“The king made a covenant before the Lord.” (2 Kings 23:3)

Josiah wasn’t your average eighteen-year-old learning to be responsible. He already had too much responsibility—he was king of Judah! What’s more, the odds were against him. His father, Amon, and his grandfather, Manasseh, had been terrible rulers. Manasseh revived idol worship and various occult practices. He even murdered his own son. Amon continued with more of the same, until he himself was murdered (2 Kings 21). To turn things around would be a very difficult task—you might say impossible!

But through God’s intervention, the impossible happened. When the Book of the Law was read aloud to Josiah, his heart was pierced. He got rid of all Israel’s idols and false priests, and reinstated the worship of Yahweh. Equally important, he rededicated himself and his people to God. Because of Josiah’s obedience, it was said of him that “He pleased the Lord and conducted himself unswervingly just as his ancestor David had done” (2 Kings 22:2).

Although none of us are kings or queens, we also have responsibilities, decisions, and often enough, crises to deal with. And like Josiah, we can find many of the answers in the word of God. It’s in the Scriptures that we learn the supreme value of doing right, loving goodness, and walking in humility before our God (Micah 6:8). And we learn how to do those things as we ponder the life and teachings of Jesus, who lived among us as both man and God.

But the Bible is much more than a book of instructions imparting good knowledge. As God’s inspired word, it is “living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrat­ing even between soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12). This is what hap­pened to Josiah—God’s word came alive to him and changed his life.

Today is a good day to listen closely to the Lord through Scrip­ture. It’s a good day to calm your mind, choose a verse from today’s readings, and repeat it slowly and prayerfully until you get a sense that God is speaking directly to you. What is he saying? What impossible thing is he making possible in your heart?

“Father, let me hear your word with new ears today. May it move me to do what I could never do before, and to love as I have never loved before.”

Psalm 119:33-37,40; Matthew 7:15-20