Like finding hidden treasure, Hilkiah discovered the book of the law. But the high priest didn’t stumble and trip over himself racing to get the book to King Josiah; instead, he handed this gold mine to Shaphan, who eventually told Josiah about the book.
The book was read to King Josiah. He tore his clothes as he realized not only had he sinned in the eyes of God but so had all of his people. His reaction, though, was fitting only if God is real and holy. What we begin to realize in 2 Chronicles is that repentance does not necessarily suspend the earthly consequences of personal and corporate sin. The kingdom of Judah would eventually be destroyed, and the people would be exiled to Babylon even though Josiah had turned his face to God.
We must never see God’s grace as cheap. Instead, it’s a call for us to come and die to ourselves. Even then, often there will be earthly consequences for our sinful choices, rippling out and affecting the multitudes. So let us be wise, loving, and obedient.
What is a specific example in your life of sin having earthly consequences? How were these circumstances reconciled by grace?