The Reading of the Book
edited: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
By Michael Mancha
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2011
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This article was written as a commentary to the event that took place on January 6, 2011, when the U.S. Constitution was read on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Yesterday, The House of Representatives, led by John Boehner, dusted off the U.S. Constitution and actually read it prior to unleashing the first legislative session of the 112th Congress. For some of the legislators, it must have been like hearing the content of one of the bills they passed but had never read. Learning what was in the document that they had sworn to uphold must have been sobering for some and, hopefully, embarrassing for others. Apparently, some never bothered to show up, and, by their absence, expressed an opinion that this document is unimportant to the governance of our country.
Have you ever heard of King Josiah? His reign over the Kingdom of Judah spanned 31 years during the 6th century BC. At that time, the nation of Israel was a ship without a rudder. A civil war had split the nation into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. The people had long abandoned their God and had adopted the practices and behaviors of their pagan neighbors. The land was covered in the thick darkness.
Then one day, something was found in the ruins of the temple in Jerusalem….it was a book; a book that contained the words that God had spoken to a previous generation of Israelites. It was the Book of the Law that detailed God’s purpose for their nation and what to obey if they were to be a blessed people. When King Josiah read the words, he ‘freaked out’. He now understood why his nation was in shambles!
King Josiah’s initial course of action was similar to that of Speaker Boehner. The King gathered the elders of the land and all the people at the house of the Lord, and in their presence, read the Book of the Law. It was a fresh proclamation of who they were as a people, and as a nation. The whole of Judah responded and together renewed their commitment to “perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book”. But King Josiah didn’t stop there. He took more aggressive action and did a total housecleaning of the kingdom; tearing down, breaking up, and burning to the ground every trace of the idolatry that had infiltrated their society.
Those within America’s present conservative movement have become a force to reckon with. We have been able to persuade a few within our government to consider and even acknowledge that we, as a people, have strayed from our founding document, the Constitution. It has now been read in the hearing of our country’s leaders and of her citizens. But merely reading the text won’t provide what America is lacking. It is an adherence and obedience to the prescriptions and principles of the Constitution that will restore our nation to her former stature in this world.
A housecleaning and a dismantling has begun and must continue at a constant, fervent pace if our nation is to survive. That is what we will require of ourselves and of our elected leaders. The ‘Book’ has been recovered and read; now it must be honored and obeyed!