2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34; Prophets and Kings, pp. 384, 385, 392–406
God leads us as we study and obey His Word.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Have you ever looked forward to something, and then everything seemed to go wrong? Josiah was so excited when Shaphan came with the scroll from the temple, but then . . .
Shaphan returned to King Josiah and reported about the work on the temple. “The builders have done their job well. They used the money as directed for rebuilding the temple. They have bought materials and paid the workers.”
Then he added, “And Hilkiah, the high priest, gave me a book.” Shaphan showed a scroll to the king.
“What is on this scroll?” asked King Josiah.
“It is the Book of the Law that was lost during your grandfather’s reign,” said Shaphan.
King Josiah sat up in his chair. He opened his eyes wide. “Really?” he said with a big smile. “This is wonderful! Please read it to me.”
King Josiah listened very carefully. As Shaphan read, King Josiah’s smile turned into a frown. He moaned and cried. Then he jumped up and tore his clothes. He couldn’t believe what he had heard. The book said the Israelites would be punished for their sins! I have tried so hard to help the people to do right, he thought.
“We must ask the Lord about the words,” he said to Shaphan. “I know the Lord is angry because of what my father and grandfather did. They led the people to do wrong. Find out what will happen to the people who are alive today.”
Shaphan and some other men went to see the prophet Huldah. When they got to her house, they read to her what the king had heard.
“Huldah, please explain this to us. What do these words mean?” they asked.
“Tell the king this is what the Lord God is saying,” said Huldah. “I will do everything that is written in this book. The people disobeyed me. They worshipped other gods. They’ve done a lot of bad things. They will be punished so that they will know that sin causes trouble.
“But tell King Josiah that God has a special message for him,” Huldah continued. “God says to Josiah, ‘You have listened to My words about what will happen to your people. You are sorry for what they have done. You even tore your clothes to show how troubled you were. I have heard your sorrow. I will let you die in peace. You won’t have to see all the trouble that will come to your people.’ ”
Shaphan took Huldah’s message back to King Josiah.
King Josiah knew now that he couldn’t save the people from their punishment. But he could keep it from happening right away. He would help them follow God. And they could teach their families to do the same. He decided to do all he could to help prepare the people to obey God.
He called all the people together, including the older leaders of the kingdom and the priests. Together they went to the temple. There he read to them from the Book of the Law.
“My people, I want to follow the Lord and obey all His commands,” King Josiah said. “Will you promise me that you’ll do the same?”
same?” And the people said, “We will! We will obey the Lord, our God.”
God wants us to make that same promise. And He will lead us as we study and obey His Word.