The Lost Book

Psalm 119 (selected)
II Kings 22:1-11; 23:1-3

How about a little Bible Trivia?

At what time of day was Adam created?
A little before Eve.

How long did Cain hate his brother?
As long as he was Abel.

What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden?
Your mother ate us out of house and home.

Which servant of God was the biggest lawbreaker (sinner) in the Bible?
Moses; he broke all 10 commandments at once.

Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
Samson. He brought the house down.

Did you know why some believe that Jesus was an American Indian?
Acts 4: refers to Him as Chief Cornerstone.

What does the word ‘Bible’ mean?

How many books in the Bible?
66 – 39 in OT, 27 in NT

Which five books of the Bible are not divided into chapters?
Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude.

Does anyone know the longest chapter in the Bible?
Psalm 119 with 176 verses.

I took the time to count some of the nouns in the Psalm: ‘commandments’ 21 times, ‘commands’ – 22, ‘decrees’ – 22, ‘instructions’ – 25, ‘laws’ – 21, ‘regulations’ – 20 and ‘word’ appears 27 times.

All 158 of those nouns are references to God’s Word, and they are either preceded or followed by the verbs: ‘follow, guide, keep, listen, meditate, obey, reflect, rejoice, teach, and trust.’

I have chosen to read 19 of the 176 verses; trusting that these 19 provide a good representation of the entire Psalm.

1 ‘Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD.’
11 ‘I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.’
18 ‘Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.’
33 ‘Teach me your decrees, O LORD; I will keep them to the end.’
34 ‘Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.’
35 ‘Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.’
35 ‘Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money!’
36 ‘Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.’
66 ‘I believe in your commands; now teach me good judgment and knowledge.’
67 ‘I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word.’
97 ‘Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long.’ 
98 ‘Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide.’
99 ‘Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws.’
100 ‘I am even wiser than my elders, for I have kept your commandments.’
101 ‘I have refused to walk on any evil path, so that I may remain obedient to your word.’
102 ‘I haven’t turned away from your regulations, for you have taught me well.’ 
103 ‘How sweet your words taste to me; they are sweeter than honey.’
104 ‘Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.’
105 ‘Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.’

Would you believe research indicates that 92% of all households in America have an average of three Bibles?

That works out to be about 306 million bibles in this country. Wow, that’s a whole lot of Bibles! However; would you also believe that 41% of those same households admit they rarely if ever open those Bibles; which means there are about 125 million Bibles gathering dust. Why?

According to one website the Top 10 reasons people don’t read the Bible are:

  • 10. I don’t have time.
    (It used to be that jobs, family and recreation got in the way of reading the Bible. Now much of the country is addicted to social media. FOMO stands for ‘fear of missing out’ drives our obsession with cell phones. The disparity between how much time we spend with technology and how much time we spend with God says much about our priorities).
  • 9. I don’t know where to start.
  • 8. Reading makes me sleepy.
  • 7. The Bible is too confusing.
    (True, some folks don’t read the Bible because they think the Bible is a difficult Book and they will never be able to grasp its meaning. But on the other hand, some feel that they already know enough about the Bible; that it really doesn’t have anything to offer anymore. To either camp I offer this bit of sage advice: “The Bible is so deep that theologians can never touch the bottom, yet so shallow babes cannot drown.”)
  • 6. I never get anything out of it.
  • 5. There are many contradictions in the Bible.
  • 4. The Bible is boring.
  • 3. I might have to change.
    (For sure, there are always those of us who shy away from the Bible because we have a pretty good idea of what it says about certain ways that we are living. Mark Twain: “It ain’t those parts of the Bible I can’t understand that bother me; it’s those parts I do understand that make me shudder.”
  • 2. I forget or I get distracted.
  • 1. I’m not smart enough.

For these reasons and many others, many who own a Bible rarely if ever take advantage of what it has to offer them. No wonder Will Rogers once said, “If all the neglected Bibles in this country were dusted off at the same time, we would suffer the worst dust storm this country has ever seen.”

Perhaps the same thing could have been said in the time of King Josiah?

