2 Kings 22* Josiah's good reign, His care for repairing the temple, Thebook of the law found. (1-10) Josiah consults Huldah theprophetess. (11-20)1-10 The different event of Josiah's early succession from thatof Manasseh, must be ascribed to the distinguishing grace ofGod; yet probably the persons that trained him up wereinstruments in producing this difference. His character was mostexcellent. Had the people joined in the reformation as heartilyas he persevered in it, blessed effects would have followed. Butthey were wicked, and had become fools in idolatry. We do notobtain full knowledge of the state of Judah from the historicalrecords, unless we refer to the writings of the prophets wholived at the time. In repairing the temple, the book of the lawwas found, and brought to the king. It seems, this book of thelaw was lost and missing; carelessly mislaid and neglected, assome throw their Bibles into corners, or maliciously concealedby some of the idolaters. God's care of the Bible plainly showshis interest in it. Whether this was the only copy in being ornot, the things contained in it were new, both to the king andto the high priest. No summaries, extracts, or collections outof the Bible, can convey and preserve the knowledge of God andhis will, like the Bible itself. It was no marvel that thepeople were so corrupt, when the book of the law was so scarce;they that corrupted them, no doubt, used arts to get that bookout of their hands. The abundance of Bibles we possessaggravates our national sins; for what greater contempt of Godcan we show, than to refuse to read his word when put into ourhands, or, reading it, not to believe and obey it? By the holylaw is the knowledge of sin, and by the blessed gospel is theknowledge of salvation. When the former is understood in itsstrictness and excellence, the sinner begins to inquire, Whatmust I do to be saved? And the ministers of the gospel point outto him Jesus Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness toevery one that believeth. 11-20 The book of the law is read before the king. Those besthonour their Bibles, who study them; daily feed on that bread,and walk by that light. Convictions of sin and wrath should putus upon this inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? Also, whatwe may expect, and must provide for. Those who are trulyapprehensive of the weight of God's wrath, cannot but be veryanxious how they may be saved. Huldah let Josiah know whatjudgments God had in store for Judah and Jerusalem. Thegenerality of the people were hardened, and their heartsunhumbled, but Josiah's heart was tender. This is tenderness ofheart, and thus he humbled himself before the Lord. Those whomost fear God's wrath, are least likely to feel it. ThoughJosiah was mortally wounded in battle, yet he died in peace withGod, and went to glory. Whatever such persons suffer or witness,they are gathered to the grave in peace, and shall enter intothe rest which remaineth for the people of God.
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