While they were bringing out the money collected at the Lord’s Temple, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord that was written by Moses. Hilkiah said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan.
Shaphan took the scroll to the king and reported, “Your officials are doing everything they were assigned to do. The money that was collected at the Temple of the Lord has been turned over to the supervisors and workmen.” Shaphan also told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” So Shaphan read it to the king.
When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for all the remnant of Israel and Judah. Inquire about the words written in the scroll that has been found. For the Lord’s great anger has been poured out on us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the Lord. We have not been doing everything this scroll says we must do.”
(2 Chronicles 34:14-21)
The Book of the Law of the Lord that Hilkiah found was probably the book of Deuteronomy that had been lost during the reigns of the evil kings. Without it, the people had been worshiping God, but not in the right way (2 Chronicles 33:17). God had told them to make their sacrifices only in certain places (Deuteronomy 12:13-14).
The people continued to use pagan shrines for worshiping God, not realizing that God opposed these methods of worship. They were mixing pagan practices into their worship of God. Now that God’s law was found, Josiah realized that drastic changes had to be made in order to bring the nation back in line with God’s commands.
There is not much difference between the book lost in the Temple and the Bible left on a bookshelf. We can make similar mistakes when we don’t have input from God. We can end up blending false beliefs in with right worship. We must take care that ungodly influences do not distort God’s voice or destroy our worship. We can do this by listening to God in his Word and to the church that is instructed by it.