As we begin a new year, let it be with a resolve for daily Scripture reading. Let there be a rediscovery of the Word of God. I’m reminded of the Old Testament story of Josiah, King of Judah. In the 18th year of his reign, Josiah initiated the work of refurbishing Solomon’s Temple. His grandfather, Manasseh, had desecrated the temple by erecting in it shrines to the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. The temple had become a place of gross idolatry and immorality. So Josiah was intent on cleaning the temple and reinstituting the proper worship of the God of Heaven.
As a part of the restoration process that was now underway, Josiah sent Shaphan, a clerk in his court, to make certain that all of the funds that had been collected for the temple restoration project were being properly handled. In his visit to the temple, Shaphan is greeted by Hilkiah, the High Priest, who with a mixture of joy and apprehension declares, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord!” If at that moment, Hilkiah had been addressing a group of teenagers, I can just hear them all saying, “daaah!” Wouldn’t you expect to have the “Book of the Law” in the Temple? Wouldn’t you expect to have the Scriptures in your church?
The sad part about this story is not that the temple was without a copy of the Scriptures, but that the Scriptures had been lost sight of, and through careless neglect, people were deprived of its instruction and transforming power.
Today, we have Bibles in our homes, our offices, our churches. But if we are not taking the time daily, to open them, to read from them, to study them, to meditate on the word, to prayerfully consider the “thus saith the Lord,” we are in no better condition than Judah was in the days of Josiah. We will be deprived of its instruction and transforming power.
Let this new year be a time for revival and a rediscovery of the Word of God. It is time for us to have a renewed personal experience in the reading and study of God’s Word. It is time for us to rediscover the message, the power of the message, and to rediscover Jesus, who is what the message is all about.
By Stephen Orian, President