Daily Devotion: The Word of God is Lost… again… and again…

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Bible Readings for Monday February 7th, 2011 – The 5th Week of Epiphany

*Click on each bible passage to expand the text.

Psalm 119:105-112

2 Kings 22:3-20

Romans 11:2-10

  • Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm119:105
  • The high priest Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD.” When Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, he read it. – 2 Kings 22:8
  • … as it is written, “God gave them a sluggish spirit, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” – Romans 11:8

They’d lost the book of the law. The people of Judah had lost the book of the law. Are you reading this? Is it sinking in? The temple priests, the kings, the people… were all living day in and day out in a shadow, an echo of the word. Mostly remembered, preserved in pieces, the complete book of law was lost to them. Until Hilkiah found it, secreted near the holy of holies during the repair of the battered temple.

This is incredible to ponder. It confirms that at numerous time throughout our human history, for one reason or another, mankind has existed for generations without access to the word. And nearly every time, the loss of the word was due to the covetous and jealous actions of those in power. In the instance of King Manasseh (the longest ruling king of Judah, two generations before King Josiah from today’s reading), he worked with abandon to re-institute pagan worship rites into the temple only to watch as it all was swept away by the Assyrian Empire, kingdom and word. More recently (1000+ years ago), in the case of the early and medieval Roman Catholic church, the word was sequestered away out of a sense of mistrust of the common people, and with control of the world always foments a lust for power.

However, since the reformation of Martin Luther (500 years ago) and the mass production of the bible on the printing press, the word has permanently become a fixture in the lives of humanity. But are the results evidenced in our lives any different than in the time of King Josiah?

Without access to the word, the people of Judah struggled with morality (lying, fornication, etc), idolatry (both literal and spiritual, i.e. they cared more about money than God), and wicked actions towards each other (cynicism, callousness, gossip, mistrust, etc). Today, with uninhibited access the word, we still struggle with morality, idolatry, and wicked actions towards each other. Hmmmm… not exactly the paradigm shift one would hope for.

How can this be? How can we still be so vulnerable to all of the evil things in this world? The hard truth is, it is becuase we still are cut off from the word. We allow others to control it, and when we do have access to it we show very little interest. Almost every American household has a bible in it somewhere, however very few Americans have actually read it. And then they cram into churches where charismatic leaders tell them their version of the bible. Most of us don’t care to read the word of God on our own. Have you even read the readings for today(top of post), or are you just reading my interpretation of it? Sadly, I bet most skipped the actual readings today.

In order for the word of God to begin to soften our hearts and be “a light unto our feet”, we must be exposed to the word regularly. The word becomes so alien to our ears when we do not hear it regularly, but it afflicts us deeply when it is finally revealed to us. It is in this act of afflicting out hearts that the word starts to work in our lives. It causes us to seek, which causes us to know ourselves and then to know God all the more. And finally at the end of our seeking lies the comfort of the word, the light that guides our hearts and our way.

What I find amazing about all of this is even when things look their darkest, such as they did to Elijah, when he lamented to God that he thought everyone living had turned against God and want to kill Elijah, “I alone am left, and they are seeking my life”. But God revealed that Elijah was not alone, and things are never as dark as they seem, for God revealed “a remnant 7000″ who had not given themselves over to idolatry and still celebrated the covenant.

Today, God’s “secret remnant” is quite large… in fact it’s everybody. Because of the actions of Christ, we are all cleansed through his blood and bound by the holy spirit, we are all part of God’s “secret remnant” chosen without merit of our own (Grace), we just need to realize it… and want it. But, alas, we still live our lives ignorant of the word and grace, worshiping our American Idols and our cars and our money, ignoring the cries of the needy, ignoring the word, neglecting our calling and our covenant.

But as God has done so many times before, patiently enduring our selfish lives, God still loves us, and is steadfastly waiting for us to pick through the rubble of our modern-day “temples” and rediscover the word.  Waiting for each of us start to apply it in our daily lives and change the world.

Trig Bundgaard About Trig Bundgaard

Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your feedback, thoughts and ideas about what I've written. Especially if it's contrary to my views!

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Grace and peace to you!

Romans 5
"18. Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all.
19. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous."

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