Summary: 7th in the series "Revival in the Land." Revival comes when God reveals Himself through His Word.
At the Gold City Gem Mine in Franklin, North Carolina customers pay a small fee for a "bucket of dirt" out of the mine, the dirt contains rocks, usually worthless, the joy of treasure hunting and occaisionally a real gemstone out of the mine. In July of 1995, a third-grader name Griffin McCurry, paid for just such a bucket of dirt. As you might expect it didn’t look as if there was any hidden treasure, but there was a rock in it that the boy kept just because he liked the shape. People magazine reported that it was a saleswoman from the Jewelry store at the mine who noticed the rock and gave it a closer inspection. As it turned out the 1104 carat saphire had a value of approximately $45,000.
Everybody likes a good treasure story, and the story of the discovery of the Law in the Temple during Josiah’s rennovation is about as good as they come, because God’s word is a treasure that is priceless.
But this is more than just a story of Lost and Found, this is a story about God choosing to reveal himself. The Law wasn’t just found accidentally, God chose to reveal his Word, which is to say that God chose to reveal himself to Josiah and the nation he led. God could have made that choice at any time in the previous kings’ reigns, Yet he chose to reveal it Josiah
Interrogative: The question we need to ask ourselves is why Josiah? What did he do that caused the Lord to draw near to him in this special way.
Transition: During the last couple of months we have been thinking about the topic of revival, and what happens here in Josiah’s reign is what revival is all about: God showing himself to his people, The people of God having a fresh revelation or more precisely a fresh understanding of the person and work of Jesus Christ. That comes by God’s choice not ours but I think that we can see in this story a couple of the things that Josiah did that made God decide to reveal himself anew during the time of Josiah. As usual I’m looking for an intentional Biblical pattern here that we can put into practice here and now. So let’s look first at what was going on when the discovery was made, Josiah was...
I. Working--doing what he knew was right
vv. 3-6 In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD. He said: 4"Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. 5Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the LORD—6the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple.
Josiah’s folks didn’t just happen upon the Book of the Law in the street somewhere. They were in God’s house doing housecleaning. They were positioned to find that book because Josiah had looked at the Lord’s house and said it was a disgrace, He’d decided that it was time to do some repairs. He was seeking to honor God by repairing the temple.
Friends if we’re going to see revival in the here and now it’s not going to be because we stumble upon it somewhere, but because we’re busy doing what we know is right, because we are honoring God with our lives. Sure our knowledge might not be complete and there might be some more things the Lord will require of us when He draws near, just like he did in Josiah’s time but he’ll give us that specific stuff when he sees we’re doing the general stuff. Why because it demonstrates we have an appreciation for his word and an intent to follow through.
ILLUSTRATION:A story is told of a man who loved old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations. "I couldn’t read it," the friend explained. "Somebody named Guten-something had printed it." "Not Gutenberg!" the book lover exclaimed in horror. "That Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why, a copy just sold for over two million dollars!" His friend was unimpressed. "Mine wouldn’t have brought a dollar. Some fellow named Martin Luther had scribbled all over it in German."
The man didn’t have an appreciation of what he had. But Josiah by his working to do what he knew to do, demopnstrated an appreciation for the thjings of the Lord. The second reason I believe God chose to reveal his Word to Josiah was that Josiah was...