Have you ever had the “fun” of cleaning out a storage area that had been untouched for many years? Perhaps it was an attic where your great-grandma had put her treasures and her boxes of all kinds of memorabilia throughout her lifetime. It could have been a basement where someone’s old tools, nails, screws and scraps of building materials or car parts had been stored since the days of the horse and buggy. The project, while it might have felt daunting, was also probably quite exciting. Nobody really knew in advance what might be found and what its worth might be if you were to take it to the “Antiques Roadshow”. Of course, realistically, no one really knew how many carloads of stuff would actually have to be taken to the dump either. That is the adventure of participating in this kind of a job, isn’t it?
For many years before Josiah became king in Judah there had been monarchs who had “disregarded the Lord and done evil in His sight”. In fact, the “Book of the Law of the Lord” that was written by Moses had long since disappeared. Although he was only a young man, Josiah wanted to follow the example of his ancestor David and do what was right. During the first 18 years of his reign, he accomplished some amazing things by going throughout the land and demolishing the altars and images that people had been using for idol worship. His next big project was to repair the Temple of the Lord his God. Because of the immensity of the project, he appointed leaders to take care of the finances and others to supervise not only the construction, but all of the support personnel. Perhaps the biggest and most significant event during this time was the discovery by HIlkiah of an ancient scroll. Just imagine what he and his co-worker, Shaphan, might have been thinking as they unrolled it and took it to Josiah. What would the king want him to do? What words of truth would come to their attention? What would this discovery mean in the days ahead?
The question that remains a mystery is how did the Israelites allow this scroll to gradually be forgotten and finally lost? What happened and could it happen again?