TITLE: FIND THE BOOK
SCRIPTURE: II KINGS 22:1-14
This morning, I invite your attention to the examination of a boy named Josiah, whose times thrust him into a role he did not choose. The narrative of Josiah is remarkable on a number of levels. Josiah was (8) eight years of age when he became king; he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem. He did what was right in the LORD’s sight and walked in the ways of his ancestor David; he did not turn aside to the right or the left.
Are there any 8 Years olds in the Church this morning, if so, would you stand? Imagine Mom and Dad, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, if your 8 years old, instead of going into the third grade, you became the President of the United States! That’s what happened to Josiah. But there are a couple of other factors you need to know that combine to raise our esteem for this boy who would become King.
To get a handle on the political scene in Josiah’s day, go back hundreds of years before Josiah to the death of Solomon, which marked the beginning of a fractured and divided Israel.
• A civil war would soon break out
• Eventually forcing the creation of two separate kingdoms where there was once one nation
• Ten of the twelve tribes of Israel united to form what was called the Northern Kingdom of Israel
• The remaining two tribes formed the Southern Kingdom, known as Judah
By the time Josiah came to the throne of Judah, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was no more. Eighty years (80) before Josiah, God brought an end to the Northern Kingdom because of their continued rebellion against Him and the idolatrous practices that pervaded the land.
• The Almighty appointed the ruthless Assyrian Army as the instrument of His judgment
• The death toll for the Hebrew people was massive
• Those that survived were deported to Assyria, never to return to their homeland again
In the 8 decades that followed the FALL OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM, Judah sank deeper and deeper into sin. The prophetic preaching of MICAH– ZEPHANIAH – JEREMIAH – HABAKKUK - all took place in Judah during this time, each of them warning of impending judgment unless there was repentance. But their cries fell on deaf ears.
Just wanted to remind our Bible readers and inform those not familiar with the Old Testament, when Josiah comes as a child to the throne of Judah, he inherits a kingdom where moral anarchy and rampant idolatry were common.
• Do you remember Josiah’s Grandfather?
• His grandfather was Manasseh, who ruled for 55 years in Judah
• He led the most disgusting and vile life imaginable
• What would it be like as an 8-year old to have your recollections of your grandfather be of a man who dedicated himself to removing God’s Word from Judah and replacing the worship of God with idols?
• How would it affect Josiah to know that Grandpa sacrificed some of his own children to satanic gods?
• Or to read the accounts of the wholesale slaughter of innocent people that marked his reign, such that the Bible says of him -- Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another?
Let’s not forget about Josiah’s Father. He was not much better.
• Josiah’s Father AMON was not much better than his father
• Amon’s reign as the King was very brief
• Amon, followed in his father Manasseh’s footsteps
• Amon would be assassinated in his second year as king by the palace servants
• People were tired of Manasseh’s reign glad when he died after 55 years on the throne
• His son Amon was just evil and the people were tired of it
• After just two years on the throne the servants of Amon were feed up with him and tired of his evil, nasty ways, therefore; his own servants assassinated him
This is how at 8-years of age, the Grandson of Manasseh – the Son of Amon - Josiah – the boy who would become King would take the throne. This was the spiritual heritage handed to Josiah.
• This was the reason he came to the throne at such an early age
• He had no godly model to follow in his immediate family
• He faced an unpredictable and volatile political climate in his world
• His nation was spinning out of control, headed for the judgment of God
• What possible difference could a child make in such dire conditions?
This is why I don’t buy into the Principle of being a –VICTIM OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE OR ENVIRONMENT.
• Josiah did not have the benefit of being raised by a Father
• His father was Assassinated
• He did not have a Godly and Wise grandfather
• He did not have a strong male figure in his life
• No male figure there to help him transition from a Boy to a Man
• No male there to help him through Puberty and help him understand the changes in his body
• I am sure his mother did the very best she could
• Yet, Josiah would rise above it all
No matter what Circumstance or Station in life you find yourself, you don’t have to be a victim – you can rise above it.
