Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

DJD426 - Pillars of the Law

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Scripture: 

John 17:17

Starting Question:

Take some time to think of a time when you found something you had lost long ago. Or perhaps you found something that was from before your time - something from your family history.
How did the discovery affect you? What did you do with the discovered item? Did it have any long lasting impact on your life?

The Pillars of the Law

The pillar stood, as it had for more than 300 years, supporting the marbled splendor of Solomon’s Temple. The people, from the least to the greatest, crowded as close as they could. They leaned in to hear the words that would be spoken by the regal man standing next to the pillar—their King. Only the most serious proclamations included both an open invitation to the Temple and a public declaration of the King.

Josiah, King of God’s people for the past 18 years, reverently unrolled the scroll that had radically changed his heart in the last few days—the scroll that would provide the defining direction of his reign as God’s King. Considering his words carefully, he peered over the top of the parchment and spoke to his gathered subjects: “Today, I bring to you, in this ancient and holy place, ancient and holy words; words found in this very temple just days ago, words lost in this temple many ages ago; words, we as a people, have failed to heed for generation upon generation. I hold in my hands, the Book of the Law.”

A collective gasp was followed by murmuring from person to person as the identity of the scroll was made clear. Josiah’s steady voice regained control of the pillared colonnade, “Our High Priest Hilkiah, while cleaning out the Temple of God, found this Word of the Lord, and thus has provided to us an ancient transcript of God’s Character. It is a most precious, most beautiful and most challenging Word. I have torn my robes. I have wept long and hard over this scroll. I have consulted Huldah, God’s Prophetess. I have been convicted by her words: this scroll must be heeded. God’s Word must be obeyed. It is now my intention to read it—every word of it—to you, so that you too might be challenged as I have been challenged.”

The King’s eyes, weary from much weeping, lowered to the top of the unfurled scroll. The courtyard of Solomon’s Temple was quieter than seemed possible for the number of people filling it’s bounds. Each man, woman and child leaned forward to hear the Book of the Law as spoken by their king.

An hour later the pinnacle of silent anticipation had tumbled chaotically into cries of sorrow and repentance. The eyes of Israel now mirrored those of their King. The Book of the Law had provided for God’s people a clear statement of who God wished for them to be. A picture had been painted of the people to whom God promised to fully reveal Himself and with whom He promised to make His eternal dwelling. And the picture was drastically different from who they were when they looked around themselves and within themselves. They were not God’s people. And yet they were. And how deeply they wished to be.

The ripples created when the Book of the Law first reached the eyes and ears of King Josiah now became a wave of action and reaction that took the cleaning of the Temple to the very borders of Israel. Idols were destroyed. False worship was eradicated. The Temple of the Lord was purified of anything relating to pagan deities. Priests of Pagan gods were put to death. Every high and holy place used in false worship was desecrated with human bones. Then, only when the land was free of all impurity of false worship, King Josiah ordered, “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” And they did.


Reflection Question:

Imagine you are one of the people in the crowd listening to King Josiah as he reads the rediscovered Law of God. What would you be feeling?

Prayer time:

Before you pray together, ask: What would you like to say to Jesus today?