Encountering the Word: 7 Ways God's Word Brings About New Life In Us

Series: Encounter

May 08, 2022 | Nick Agazarian


Encountering the Word: Seven Ways God's Word Brings About New Life in Us

 

We all want to experience newness and freshness in our walk with the Lord. One of the best ways to do that is to stay grounded in His Word. In this teaching, we study King Josiah. When King Josiah found God's Word, it changed his life and it changed the nation of Judah.

 

When you and I encounter God's Word, the same is true for us.

Hebrews 4:12 - God's Word is alive and active.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - God's Word teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains us.

 

1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath.2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

Josiah reigned from 640-609 BC. The root of his name means foundation/support. His mother Jedidah raised him to love the Lord

3 In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD. He said4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people.5 Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the LORD6 the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple.7 But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.”

Most kings in the ancient Near East would be responsible for building/rebuilding the temple. The Jewish temple was most likely desecrated by Manasseh, the grandfather of Josiah.

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.

11 When the king 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 attendant13 “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.”

What was the "Book" that was found? Some suggest it was the entire Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy). Others suggest that parts of Deuteronomy were found, with Deuteronomy 28-29 being the chapters that were read to Josiah. These chapters highlighted the way Israel would be blessed if they followed after God, as well as the curses that would fall upon the nation if they turned away from God.

14 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

Huldah - We don't know much about her, besides the fact that she had a prophetic gift and was responsible for the priestly wardrobe.

15 She said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me16 ‘This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read.17 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard19 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.’ ” So they took her answer back to the king.

Huldah confirms the judgement that will come on the nation, but also the grace and mercy that Josiah will see in his lifetime because he is repentant and walks in humility. This leads Josiah to immediately take action

1 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.2 He went up to the temple of the LORD with the people of Judah, the inhabitants 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.3 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.

Corporately, Josiah leads the nation back into covenant with the Lord. This covenant signifies total commitment (See Deuteronomy 29:9;18).

4 The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel.

8 Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the gateway at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which was on the left of the city gate.

Josiah takes action against all of the idolatry of the land. He removes any remnants of worship towards Baal (god of weather and fertility) and Asherah (god of fertility).

0 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice their son or daughter in the fire to Molek.11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melek. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.12 He pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the LORD. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.13 The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption—the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon.

Josiah also removed Topheth, which means "fire place." This was a place where adults would sacrifice their children by burning them in the fire to appease the god Molech (Canaanite god).

 

Note that Josiah reversed the patterns of generations of kings, including his father and grandfather.

 

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.

Josiah celebrates the Passover, an event that commemorates when God "skipped over" the Israelites and led them out of Egypt.

Josiah celebrates the Passover, an event that commemorates when God "skipped over" the Israelites and led them out of Egypt.

#2 Encountering God’s Word Humbles Us

 

Josiah was weeping and lamenting when he heard the Word of God... and the sin of the nation wasn't even his fault. Yet he was humbled, with a soft and tender heart and committed to the Lord.

See Proverbs 18:12 and Proverbs 22:4

 

#3 Encountering God’s Word Opens Doors to His Presence

 

Huldah opened doors for people to experience the Word of God. When we read the Word of God, doors are opened for us to experience His presence.

See Ephesians 3:12

 

#4 Encountering God’s Word Calls Us into Covenant with Him

 

Josiah immediately gathered the people together and said we have to renew this covenant to follow the Lord with all of our hearts and souls and be totally committed to Him in all that we do. We are in a new covenant with Jesus Christ as the great High Priest.

See Hebrews 8:6 and Jeremiah 31:33

#5 Encountering God’s Word Convicts Us to Cut It Out

 

Josiah cut up all the articles of pagan worship and and burned it in the valley. He wanted none of it anymore because it was not honoring to God. God’s Word convicts us to get rid of all the junk that distracts us from following Him. His Word also reminds us how to stay pure by storing His Word in our hearts.

See 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 and Psalm 119:9-11

 

#7 Encountering God’s Word Always Points Us to Christ

 

When Josiah encountered the Word of God, he brought back the Passover. The celebration of when families slaughtered a lamb in Egypt and put the blood on the doorposts and the angel of the Lord passed over that house and spared their life.

 

We have the completed story… the entirety of God’s word always points us to the Passover that we celebrate. The Passover of Jesus Christ as the sacrificial lamb.

John 1:29 – Jesus is called "The Lamb of God"

1 Corinthians 5:7 – Paul writes that "Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed."

 

When God's wrath should have been directed towards us, Jesus Christ became the passover lamb to save us from our sins and grant us eternal life. We can now walk in freedom and enjoy God's presence here on earth.

 

Bottom Line: Encountering God's Word Brings About New Life in Us

 

Practically: Consistency Compounds

- Start small in your time in God's Word.

- Join a Bible Study and/or Small Group for accountability.

- Explore devotionals in the YouVersion Bible App.

- Begin with Psalms / The Gospel of Mark / The Gospel of John.

 

Imagine what your life would be like if you consistently encountered God in His Word?

 

Make a commitment this week to spend at least 5 minutes a day in His Word, and pray that God would speak to you through His Word.

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