It is hard to fathom that things had spiritually degenerated so much in the kingdom of Judah that the Book of Law, God’s Word to Israel, was completely lost. The Law was tucked so far back in the temple, and had gathered so much dust, that everyone simply forgot it existed. Yet, maybe we in the Western world can relate to this more than we think. When a plethora of Bibles and translations exist, yet they gather dust on the shelf and we have not cracked it open since….?
We are approaching the end of the Christian Year which always culminates in Christ the King Sunday. As we journey with Jesus and ascend his holy hill, we anticipate corporately acknowledging Christ’s lordship. The best and most biblical way to do so is through penitent humility. King Josiah’s officials had found the Book of the Law and brought it to him. After they read the words, the king became completely undone with humble repentance. He realized that the life of the nation had not revolved around the majesty and kingship of God, and it cut him to the core of his being.
The first and most appropriate response to the realization of God’s sovereignty and Christ’s lordship is humility. Without it there is no going forward; there is only the ghastly state of remaining stuck in one place with ancient dust accumulating on our static hearts. But with humility there is repentance; and with repentance there opens up the grand vistas of hope, new life, and fresh beginnings.
Try something quite different from your regular experience today. Put on some old clothes and read carefully the words of Scripture. Take the time to acknowledge some sin of omission in your life. Then, tear your clothes; yes, rip your shirt. Allow yourself to feel, like Josiah, the realization of missing the mark. But do not remain in this condition. Drink in the grace of God in Christ and receive the forgiveness that is yours through Jesus. The trajectory of our Christian lives will be determined by the depth of humility we experience, and filling the hole with mercy.
Awesome God, although I might not always perceive your majesty and sovereignty, you stand above all creation as the Lord whom I am to submit to in all things. I come to you in great humility of heart and vow to obey everything I read in your Holy Word through Jesus Christ, my King. Amen.