2 Kings 22

* Josiah's good reign, His care for repairing the temple, The

book of the law found. (1-10) Josiah consults Huldah the

prophetess. (11-20)

1-10 The different event of Josiah's early succession from that

of Manasseh, must be ascribed to the distinguishing grace of

God; yet probably the persons that trained him up were

instruments in producing this difference. His character was most

excellent. Had the people joined in the reformation as heartily

as he persevered in it, blessed effects would have followed. But

they were wicked, and had become fools in idolatry. We do not

obtain full knowledge of the state of Judah from the historical

records, unless we refer to the writings of the prophets who

lived at the time. In repairing the temple, the book of the law

was found, and brought to the king. It seems, this book of the

law was lost and missing; carelessly mislaid and neglected, as

some throw their Bibles into corners, or maliciously concealed

by some of the idolaters. God's care of the Bible plainly shows

his interest in it. Whether this was the only copy in being or

not, the things contained in it were new, both to the king and

to the high priest. No summaries, extracts, or collections out

of the Bible, can convey and preserve the knowledge of God and

his will, like the Bible itself. It was no marvel that the

people were so corrupt, when the book of the law was so scarce;

they that corrupted them, no doubt, used arts to get that book

out of their hands. The abundance of Bibles we possess

aggravates our national sins; for what greater contempt of God

can we show, than to refuse to read his word when put into our

hands, or, reading it, not to believe and obey it? By the holy

law is the knowledge of sin, and by the blessed gospel is the

knowledge of salvation. When the former is understood in its

strictness and excellence, the sinner begins to inquire, What

must I do to be saved? And the ministers of the gospel point out

to him Jesus Christ, as the end of the law for righteousness to

every one that believeth.
11-20 The book of the law is read before the king. Those best

honour their Bibles, who study them; daily feed on that bread,

and walk by that light. Convictions of sin and wrath should put

us upon this inquiry, What shall we do to be saved? Also, what

we may expect, and must provide for. Those who are truly

apprehensive of the weight of God's wrath, cannot but be very

anxious how they may be saved. Huldah let Josiah know what

judgments God had in store for Judah and Jerusalem. The

generality of the people were hardened, and their hearts

unhumbled, but Josiah's heart was tender. This is tenderness of

heart, and thus he humbled himself before the Lord. Those who

most fear God's wrath, are least likely to feel it. Though

Josiah was mortally wounded in battle, yet he died in peace with

God, and went to glory. Whatever such persons suffer or witness,

they are gathered to the grave in peace, and shall enter into

the rest which remaineth for the people of God.

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