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The Bible

The Importance of Reading the Word of God.

I almost feel like a guest speaker this morning. I'm not hurting anywhere or wincing in pain. I don't think I have a scowl on my face like I have had for the past month. I do appreciate your prayers for me during that time. I was miserable. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'm certainly hopeful that it's over with. With that trial in my life, I hopefully have learned a lesson and I don't have to retake that lesson again.

OK, this morning we are going to continue on with our study in 2 Kings 22 and, as is custom here, we are going to have Doyle play our CD for us as you read along with the person who will be reading. (2 Kings 22) .

We have been on a roller coaster ride studying these kings. You know, one chapter it's a good king and the next chapter it's a bad king -- up and down we go. All to often it could map out our Christian lives -- the ups and the downs of being one of Christ's ransomed. Living a Christian life is a challenge and as we go through it, we make it a challenge. If we trust God, it's not that hard. But we have the flesh and we've discussed that before. We are living through the flesh and we have our ups and our downs.

As I read this passage several times over, every time Verse 8 kept jumping out at me so that's what we are going to study this morning. (2 Kings 22:8) . Not many years ago we suffered as a nation a terrible tragedy when the two planes hit the World Trade Center, one crashing in Pennsylvania then the other one into the Pentagon. We discovered something as a country, I believe, that as a whole as a country there were some homes that had dust on their Bible. A lot of people found their Bibles during that time, did they not? It was brought out in the liberal media even. I can even remember hearing, 'We are dusting off our Bibles.' That tragedy caused people, as in Verse 8, to find the Book, did it not?

Have you ever lost your keys? How about something more important -- the remote. (laughter) Guys, we never lose it, right, someone else has lost it and we can't find it. It says, 'I found the book. I have found the book.' In order to find something, what do you have to do? First, you have to lose it. They lost the book, and where did they lose it? In the temple. Now how can you lose something that's in the temple? It's supposed to be there. Did they really lose the book or did they lose sight of the book. It never left. It's been there the whole time. But they weren't there. The generation before them, if you remember the evil king that was before this one. They didn't go to the house of God they went to the groves. The Bible wasn't in the groves; it was in the temple. The Bible hadn't left. People left the Bible.

It's interesting that it was found while they were doing some really good stuff. They were throwing money at the problem to restore the temple, to give people money; to buy some carpenters and some masonry guys and they were going to do something for God. 'We're going to go in there and fix His house for Him,' and in doing so guess what they did? They stumbled across the truth. They found the Book. They should've been reading the Book prior to doing all those great and wonderful things with the money, carpentry, and the masonry. Am I right?

Now, we are in a building program but I would shudder to think that we have started into this building program and have done so without reading God's word about it. As a member here, I've been a member here for a long time, I can tell you that we read and we studied before we ever bought that piece of ground to make sure that it was God's will that we leave here to go there. But these folks were trying to do something really nice and really good, and it was important. But they got the cart before the horse. God in His infinite wisdom, I believe, led them to find the Book again.

When the scribe came back to the king to report, he didn't come in saying, 'I've found the Book. Look, I've read it, I found it, and this is great!' He said, 'All the money that has been spent; they have done what they were suppose to do and oh, by the way, the high priest found a book.' Look and read it. "A book," not the Book. (2 Kings 22:10) Folks, this is not "a" book, this is "the" Book because it is the Word (capitol Word) . I've had the privilege this past week, not only to be relieved from my kidney problems but on Monday nights and Friday nights I'm in classes that teach me about this Book. As I have surrendered to preach, I've sought out teachers to help me understand this Book so I can better deliver God's Word as He has called me to do. The pastor at Midway (Baptist Church), Bro. McGarity, was teaching an Old Testament survey class Monday. I enjoyed it. It was a great class. Our pastor on Friday night was teaching on theology.

Now usually on Sunday mornings, it's been happening here regularly, what I bring out in my lesson just tramples all over what he is going to get up and say later. Have you all noticed that? It kind of hitches together. Friday night he was just stomping all over what I had been considering studying on this particular subject because he was talking about the need for theology -- knowing God. Well folks, these people here in this particular situation didn't really know God. They hadn't read His Word. How can you know God if you aren't reading His Word? It's impossible. You see, God don't come down and blow like these evangelists do, just blow on you. Hey look, this is the breathed Word of God right here (Bible). This is where it is at. We need to be involved with it because when we are, we get to find out what our Heavenly Father has to say to us.

Let me read something to you that I found on the internet. This is a quote.

'I would like a job as a tutor, teacher, and advisor to your family. I will never take a vacation and I will never be out of humor. I don't drink or smoke and I won't borrow your clothes or raid your refrigerator. I will be up in the morning as early as anyone in the household and will stay up as late as anyone wishes. I will help solve any of your problems with your children. I will give you the satisfaction of knowing that no question your child asks will go unanswered. For that matter, I will answer any of your own questions on subjects that range from how did we get here to where we are headed. I will help settle differences of opinion. I will give you information that will help you with your job, your family, and all your other interests. In short, I will give you the knowledge that will ensure the continued success of your family. I am your Bible. Do I get the job?'

Man, when I read that I said, 'That is good. Somebody a lot smarter than me penned that.' But it's still good.

King Josiah took on this task of restoring a run down and cluttered temple; and he found out that there was more than just a building run down. (continued...)

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