Question, beloved reader: Where is the Word of God? What role does it play in your life daily? Do you think surely there has to be more to knowing God than where you are now spiritually? You are not alone.
And that is why each month you and I are going to learn how to dig into God’s precious, life-giving, life-sustaining Word and discover truth for ourselves.
Last month we saw in Hosea that people were perishing for a lack of knowledge–their lives were distortions of what God meant for them because they had rejected the knowledge of God.
If you did the suggested study of 2 Peter (color-coding all references to knowledge, know and knowing) you saw that God “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). Isn’t that awesome? Everything we need is found in knowing God! Think about it.
You also saw that it is the knowledge of God that helps us escape the defilements of the world (2 Peter 2:20) and that we are to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
And where do we find the knowledge of God? In the Word of God. Now with that introduction, let’s dig into God’s Book for ourselves. Remember we want to thoroughly observe the text so we know exactly what God is saying.
Read 2 Kings 22: 1-13. Get out your color coding tools–colored pencils and colored micro pens–and let’s go. (If you don’t have the colors, make the investment.) Use a pencil and underline or circle what I ask you to mark.
- Underline every reference to Josiah, including pronouns, in blue.
- Put a green circle around every reference to time. Josiah becomes king in 640 B.C. Write that in your Bible.
- Color every reference to the house of the Lord in blue.
- Mark every reference to the book of the law, including pronouns. I draw this symbol in purple and color it green.When you finish reading:
- List everything you learn about Josiah. As you look at the text, remember you want to ask the 5 Ws and an H (who, what, when, where, why and how). See how many of them are answered about Josiah. For instance, see if the text tells you who Josiah is, what is happening with him, when it is happening and why he is doing what he is doing. How is he going about it?
- Asking the same questions, find out what the text says about the house of the Lord.
- What do you learn from marking the various references to the book? The book of the law is a reference to the Torah, the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
- Now, stop and think about what you just learned. Let’s do that through a series of questions.
- Was this the first time Josiah had heard the words of the book of the law? How do you know? How old was he?
- Where had the book of the law been? Did anyone know where it was?
- Did you know that when a king came to the throne he was commanded by God to write his own copy of the book of the law? Read Deuteronomy 17:14-20 and you’ll see the what, the why and the how of it. Mark the references to the book, then its importance will pop out to you!
- The part of the book of the law that really provoked God in 2 Kings 22:13 was probably Deuteronomy 28:15-68. Read it and mark the words curses and cursed.
- All this happened in the 18th year of Josiah’s reign, when he was 26. What happened from age 8 to 26? Does the Bible tell us? Yes. It’s exciting and enlightening. Discover the answer by cross-referencing; comparing Scripture with Scripture. By the way, the best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture. Write that in your Bible.
There’s an interesting cross-reference about Josiah and his reign in 2 Chronicles. Read 2 Chronicles 34:1-8.
- Color the references to Josiah as you did in 2 Kings 22.
- Mark the references to time with a green circle.
- Double-underline in green all geographical references.
- Mark the word seek
- What do you learn about Josiah from this passage? What happens when he is 16, in the eighth year of his reign? And when he is 20?
Look at what you learn from comparing Scripture with Scripture! As the younger set would say, “Sweet.” But it gets sweeter. Go to Zephaniah 1:1 and circle when it was that God spoke to Zephaniah.
Zephaniah got his message from the Lord during the days of Josiah. God was going to move in judgment, to stretch out His hand against Judah and Jerusalem. Josiah lived in Jerusalem. The Lord was going to search and punish those who were “stagnant in spirit, who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good or evil’” (Zephaniah 1:4,12).
What did Zephaniah call the people to do? Read Zephaniah 2:1-3 and mark the word seek
Now think–because Bible study is about thinking through truth. Zephaniah said, “Seek the Lord.” When did Josiah begin seeking the Lord? When he was 16, about 634 B.C.
Zephaniah ministered between 636 and 623 B.C. (Remember the calendar goes down until it reaches A.D.) At age 20 Josiah began to purge the land.
But it wasn’t until the 18th year of his reign, at age 26, that the Word of God, which had gotten lost in the house of God, was found. Then revival came! Revival can come to you, beloved, day by day, when you study and respond as Josiah responded to the words of the book. If you are a child of God, your body is His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Don’t let the Word of God get lost in your house!
We are out of space, but you can continue. Finish reading and marking 2 Kings 22. Watch what Huldah the prophetess tells Josiah and why. Then observe 2 Kings 23. Color code covenant in red, box it in yellow. Shade every wrong thing Josiah gets rid of in black (altars, priests, Asherah and other gods). Then analyze what you observed. You’ll be amazed.
Now, until next month, my friend, see what you learn about Josiah’s grandfather and father in 2 Kings 21 and 2 Chronicles 33. You’ll see it doesn’t matter how bad your parents or grandparents were; you can be a man or woman of God if you’ll seek Him. Find the Book, study the Book. Please know I am proud of you and would love to hear from you about what you want to study. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org.