January 5, 2011: 2 Kings 22:11-19 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Helen Kim, Gracepoint Berkeley

2 Kings 22:11-19

Reflect on Josiah’s response to the reading of the Word (vv. 11-13; 19).  What does Josiah’s response show me about crucial steps in allowing the word of God to impact my life? This passage shows how Josiah allowed the Word of God to impact his life in a real way.  First, the Word must be read and heard.  This is what Josiah did first, and through reading the word it led to his conviction of his and his nation’s sin.  As Josiah tore his robes after reading the Word, he sought the Lord to know more about his sin and his nation’s sin.  He did not dismiss the Word or take it lightly, but instead he wanted to know the Word clearly and thoroughly as it applies to him and his nation.  Secondly, he inquired of the Lord about the Word and what it means for him and his nation who has sinned.  Thirdly, he acknowledged the truth of the Word as it described him, his nation and his nation’s idolatry and sin.  He saw clearly that the Word was a true indictment against his nation and that against the Word of God, his sins and the sins of his nation were clear.  He saw and acknowledged his sin as it was made clear through the Word.  He admitted to the truth of the Word, especially as it applied to him and his people.

These are the steps Josiah took to have the Word impact his life.  But I have to ask if I take this kind of seriousness and active role in reading the Word and responding to it.  I see clearly, how Josiah took the Word seriously that led to his repentance, tearing of his robe and inquiring of the Lord so that he would have a clearer understanding of the Word and thus his and his nation’s sin, and then to acknowledge and confess that they are guilty of not obeying the Word.  But so often this is not how I respond to the Word.  I need to take the Word much more seriously in my life and allow the incredible truths of the bible to sink in and transform my life as I properly respond in repentance.  But instead I often take the Word lightly, as yet another DT, or bible study or Sunday message.  There are very few times when it really sinks in and hits me and works in my heart to have the same kind of wrenching (and objectively, the only proper) response that Josiah had.  If I would just read the Word, really hear it and look for deeper understanding of it and acknowledge my sinfulness then I would be humbled and really experience the hand of God as Josiah did.  However, often I don’t allow myself to even hear the Word when it is spoken.  I think it is for someone else or I have simply become immune to it.  But clearly the Word is powerful and truthful and through it, life can be found, as Josiah found life through proper response and repentance brought about by the Word.  It is I that am really missing out on experiencing true forgiveness and mercy, as Josiah did in this passage, by not responding to the Word in this way.

Submitted by George Hu, Gracepoint Berkeley

Reflect on Josiah’s response to the reading of the Word (vv. 11-13; 19).  What does Josiah’s response show me about crucial steps in allowing the word of God to impact my life? King Josiah’s response was one of great sadness and tragedy that he and the people had been living apart from God’s law, and had been disobedient to it for so long.  According to Josiah’s example, the critical steps of allowing God’s word to impact my life are: being open to hearing the word of God, not being defensive about it (Josiah could have reacted by saying it’s not his fault, it happened during the reign of his predecessors, etc.), and humbling himself before God’s words, and approaching God in prayer.  One of the key aspects of his response is the fact that he was humble before the word of God, instead of acting defensively.  Technically, it was not him who disobeyed, but his predecessors, and he could have shirked the responsibility.  But his response of sadness and tragedy shows that his perspective was not self-centered but God-centered.  The self-centered response would have been to think that it was not his own personal fault, but he was doing the best he could.  The God-centered perspective sees the situation as God does, which is with great sadness and anger at the people’s disobedience, and Josiah sees it as his responsibility now as the king to inquire of the Lord.  Also, Josiah took quick action to respond to what the word of God was convicting him.  He did not delay, but quickly inquired of the Lord.

How did the content of the Book of the Law change Josiah’s perspective about the future of his nation?  To what extent do I allow the word of God to dictate my sense of reality regarding life? Josiah was busy at work repairing the temple of the Lord, probably looking forward to a time of prosperity and favor from God for the work that he was doing.  He probably thought everything was going so well in his kingdom.  But it was brought to his attention that his nation had been living in disobedience, and the prophetess declared to him what would happen.  It turns out that God was very angry at their disobedience and rebellion.  Josiah’s previous idea of the future of his nation was based on a false notion of security, and it turned out that reality was very different from what he thought.  For me, it is easy to have a similar false sense of security, thinking that God is pleased with me because of the amount that I serve at church or my attendance at different meetings, or even titles within the church.  But the reality is that my heart could be far from God and I could be living in rebellion even if with all of those things.  I need to make sure that my perspective on myself is constantly measured according to the standard in the word of God.

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