• Stop complaining about not having a father at home
• Stop complaining about being raised by a father and no mother at home
• Stop complaining that you may not have been raised in the best environment
• Stop complaining your parents did not do everything right – The Huxtibles were not real!
• Stop complaining that you were raised in the hood – you made it out of there didn’t you!
• Stop complaining that you did not have much while growing up and raised on “hand me downs”
• Stop complaining that you practically had to raise yourself
• Stop complaining you were a single mother doing it on your own
• I know what you are saying, But, Rev. you just don’t understand
• I may not fully understand what you went through, but God does!
Don’t give Anything or Anyone that kind of Power over You, to hold you back in this life! Stop dwelling on the Past and grab a hold of your Future! YOU CAN BECOME AND DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND AND SPIRIT TO BECOME. Josiah in our text is a prime example.
• Josiah should have been a failure
• Josiah should have been evil and wicked based upon the examples he had
• Josiah should have been no good to himself or anyone else
• Josiah’s father was Assassinated, that should have messed him up mentally all the days of his life
• That is enough right there to qualify him for years or a lifetime of Counseling
• He should be the Poster Child for being a Victim of his Environment
• But, this young boy found a way to RISE ABOVE IT ALL
I tell you, brothers and sisters this young man would be used of God to lead his nation in one of the greatest revivals of their history! Just an unlikely youngster—weak by every standard for the task to which he came and with extraordinary obstacles before him—yet he became the one who guided his people back to God! The question must be asked, “What was it about Josiah that made him great before God and men?”
• God sees potential in us long before we start believing in our self
• God sees our Ending from our Beginning
• God sees our Success when all we see is Failure
Vs. 3 on our text calls to our attention Josiah was now in his 18th year as King. We find him now at 26 years of age.
• He has had some experiences in his life at this point
• He has now learned a few things during these past 18 years
• He has made some mistakes along the way, as we all have
• There is no success without experiencing some failures along the way
• Josiah began to feel something during those 18 years
• He was not quite sure what it was
• Something tugging at him internally
• Something bigger and greater than himself
He didn’t take his cues from his own family. He rose above the SPIRITUAL EMPTINESS at home. He didn’t succumb to the anti-God attitudes and godless choices of his nation. He rose above PEER PRESSURE. He refused to follow the masses. Josiah swam against the current of his day by setting a simple personal priority at the core of who he was: More than anything else, he wanted to live a life pleasing to God!
• He began to realize his House, the Palace was Wonderful – God’s house was in ruin
• In God’s House - The Walls were Falling
• In God’s House - The Windows were broken
• In God’s House - Paint was Chipping
King Josiah sent SHAPHAN to go find the HIGH PRIEST, HILKIAH. He commissions them to rebuild God’s house and remembers hearing about Silver and Money that was in the treasury of the Temple. He tells the High Priest to take the money and pay the workers that were restoring the temple.
• I realize they are working out of love for God – Pay Them
• I realize they are not looking for any reward or payment – Pay Them
• I realize they are excited to be doing the work after all these years – Pay Them
Can I tell you Church, if we simply do the work of the Lord, He has a way of taking care of us. We live in a day and age now, where not much gets done for the Lord unless you pay for it! Don’t get me wrong, I believe if you have a Talent or Gift and use it for the Lord, the Church should recognize that. DON’T DEPRIVE ANYONE FROM MAKING A LIVING. However, I also believe if we are blessed to such a point in our lives we should consider giving back and blessing the Church with our Talent or Gift – and watch God Bless you in return.
--Josiah took note in Vs. 5-6 of those that were working to rebuild the temple and said take the Silver -- “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. UNTO CARPENTERS, AND BUILDERS, AND MASONS, AND TO BUY TIMBER AND HEWN STONE TO REPAIR THE HOUSE.”
Josiah said although they had no expectation of being paid – Pay Them Anyhow!
