King Josiah undertook the renovation of the temple in order to bring his people from apostasy to a renewed relationship with God. But however important the restoration of the temple may have been, it was only when the book of the law was found that the work of reformation truly began (2 Kings 22:8).
This paradigmatic event shows that revival and reformation must go handin-hand with the Word of God. It is not by accident that the largest and virtually central chapter of the Bible deals almost exclusively with the Word of God. Psalm 119 uses a variety of synonyms to designate God’s Word, such as law, testimonies, statutes, precepts, and ways. These terms emphasize the many aspects of God’s written revelation and their relevance to our lives.
But not satisfied with just describing the relevance and beauty of the Word, the psalmist prays: “Revive me according to Your word” (vv. 25, 107, 154, NKJV). God’s Word brings revival; this message of comfort, admonition, and hope enables us to face the challenges of everyday life and prepares us for the life to come. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12, NKJV).
—Elias Brasil de Souza, PhD, serves as director, Biblical Research Institute, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.