What Happens When You Don’t Read the Instructions – 2 Kings 22:11

instruction-manual“When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair” (2 Kings 22:11, NLT).

Have you ever tried to assemble something without reading the instructions? Maybe you started putting it together and one part was backwards or upside down and it prevented you from assembling the rest of the parts. Or maybe you assembled it all and had parts left over and it didn’t work right.

Well, that’s what happened with the Jewish people in ancient Judah. A religious system for worshiping God had been assembled over hundreds of years, but it was flawed because it didn’t follow the instructions God gave.

During the reign of King Josiah over Judah (640-619 BC), the high priest found a scroll in the Temple that contained the book of the Law–either all or part of Deuteronomy or all or part of the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament). Over time it had apparently become lost because when it was found the discovery was significant enough to report it immediately to the king.

When the book of the Law was read to King Josiah, he tore his clothes in anguish because “we have not been doing everything it says we must do” (vs. 13). So Josiah ordered the high priest to go to the Temple and express remorse to the Lord on behalf of himself and the people of Judah.

Josiah summoned all the Jewish people to Jerusalem and read the entire book of the Law to them. And he eradicated from Judah and even parts of Israel anything associated with pagan worship.

He also commanded all the Jewish people to celebrate the Passover in accordance with the strict standards of the book of the Law. This form of Passover observance had not taken place since the time when the judges ruled in Israel (vs. 23). In other words, the Passover had not been celebrated or celebrated properly during the hundreds of years kings ruled over Israel and Judah.

God recognized Josiah’s sorrow and humility for not following His instructions and withheld His judgment against Judah until after the end of Josiah’s reign as king.

To know God and understand how to please Him, we have an instruction manual, the Holy Bible. Although it doesn’t provide its instructions in a step-by-step format, nevertheless, it reveals God’s plans and purposes for the redemption and salvation of human beings and provides guidance for living according to God’s will.

Knowing what it says is essential to having an effective, productive, and loving relationship with God. When you know what God’s Word says, then His indwelling Spirit will actualize the power of His Word to guide you into God’s will.

So if obeying God is really that important to us, then we must read and study God’s Word regularly, even daily.

Because, It’s hard to know what God requires of you if you don’t read the instructions first!

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NLT)

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