This whole paragraph we had, just as it is here related, 2 Kgs. 22:8-20, and have nothing to add here to what was there observed. But, 1. We may hence take occasion to bless God that we have plenty of Bibles, and that they are, or may be, in all hands,—that the book of the law and gospel is not lost, is not scarce,—that, in this sense, the word of the Lord is not precious. Bibles are jewels, but, thanks be to God, they are not rarities. The fountain of the waters of life is not a spring shut up or a fountain sealed, but the streams of it, in all places, make glad the city of our God. Usus communis aquarum—These waters flow for general use. What a great deal shall we have to answer for if the great things of God’s law, being thus made common, should be accounted by us as strange things! 2. We may hence learn, whenever we read or hear the word of God, to affect our hearts with it, and to get them possessed with a holy fear of that wrath of God which is there revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, as Josiah’s tender heart was. When he heard the words of the law he rent his clothes (2 Chron. 34:19), and God was well pleased with his doing so, 2 Chron. 34:27. Were the things contained in the scripture new to us, as they were here to Josiah, surely they would make deeper impressions upon us than commonly they do; but they are not the less weighty, and therefore should not be the less considered by us, for their being well known. Rend the heart therefore, not the garments. 3. We are here directed when we are under convictions of sin, and apprehensions of divine wrath, to enquire of the Lord; so Josiah did, 2 Chron. 34:21. It concerns us to ask (as they did, Acts 2:37), Men and brethren, what shall we do? and more particularly (as the jailor), What must I do to be saved? Acts 16:30. If you will thus enquire, enquire (Isa. 21:12); and, blessed be God, we have the lively oracles to which to apply with these enquiries. 4. We are here warned of the ruin that sin brings upon nations and kingdoms. Those that forsake God bring evil upon themselves (2 Chron. 34:24, 25), and kindle a fire which shall not be quenched. Such will the fire of God’s wrath be when the decree has gone forth against those that obstinately and impenitently persist in their wicked ways. 5. We are here encouraged to humble ourselves before God and seek unto him, as Josiah did. If we cannot prevail thereby to turn away God’s wrath from our land, yet we shall deliver our own souls, 2 Chron. 34:27, 28. And good people are here taught to be so far from fearing death as to welcome it rather when it takes them away from the evil to come. See how the property of it is altered by making it the matter of a promise: Thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, housed in that ark, as Noah, when a deluge is coming.
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