2 Kings 22 vs 10 - 11
“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. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.
A recent movie depicting events surrounding the appointment of Winston Churchill as British Prime Minister during the political crisis of May 1940 conveys the tribulation of the time and the strain of events on Churchill himself, not only in the film title “The Darkest Hour”, but vividly in a scene close to the end of the film. Churchill is under pressure from elements within his own party to compromise with the Nazis to end the war quickly which of course he is unwilling even to consider. However his position is weak and he must persuade MP’s to reject any attempts at further appeasement. After a rousing speech which puts the House of Commons into uproar and swings the vote for Churchill his principal opponent Lord Halifax is asked by a sympathetic colleague what had just happened. His reply is classic “He (Churchill) mobilised the English language and sent it to war.”
We often think that words are powerless and talk is cheap but we also know the power of words to motivate and excite. Right now news reports are full of the controversy caused by Edwin Poots’ words over the weekend. Here in 2 Kings it is not the oratory or insensitivity of human speech that changes the course of Israel’s history, but the power of God’s word. There is some speculation that perhaps Hilkiah the High Priest had actually hidden a copy of God’s law for such a time when it would receive a hearing but whether that’s true or not is immaterial, it’s not the plotting or planning of men but the power of God that is evident in this account of king Josiah’s awakening. God is King. He will be heard!
God still speaks through his word as here, effectively and clearly. The author of the letter to the Hebrews sums up the power of God’s word in this... “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
God still speaks by his works; to previous generations he spoke through prophets but never more fully or powerfully has he spoken than in Jesus his Son the living Word of God. He has not told us everything we want to know, things to satisfy our idle curiosity but in Jesus he has expressed his love to us and worked powerfully to rescue us.