Did you know that reading books can help you live longer? A study done at Yale University found that those who read books “lived an average of almost two years longer than those who did not read at all.” They concluded: “People who report as little as a half hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read.”
This being the case, we shouldn’t be surprised that reading God’s Word is even more life-giving—enough to revive an idolatrous nation in 2 Kings 22. We’re not sure how the Scriptures had gotten lost. We’re not even sure if what was lost was the entire Pentateuch or just part of Deuteronomy. But we do know that the rediscovery of God’s Word sparked a revival throughout Judah, led by King Josiah (v. 8; see 2 Kings 23).
When he heard the lost Scriptures read aloud, the king responded with godly sorrow and repentance (vv. 11–13). He understood that the people had not kept the covenant and openly admitted the justice of God’s wrath at their disobedience. This response didn’t come out of nowhere. The spiritual ground had been prepared, as seen in the Temple renovations he’d ordered. In fact, the lost scrolls were found during that reconstruction process. In addition, Josiah had been raised and advised by righteous men such as Hilkiah the high priest. His heart was spiritually ready.
The prophet Huldah offered both warning and comfort. Josiah hadn’t misunderstood: They’d indeed broken the covenant with their idolatry and unfaithfulness. Judgment would come, just as God’s Word promised (vv. 16–17). But due to the king’s humble response, she told him God would be merciful and it wouldn’t happen in his lifetime (vv. 19–20).
>> Reading God’s Word can spark revival in us as well! Let God’s Word lead you to the regular spiritual habit of confession of sin. There’s no need to worry or feel ashamed, as God has already promised to forgive us (1 John 1:9).
We confess our sins, already forgiven. We repent to You, already loved. We are restored to fellowship, already sealed by Your blood. Knowing You have already removed our shame, give us courage to seek You even when we are in sin.