In the days of King Josiah, Hilkiah, the high priest, brought out the Book of the Law and read it in the presence of King Josiah. Josiah, with newly awakened faith, reformed the kingdom of Judah. He burned the idols. He sacrificed the false priests on the altars of their silent gods. He reinstituted the Passover. “Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might” (2 Kings 23:25).
Many pious Christians believe that if we simply return to the Word and prayer, God will bless us with material prosperity and earthly peace. God offers no such promise. Even in the case of Judah, despite Josiah’s reforms, God still sent them into exile “because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him” (2 Kings 23:26).
Why, then, “Return to the Word”? His Word is a lamp to our feet that guides us on the path of His righteousness. Like David, we seek to store up God’s Word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). We seek to know the Word because in the Word alone do we see and hear the words of eternal life (John 6:68). In His Word, we see God in Christ, justifying sinners by grace. His Word does what He promises. His Word judges sinners and creates faith through the Gospel.
In this issue of The Lutheran Witness, you will find an outline and guide for reading the Bible. You will learn how to teach this in your home — how to guide family devotions. You will even find an encouragement to sing this Word in church and at home.
In the Word of Life,
Roy S. Askins
Managing Editor, The Lutheran Witness