict him of the sin not only in his life but also made him see the sin of his people and how they’d turned away from God. Thus, he tore his clothes as a symbolic gesture of remorse and repentance.
When you or I hear the word of God read in our presence, do we feel God’s Spirit convicting us or speaking to us, as did Josiah? He heard the word of God and was moved so greatly that he practically wiped out all forms of idolatry within the bounds of Judah and Israel. The Bible tells us that there was no king like Josiah before or after him who loved God like he did and served God like he did, including David. He felt the Spirit of God speak to him through the written Word. This reason is why we do these daily devotions – to hear God speak to us and move us to do right in our lives. God’s Word is alive, quick, and sharper than any double-edged sword able to separate bone from marrow and soul from body. Even if we may not hear the small, still voice of God like Elijah, He still speaks to us, even today, from His Words, as He did to Josiah. Read the Bible and let God speak to you!
Father, it’s been nearly three and one-half years on this journey of reading Your Word and allowing Your Spirit speak to me from the pages of the Bible. I hear You today telling me to heed the example of Josiah’s broken and “tender” heart after he’d heard the truth of the Word. I’m not under the Book of the Law as he was, but Your written Word still applies to us today. It’s life and health to all who find it and follow it. Help me to dive deeper into it and to live by it daily. Thank You for speaking to me today from Your written Word by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.