15 August 2008

Hilkiah [7.27.08]

From the 7.27.08 teen Sunday school bulletin...

What a blessing it is to have God's word! To have the ability to read it, a good preacher to explain it, and the Holy Spirit to impart understanding! One of the many great things about the Bible is the fact that it never gets boring. There's ALWAYS something new to learn. So here's something new I learned in recent weeks…

We should all be familiar with a priest from the days of the divided kingdom by the name of Hilkiah. You remember him, right? Well, if not, he was the man who found the book of the law in the house of the LORD during the days of Josiah the king. You can read about him in 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34.

Hilkiah's find had a great impact both upon the nation (it spurred the second great revival of Judah's history) and evidently upon his own progeny. You see, he was the great grandfather of a man who is described as a ready scribe in the law of the LORD – a man by the name of Ezra (1 Chronicles 6:13; Ezra 7:1).

I learned while reading my Bible this past week it is also possible that Hilkiah was the father of the famous prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:1-2 says, The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin: To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirtieth year of his reign. Though Hilkiah evidently ministered as a priest in Jerusalem while Jeremiah claimed Anathoth in Benjamin as his hometown, the timeframe would definitely match since we see Hilkiah in the early days of Josiah's reign and Jeremiah (perhaps his son) in the latter days thereof.

This all became more significant when I read a very familiar passage later on in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 15:16 says, Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. I've read and even memorized this passage in the past, but it wasn't until I had considered the timeframe of Jeremiah's ministry, as well as his heritage, that I realized how literally he made this statement. Jeremiah said, Thy words were found because God's word really was found during his lifetime by a man named Hilkiah, who was quite possibly his father.

Now there are several practical applications that we can't miss. First of all, we need to recognize what a great privilige it is own a copy of God's word (Thy words were found). Secondly, we need to take advantage of this great privilege by being faithful to spend time in God's word daily (and I did eat them). And thirdly, we need to be careful to receive what God's word has to say and make it a part of our every day lives (and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart).

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