Hilkiah said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!” 2 Chronicles 34:15 NLT
I am a connoisseur of old books.
In the spare bedroom of our small patio townhome, bookshelves rest against the walls, encircling the area where bedroom furniture should reside. I have no choice. The square footage is small, and I don’t want to box up my treasures but display them. I’ve put much time and energy into collecting these books—most of which boast a copyright date before 1940. I haven’t invested much money since I discovered most of them at thrift shops, not antique stores.
The oldest ones I wrap in cellophane paper to preserve the covers. Some of the books are in great shape, considering their age. My oldest book is two hundred years old, came from a Charleston, South Carolina, library, and has no scratches, mildew, or tears.
Many of the books have content that doesn’t interest me—but their condition intrigues me. They have survived so long. I’m also amazed by the covers. Not dull like so many modern-day books. Some have intricate designs and carvings, such as a sculptor would place on his work of art—no mass production.
I have read a few of my old books. Most just sit on the shelf. Thumbing through the pages would probably loosen them from the spine and even separate the cover. But within their pages reside truth and error. None mimic the book Hilkiah discovered.
One of young King Josiah’s projects, when he took over the throne, involved restoring the temple, which had fallen into disrepair. In the cleanup, Hilkiah discovered the Book of the Law. Scholars think this was our book of Deuteronomy. When the king read God’s Word, he tore his clothes. The people—and the king—had disobeyed. Surely, punishment marched on the horizon. The king led the people to repent and turn back to God.
We can discover tidbits of truth in many places, but only one place hosts complete, absolute truth that never changes: the Bible. The words held truth when God first spoke them through the various writers, and they still contain truth presently.
When truth confronts us, it always calls for change, as it did with the king and his people. God’s Words leads us to repentance, confession, sorrow, joy, peace, encouragement, and abundant life. No other book can change us as God’s Word can because no other book has been breathed by God’s Spirit.
Many good books avail themselves for our reading, but God’s Word is the best book. Make it a point to read it often. Doing so will change your life. Don’t just place it on a shelf.
Prayer: Father, prompt us to read and meditate on Your Word daily.
Tweetable: How is the Bible changing you?
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