Wednesday, September 3, 2014
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Back in the day when our kids were in school, you didn't really need to pay to go to a circus. You just could come to our house around 7:00 or 8:00 o'clock in the morning; any time before the school bus came. The boys were trying to find their socks and their shoes, or car keys, homework, contact lenses, glasses - mayhem. So many times they get home from school and things kind of landed wherever they landed, and they had to figure out where that was the next morning. The problem is, the next morning you can't remember where you left it, so you panic to find your stuff in those moments that you have to leave for school, because that's pretty unforgiving when school begins when the bus comes. So it was not unusual to hear in our house an old question ringing through the halls, "Mom, Dad, book?" And finding it? Well, everything depended on it.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Where's My Book?"
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from 2 Kings 22, and I'll begin reading with verse 8. The story takes place as young King Josiah has taken over as the ruler of Judah. And he's taken over after a period of great evil in the land. And he commissions Hilkiah, the high priest, and Shaphan, the secretary, to begin to mobilize and clean out the temple, because it was a mess; it had fallen into disrepair.
Here's what the Bible says, "Hilkiah, the high priest, said to Shaphan, the secretary, 'I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.' He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. Then Shaphan, the secretary, went to the king." So he gets the book, and takes it into the presence of the king. Now, verse 13, Hilkiah says, "Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord's anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us."
They didn't know what was in God's book. They had lost God's Book somewhere in the shuffle. That's happened in some churches. That's happened in some of our lives. Back in the 1940s Billy Graham was an unknown student preacher. He had his Bible. He started to preach some crusades and people began to take note of him. By the late 1940's he was sort of a rising star in the preaching circuit. But he had a crisis of faith because a friend of his had gone off to seminary; a liberal seminary in the East and came back with more questions than he had answers.
Billy Graham resolved that crisis of doubt that day as he went out in the woods, laid that Bible on a stump, knelt beside that stump, and poured out his heart to God and said, "From this moment on, I will accept this as your total authority, God, as coming from you." From that time on Billy Graham's ministry was known for these three words, "The Bible says... The Bible says..." He had settled once and for all the final word, the final authority. That's what we've got to do.
When you come to Christ you base your life on these three words, "The Bible says..." But how about the rest of our life? How do you make your cultural decisions, your family decisions, your money decisions, your entertainment decisions? You see, the Bible is God's final word, and many times as you look at what we do in our private lives it's like we lost the book. It's buried again. Oh, we go visit it on Sunday. We read it occasionally. But is it the final authority no matter what our culture says, no matter what the opinion polls say, no matter what everybody at the office or at school says. Is it, "The Bible says..."?
God has spoken, and without God's Word it doesn't matter how nice the idea sounds or how charismatic the presenter of that idea is, it's just a nice idea. I can almost hear God running through our lives sometimes like our kids did back in the school days crying, "Where's My book?"