27
Jul
11

The Law Is Finally Found

A well-known story of the Bible, but one which cries out for understanding:

In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD. He said: “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people.  Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the LORD— the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are acting faithfully.”

Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.  Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: “Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the LORD and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.”  Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.  — 2 Kings 22:3-10

Questions begged to be asked when reading this passage.  How could the Israelites, who God saved over and over, have lost the Book of the Law of the Lord?  And how could it have been lost in the temple itself?  Did some priest just put it in a hiding place one day?  And why did no one, priest or non-priest, ever notice that it was not taken out and read before the people as in previous days?  How could God’s Word have truly been lost?  How did Josiah know how to be a good king without the direction of God’s Law at hand?  And finally, what might have happened to the Book if there had not been a good king on the throne at the time?

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