Summary: Just as Josiah discovered God’s Word and demanded to know what it said in order to follow it. So too, today, are we as a church of God expected to discover God’s Word in this house and make it the only Rule of our Faith and Practice.
2 Chronicles 34:14-15, 18-21a
The Book of the Law in the House of the LORD
Now when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law given by Moses. Then Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. … Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Law, that he tore his clothes. Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, “Go inquire of the LORD for me, and for those who are left in Israel and Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found. [NJKV]
When I was growing up, on most weekends, I would watch my dad and brothers working on car engines, usually it was my oldest brother’s car. [I guess, things like that just never change for dad’s who have teenage drivers in the family. It seems that there is always something that needs to be looked at.] Whenever they did repairs, they would always have out the big old yellow [Chilton’s] Auto Repair Manual. You could always count on the auto manual to tell you how to do the job right.
Of course today our cars are so hi-tech that it would take a sizeable investment just to have the right equipment available to repair engines. So instead of working on the engines ourselves, we now just take them to the auto mechanic. Instead of figuring out the Auto Repair Manuals we have given over to just figuring out the car’s Owner’s Manual.
Soon after my father’s death as we were cleaning up and going through the house we came across the old yellow Auto Repair Manual. You can just imagine how exciting it was for my oldest brother to discover this old repair manual. Upon seeing the book, it brought back many happy memories of how he and dad had worked together so often on his car.
Text Background Summary -
Just as our story about the old repair manual being found and the joy it caused for my brother, so too does our text talk about another old book which was discovered during the reign of King Josiah.
Josiah reigned as king of Judah from 640-609 B.C. During his eighteenth year of his reign, he was having the Temple repaired. During this restoration period, the Book of the Law was found by Hilkiah, the high-priest, who in turn gave it to Shaphan, the scribe, who delivered it to King Josiah, who upon hearing it read tore his clothes (a sign of deep mourning/importance over an event) – saying, “Go inquire of the LORD … concerning the words of the book,” for me, and for those who are left in Israel and Judah.
A. The Book in the House of the Lord then –
How exciting it must have been for Hilkiah, the High-Priest, to discover this book in the temple. He too must have delighted in its discovery, as my brother did in his. However, it must be admitted, that Hilkiah’s discovery was much more important than finding an old “Egyptian Chariot Repair Manual” – for what he had discovered was the “Book of the Law in the House of the LORD.”