Bible in a Year – Day 118: What if We’re Wrong?
What if everything we think we know about God is wrong? What if we’re trying to do the right thing, but we’ve completely missed it? What if my heart is right, but my actions are misguided? I was pondering this question today as I read 2 Kings 22. This is a story that first really caught me off guard last year as I was reading through the Bible at break-neck speed over the course of 90 days (you should really try it sometime!)
This is the scenario that Josiah finds himself in. He’s only eight years old when he becomes king and for his entire life plus the 50 or so years before he was born, there have been kings in power who didn’t follow God. Manasseh, who reigned most of that time didn’t simply continue the traditions of former kings. He actually rebuilt what his father had destroyed – returning Judah to the worship of Baal, the sex-rituals and self-mutilation exercises. He essentially removed God from the equation. I would imagine that by the time Josiah was born, all that remained of true Godly worship were a few stories and ideas passed down through oral tradition and told by some of the old geezers in town. And yet, Josiah somehow was able to see the truth in those stories. He was determined to follow the God that they spoke of, even though he didn’t have the whole picture.
Imagine the shock, then, when Josiah discovers that, in so many ways, he and the people of Judah have missed it. Suddenly, his men who are working on the temple discover this ancient book that contains instructions that Josiah knew nothing of up to this point. He freaks out:
“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 22:13)
Suddenly, Josiah gets it. And when he does, he’s terrified. How in the world did the people who came before him NOT follow the instructions of the Lord? Well, as I’ve mentioned previously, tradition is a powerful force. “We’ve always done it this way,” sets in hard and fast. Fifty years of Baal worship had eliminated God from the minds of the majority of Judah. In one generation, study of the scripture was gone.
For us, the question still remains, although slightly nuanced. You see, we have the Bible and we know it’s full of useful knowledge and instruction from God. And yet, how often do we actually consult this book? If you started with me on day 1 of this journey and have made it this far, you can at least say that you are reading your Bible regularly, which most followers of Jesus, unfortunately, aren’t. But how many instructions are in this book that we are ignoring while we defer to how “we’ve always done it,” in our homes, our churches and our lives? What if we’ve got it wrong and we don’t even know it?
- Daily Bible Reading – From Fantasy to Reality
- Bible in a Year – Day 353: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing
- Bible in a Year – Day 352: How About Jew?
- Bible in a Year – Day 342: Two Fruits
- Bible in a Year – Day 335: Oh, Man!
- Bible in a Year – Day 334: The Bachelor
- Bible in a Year – Day 326: Felix the Scaredy Cat
- Bible in a Year – Day 310: Going Where People Are
- Bible in a Year – Day 302: Which Yeast?
- Bible in a Year – Day 268: Hope (if) You Keep Reading