How many things do you do by the book? I know that I usually read the instructions as a last resort.
Reading in II Kings 22-23 this morning I was reminded of the value of "doing it by the book".
After Josiah became King of Judah, the Book of the Law was discovered in the Temple. The fact that the Book had become lost in the Temple is pretty sad commentary on the condition of God's people and the previous Kings.
Why was Josiah able to discover the Book when no one else could? Maybe the answer is found in II Kings 22:2 - "He did right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or the left."
Josiah rejoiced when the news came that God's Book had been found. He received it with joy and had it read in his hearing. Then he called together the people of Judah and had it read in their hearing. Once they were reminded of the Covenant God had made with them, Josiah dedicated himself to destroying all the shrines, altars, and idols to the pagan gods who were being worshipped by the people of God. Then he rounded up the mediums and spiritists and had them killed. It is heart-breaking to see how far this mighty nation had fallen because they failed to "do it by the Book". Their evil and depravity was breath-taking.
After all the symbols of evil and evil influencers were destroyed, Josiah ordered the nation to observe the Passover. Josiah was using his leadership to turn his people back to God, but it is hard to overcome years of spiritual neglect and ignorance of God's truth.
This story reminded me of how important it is to do life according to the Book. I have a fresh appreciation for Psalm 119:
"Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."
The fact that you are reading this post shows that you have some interest in the Truth. So, like Josiah, I challenge you to live by the Book, to tear down the idols and altars in your heart, and walk in the joy and freedom of the Truth.