This is the Bible. It is the why behind life. For example, why do we exist? Why is there death? Why do we long to love and be loved? Why do we feel guilty? Why do we desire to create?
Walking in the woods, staring at the night sky, or looking into a microscope does not reveal to us the answer to these whys. The Bible, however, does. Having said this, very few people open up the Book. Even self-proclaimed Christians seem to be Biblically illiterate. Yes, you may own a Bible, and perhaps you open it up from time to time, but other things have taken a priority over reading God’s Word, such as football, movies, yard work, and Facebook.
This was the case for the nation of Israel, other things had taken priority. They were a nation that had forgotten about the Word of God. Year after year they went through the motions and as the generations came and went they found themselves farther and farther from God. One day upon doing some spring cleaning in the temple, they found the Book, literally they found the Book. They read it, and then took the Book to King Josiah and “when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes.” (2 Kings 22:11) Why did he tear his clothes?
“For great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” – 2 Kings 22:13
To be honest, I can’t help but feel the same way today. As I watch our society crumble, I can’t help but see the correlation of the abandonment of God’s Word. Our Churches are full of pomp and circumstance, going through motions, while the teaching of God’s Word is seen as old fashioned. Sunday morning is more about relevant praise music and catchy videos then looking at the Book. Families live for activities instead of soaking in the living and active Word of God (Hebrews 4:12). Other things have taken priority.
Having said that, tearing my clothes won’t help, or will it? In verse 19 God says, “because your heart was penitent, and you humbled yourself before the LORD, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the LORD.”
Josiah had read the Book and he believed it. His response was to feel the weight of his nation’s rebellion and to humbly cry out to the Lord. This response was heard by God.
What if those who knew the power of God’s Word and believed it, would mourn and cry out to God in prayer, interceding for our communities. Perhaps God would show us mercy and open the ears of the rebellious, causing them to turn and make the Lord the rightful priority of their life. Let us choose not to idly stand by and shrug our shoulders, let us instead, tear our clothes and weep before the Lord; for the wrath of God is kindled against those whom have not submitted to what is written concerning all of us.