• God has a way of stepping in right on time to take care of His Children
• When you serve the Lord with a Pure Heart He has a way of stepping in right on time
• When you are not looking for it – He will step in and bless you anyhow
• Anybody ever been there?
• Anybody every been blessed by the Lord with Sneak Attack
• Never saw the Blessing coming – but here it is
• Were not looking for a Blessing bur the Lord blessed you anyhow
• That’s not why you were doing what you were doing
• But the Lord Blessed you any how
Let me hurry and run toward a close. While the workers were in the temple cleaning up HILKIAH the High Priest found something. Vs. 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.” Now they thought they were already blessed by being able to pay all of the workers of the Temple. Now the Lord allowed them to find the book while cleaning the temple.
You just missed a good place to Shout. What they found in the Temple was either the PENTATEUCH – First Five Books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) or it was the book of Deuteronomy.
• Moses before he died gave the book to Joshua his successor
• Somewhere between Joshua and Josiah (400 years) the book was lost
• The High Priest found the Book
• Gave to the Scribe and He Read it
Hilkiah and Shaphan, the scribe were so excited after reading the Words found in the Book that Shaphan brought the scroll to King Josiah, and read it to him. Can I tell you it is not enough to simply have the book and not read it.
• Keep the Book on the Coffee Table – Never Open and Read It
• Keep the Book on the Night Stand in the Bed Room – Never Open and Read It
• Keep the Book in back window of our Vehicle – Never Open and Read It
• Keep the Book on our Desk in the Office – Never Open and Read It
The Scribe was so excited he took the book to King Josiah. When Josiah heard the words of the Law, he became extremely distraught. He instructed the Priest, Scribe and others to go to HULDA, a PROPHETESS concerning the in-depth meaning and ramifications of the words in the scroll --
“For great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in this book”
Let me footnote here for those that don’t believe women are called to Ministry. This is in the Old Testament. The King had confidence in a PROPHETESS he heard about and instructed the High Priest and the Scribe to take the Book to her and let her talk to the Lord about it for us.
• Take the Book to the Woman of God
• Take the Book to the Prophetess
• Let this Prophetess talk to God on our Behalf
• Why do we think Women can teach us in School how to Read
• Why do we think Women can teach us in School Science and Math
• Most of us would not know how to Read – Write – or do Arithmetic if it were not for the Women we have encountered in our lives
• Why do we think Women can teach us in Sunday School – BTU – VBS
• But a Woman can’t teach us from the Pulpit!
• We quickly sit in the Church under a – NON ARTICULATE – POOR GRAMMAR – CAN’T SPELL – HARDLY KNOW THE BIBLE - person just because it is a Man!
Let me run back to the Text so I can take my seat. They reported back to Josiah, and Josiah, the King arranged for a meeting of all the people at the Temple. Josiah read all the words of the Law of Moses to the people. He then made a covenant to follow the Lord with all of his heart, and demanded that all of the people do the same. He called the nation to repentance and God sent a revival among his people just because they found the book and Read the Book.
We have many problems in our CHURCH – COMMUNITY – HOMES – POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT today that can be solved by understanding the significance of this message this morning.
--If the Church is not going right – Find The Book
--Husband and Wife not getting along – Find The Book
--Children out of Control - Find The Book
--About to lose your Job – Find The Book
--Been Unemployed too long - Find The Book
--Don’t have Peace of Mind – Find The Book
--Just can’t seem to get along with anybody – Find The Book
--Your Joy is Gone – Find The Book
--Bad Report from the Doctor – Find The Book
--Loved Ones Standing Before the Judge, Don’t Know What’s Going to Happen - Find The Book
--Have Some Aches and Pains – Find The Book
--Shedding Tears All Night Long - Find The Book
--Just Can’t See Your Way Through – Find The Book
-----AND AFTER YOU FIND THE BOOK MAKE SURE YOU READ THE BOOK!