Binding Broken Hearts

Introducing Jesus to Those Who Need Him Most

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The Power of the Word - Part 13

He couldn’t remember exactly when he had made the decision. But the decision had been made nonetheless. He never wanted to be like his father, or his grandfather for that matter. No, he wanted to be just like the good and mighty King David. Every night he had begged his mother to tell one story of the great King. It mattered not that he could recite every word to every story. He still wanted to listen each night as he fell asleep.

He vividly remembered the day his mother found him in the palace garden and told him that his father had been killed. It was now his turn to be the king of Israel. He got up from his play and walked slowly into the palace leaving his toys behind. No need for toys now. He was a king.

As Josiah stood ramrod straight on the steps of the palace feeling the weight of the crown on his six-year-old head, he made a vow to the God of heaven that he would be a king just like David. He promised in his heart that he would serve Jehovah all the days of his life and teach the people in Judah to walk in the ancient ways.

Twelve years later Josiah stared out of a palace window was struck by the shabby condition of the temple. The condition of the building was not suitable for the house of the Lord. Why had he not noticed that before? Something had to be done. He would commission the refurbishing of the temple.

“[T]he king sent Shaphan the scribe, the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the house of the Lord, saying: ‘Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money which has been brought into the house of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have gathered from the people. And let them deliver it into the hand of those doing the work, who are the overseers in the house of the Lord; let them give it to those who are in the house of the Lord doing the work, to repair the damages of the house—to carpenters and builders and masons—and to buy timber and hewn stone to repair the house.’” (2 Kings 22:4-6)

The repair work began. Josiah loved to walk around the temple listening to the sounds of hammers and chisels shaping the wood and stone that would become a part of God’s house. The workers seemed to catch his happy spirit. The builders worked cheerfully, even breaking into song now and then – voices lifting high in praise to God. The repairs were progressing quickly.

Josiah was finishing up some business in the throne room when Shaphan the scribe entered carrying a book. Josiah could tell by Shaphan’s demeanor that something was wrong. As soon as he was able, Josiah motioned for Shaphan to approach.

“Then Shaphan the scribe showed the king, saying, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read it before the king.” (2 Kings 22:10)

Josiah sat on his throne listening to the Book of the Law for the first time in his life. He knew, as Shaphan read, that he was hearing the words of God. The longer Shaphan read, the more Josiah realized just how far Judah had moved away from God’s commands. He had done the best he could over the past 12 years, but clearly there was a lot more to be done to bring Judah back into agreement with God’s word.

When Shaphan finished, Josiah sat there in silence. Tears streamed down his face. He thought he knew what it meant to follow Jehovah God. He now knew that he had had no idea. Josiah leapt to his feet and tore his robe in anguish. The truth was he was not leading his people like King David did. And that was going to change. Now.

“Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, ‘Go, inquire of the Lord for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the Lord that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.’” (2 Kings 22:12-13)

Josiah needed to know how to lead his people from here. He had heard the warnings in the Book of Law of what would happen to God’s people if they turned away from Him because they were removing themselves from the protection God so lovingly and eagerly wanted to give. Sure, he had started leading the people on their journey back to God, but when compared to the standard in the Book of the Law, they all fell short.

The commissioned group headed to Huldah’s house in the second quarter of Jerusalem. She was a prophetess, and of all people, she would be able to tell them what God would have them do.

After the visitors had seated themselves, the told Huldah the reason for their visit. Huldah listened and then bowed her head. She remained in that position for several moments. When she raised her head again she confirmed that the Lord was indeed grieved at the behavior of His people and that they would have to experience the horrible consequences of their choices. Now it was the visitors’ turn to bow their heads. They did not want to take this message back to the king. However, Huldah had not finished presenting the word from the Lord.

“But as for the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, in this manner you shall speak to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Concerning the words which you have heard— because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord. “Surely, therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; and your eyes shall not see all the calamity which I will bring on this place.”’” (2 Kings 22:18-20)

The visitors stood, thanked Huldah, and hurried back to the palace with the message from the prophetess. When the men were through, Josiah nodded and dismissed them.

He went alone to his quarters and told his servants that he did not wish to be disturbed. He took off his official robe and prostrated himself on the floor and worshipped his God. The message was clear. The people of Judah faced very difficult times ahead because of the decisions the nation had made. But as long as he was alive, he would do his best to equip his people to remain faithful through the coming storm.

The next day, Josiah sent out a summons for all the people in Judah to a meeting at the temple. Josiah looked out at the crowd of curious and eager faces. He smiled as he opened the Book of the Law and began to read aloud to the gathered people – the first step in the journey back to God.

When Josiah heard the Word of God for the first time, he saw just how far his life was from where God wanted it to be. He was convicted, and through that conviction, Josiah made a commitment God not only for himself, but for his people. The Word of God was powerful to change a nation.

“Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.” (2 Kings 23:3)

This is why Binding Broken Hearts is passionate about getting God’s Word into prisons and into the hands of inmates who so desperately need that Word so that they can see their true condition, be convicted of sin, and receive power to change not only their own hearts, but the hearts of those around them. Because these are men and women who need Jesus most.

Perhaps you want to help spread the power of His Word to an inmate who desperately needs its power. If so, please consider becoming a financial partner with us. Click here to see how you can help.

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