An unread Bible is a lost Bible and a lost Bible always means spiritual degeneracy and its accompanying curses.
When man finds the Word, the Word is quick to find him and convict him of sin.
Either sin keeps one from the Book or the Book keeps one from sin.
II Kings 1
1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.
2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
3 ¶ And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the LORD, saying,
4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the LORD, which the keepers of the door have gathered of the people:
5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house,
6 Unto carpenters, and builders, and masons, and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.
7 Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully.
8 ¶ And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
9 And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD.
10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.
11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes.
12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,
13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.
14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.
15 ¶ And she said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,
16 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:
17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched.
18 But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard;
19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.
20 Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.
II Kings 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Kings 22:1-13 – Finding the Lost Law.
In the midst of a dissolute court, Josiah’s young life grew as a palm on the desert-waste. At the age of 16 he sought the Lord, and at 18 he became even more earnest and devoted, as though some special quickening had passed over his soul and led him to set about the repair of the Temple. In this he was greatly aided by Hilkiah. It was a fair sunrise, though the day was prematurely overcast.
During the process of renovation a copy of the Book of the Law was discovered, and Shaphan read it before the king. It is supposed that the passage which he recited and which so greatly moved his soul, was Deuteronomy 28-30, where are enumerated the awful consequences that would follow the failure to observe God’s law. What ruthless havoc had Manasseh wrought, that all the copies of the Law had become destroyed! It reminds us of the wholesale burning of the Bible in Tyndale’s day! The housebreaker is always careful to extinguish the light that might reveal his presence and lead to his identification. Let us not hesitate to preach the whole counsel of God, and not hide the inevitable doom of the ungodly. It is by the Word that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin.
2 Kings 22:14-20; 23:1-4 – Hearening to the Message.
Josiah’s fears were deeply stirred by the evils which the Law of the Lord clearly indicated as imminent, and he immediately sent for advice to the prophetess Huldah, who was held in great veneration. Her answer was full of gentle kindness. Though the king’s punishment could not be averted, it should nevertheless be postponed. How quick is God to notice the tears of genuine contrition and to meet the soul that seeks to do his will! If only the whole nation had been equally repentant, its fate would have doubtless been altered.
It is remarkable, however, that even in Josiah’s case the prediction of the prophetess was not realized. He died in battle, and his dead body was brought to Jerusalem amid mourning that became proverbial (23:30; Zechariah 12:2). Why this apparent breach of promise? The answer is suggested by our Lord’s temptation. He refused to make bread of stones, because of his absolute faith in God, and when Satan tempted him still further to manifest that faith by casting himself from the beetling Temple crag, he again refused because such an act was not in the scope of the Father’s plan. On the other hand, Josiah, disregarding all counsels to the contrary, needlessly flung himself into the fray between Egypt and Babylon and there lost his life. “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7; Luke 4:12)!
2 Kings 22:20—Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace.
As a matter of fact, Josiah’s death was not a peaceful one. He persisted in going into conflict with Pharaoh-necho, king of Egypt, against the latter’s earnest remonstrance (2 Chronicles 35:20-22); and, in consequence of his hardihood, met his death. His servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo (2 Kings 23:30). Is there, then, any real contradiction between the prophet’s prediction and this sad event?
Certainly not! The one tells us what God was prepared to do for His servant; the other what he brought on himself by his own folly. There are many instances of this change of purpose in the Word of God. One of them is known as “my breach of promise” (Numbers 14:34). He would have saved His people from the forty years’ wandering in the wilderness, but they made Him to serve with their sins and wearied Him with their iniquities. He would have gathered Jerusalem as a hen gathers her brood, but she would not.
Let us beware lest, a promise being left us, we should seem to come short of it; lest there be in any of us an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God, and frustrating some blessed purpose of His heart. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9); but we may limit the Holy One of Israel, and so restrain Him by our unbelief as to stay the mighty works which are in His plan for us. He may desire for us a prosperous life and a peaceful death; but we may close our dying eyes amid disaster and defeat, because we willfully chose our own way.