11 When the king [Josiah] heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”
2 Kings 22:11-13
Yesterday we read about all the changes Josiah made as king of Judah from 2 Chronicles 34, but what caused him to make such changes? Along with the changes he had begun King Josiah was having the temple repaired and rebuilt wherever it needed it. In the process the Book of the Law was found.
8 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. 9 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.” 10 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.
2 Chronicles 34:8-10
That’s when we come to the verses for today. Shaphans reading from the book in his presence made an incredible impression on young Josiah as upon hearing the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes and gave orders to Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. He had a great concern about how Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us. His concern about those who preceded him who had not obeyed the words of the Book of the Law was deep and very real.
At the end of this chapter we find God had intended destruction for Jerusalem and Judah, but relented saying
19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.
2 Kings 22:19-20
In the next chapter King Josiah reads the words of the Book of the Covenant to the people of Judah and then
The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep His commands, statutes 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 23:3
Josiah made enormous changes in Judah and reinstated the celebration of passover.
21 The king gave this order to all the people: “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem.
2 Kings 23:21-22
What do we celebrate knowing what the gospels have to say about our Lord Jesus? We have a new and different covenant. What do we do to honor our covenant through His gift of Grace? Do we honor it with our lives? How we live? If not, why not? What do our lives say about the salvation we have received?