For reasons that we don’t know, God’s Word, which at that time consisted of the Torah (Hebrew), the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, had been lost. It had been put on a shelf and forgotten. God’s Word had been gathering dust for some 55 years.

During that 55 years absence, I don’t think that it was coincidental that the people of God had sunk to their lowest level as it concerned their walk with God.

And then along comes our hero, young King Josiah. One of the first things he officially did after his inauguration was to take up an offering from the people in order to make some much-needed repairs to the Temple. Wouldn’t you know that one of the electricians found a portion of the Torah? And to make a long story short, King Josiah orders the reading of the Word of God to the gathered people, which resulted in reformation and revival among God’s people.

Bible Lesson 101: Rediscovery of the lost book, plus willingness to read and obey it led to a renewal of life God-ward.

That’s why it is imperative that God’s people today read and obey God’s Word.

What’s so special about the Bible? It isn’t that much different than the Muslim Koran or the Hindu Bhagavad Gita or the Buddhist’s Tripitaka is it? Oh, you better believe it is!

What all the holy books of the world’s religions have in common is they all believe in life after death. Where there is a distinction between the Bible and all other religious books is how one obtains life after death. According to all the religious books of the world except the Bible, one must earn or work one’s way to heaven by living a religious life. But the Bible is unique in that eternal life after death is not based upon what we do, but what God in His grace has done for us in His Son Jesus.

This book then gives us the most important information available on the planet. No wonder some clever fellow created an acronym for BIBLE: Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

Once we get the Basic instructions down, we’ll come to see the Bible as providing God’s portion of the ongoing dialog between God and us. Remember, Christianity is not about religion. It’s about a relationship; a relationship between two parties; God and us. Relationships are nurtured through conversation. It’s very difficult to sustain a relationship with God apart from knowing what He’s thinking and saying.

“A bible which is falling apart usually belongs to someone who’s not!” I find that when for whatever reason I don’t spend enough time with God’s Word I experience more frustration, difficulty, and temptation. Times of victory and strength and clarity coincide with times of Bible saturation.

God’s book gives us the guidance we need about every-day practical matters. It tells us how to be good husbands/wives, parents/children, brothers/sisters. The Bible gives guidance to the church about mission and ministry and to individual Christians about their gifts and calling in the same. This book provides the guidance we sorely need about how to relate to our possessions and how to handle our money. The Bible provides us with a moral compass to follow and guarantees peace of mind and heart if we do.

People need God’s Word like never before!

Our country, our politicians and our president all desperately need God’s Word. Our citizens need God’s Word. Our kids need God’s Word. We need Gods’ Word.

The goal for us as Christians is to grow spiritually, is it not? And the nourishment for this spiritual growth is the Word of God. All Christians need to feed on the Word of God.

Are you a young Christian or an immature Christian? Then the Bible says you need to feed on the pure milk of the Word; the elementary teachings of the Bible. What’s the big picture of the Bible? What is God saying to humankind? What is the grace of God all about?

If you need help, I want to offer you the opportunity to take DISCIPLE I BIBLE STUDY. It is a 32-week basic survey course of the entire Bible.

Are you already a growing and mature Christian? Then the Bible says you need to feed on the meat of the Word – those teachings that equip us to serve one another, to forgive one another and to really love one another.

To that end, I offer those of you have graduated from Disciple I to enter into a deeper study of God’s word as we spend 8 weeks studying Luke, 8 weeks in Acts and 16 weeks in the letters of the Apostle Paul. The focus of is not only information but more importantly how we take that information into the world.

I’ve heard people say the Bible is old fashioned, the Bible is out of touch, the Bible doesn’t have anything relevant today for the modern man. I’ve heard people say we need to pay attention to what modern scholars are saying. If you need help with life, there are thousands of self-help books available in bookstores and online.

Hey, I don’t wish to disparage any author’s attempt to provide people with help, but when it comes to important information that will serve well in this life and the next, there’s no substitute for this book! We really we don’t need so and so’s book, we need God’s book; we don’t need the book of the month, we need the book of the ages! We need the Word of God to be working in our lives so that we too like our ancient ancestors can renew our lives Godward!

Randy K'Meyer

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