If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (John 7:37b)
Feeling a bit parched? Searching to quench that thirst with an iced tea or Diet Coke? Dive into the Word for real refreshment!I try to be diligent in my Bible reading and am often rewarded by God's speaking to my heart through particular scriptures. I pause and sometimes even write them down. The reflection usually ends there, however. This year, I would like to pursue the verses that God lays on my heart by pondering how He wants me to apply these verses in my life.
Here is what spoke to me this week:
Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the tempe of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets--all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD--to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant. (2 Kings 23:1-3)
I find this story of Josiah, found in 2 Kings 22-23, fascinating. The temple of the Lord had been so neglected that King Josiah had to arrange to have it repaired. During the refurbishment, the Book of the Covenant was found. Do you understand that? The Bible had been lost, and no one was even looking for it! Not only had the kings not been reading it as they had been commanded, but apparently it wasn't even being used in the temple!
Josiah decided to correct this neglect by reading the Book of the Covenant to everyone and followed the reading with a recommitment to follow God's laws. This recommitment led to a purging of sin from the land.
We can see what effect the neglect of the Word had on Josiah's society. Josiah did away with pagan priests and tore down the shelters of the male shrine prostitutes (which were in God's temple!). He destroyed the altars used to sacrifice sons and daughters to Molech and destroyed other pagan altars. Josiah got rid of mediums and spiritualists and idols. I think we can see the parallels between a neglect of the Word in Josiah's culture and in our own today.
In microcosm, I can also see the effect of the neglect of the Word. On those days when I am "too busy" to get in my Bible reading and prayer, I lose my sense of priority. Often neglecting to read my Bible one day leads to another day without the Word and then another. Then my zeal for the Lord cools off and I find it all too easy to excuse sin. A famine of the Word in my life quenches the Spirit in my life.
How wonderful, though, that when we make that effort to return to our Bibles that God rewards our effort. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8a)
So, what verses have spoken to you this week? Post those verses on your own blog, along with how you see that God wants you to apply them in your life. Then, provide your link below so that we can drink from one another's wells of scripture.