“Then the runners went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his leaders, and spoke according to the command of the king: “Children of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel; then He will return to the remnant of you who have escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria (2 Chronicles 30:6).”
While renovating their home in New Jersey a couple found an old letter postmarked May 1945 that had apparently fallen into a gap in the attic stairs and remained there for seven decades. It was written by Virginia Christoffersen to her husband Rolf who was off in Europe fighting for the Allied Forces (1). She wrote; “I love you Rolf, as I love the warm sun, and that is what you are to my life, the sun about which everything else revolves for me.” What an impact such an expression of love would have made on a man fighting in a far-off war. Although 72 years had lapsed the couple who found this lost love letter reached out through social media to seek out Rolf Christoffersen. They soon found his son and delivered the letter. Although Virginia died six years ago, their son read the lost letter to his dad aged 96. Lost in the old home for a lifetime, the warm words of love had to come alive and have a tremendous effect on the old sailor.
Back in the 7th century B.C., Josiah, the king of Judah commissioned renovations on the house of the LORD (2 Kings 22:3-6). As they were doing their renovation work Hilkiah the high priest proclaimed, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD (v.8).” This happened in the 18th year of Josiah’s reign and it is probable that this lost love letter from God to His people had been left lying since the death of Hezekiah some five decades previous. But this letter wasn’t really lost, it was right where it had always been. The people of God had neglected it and in so doing they had forgotten their God who sent the letter (vv.15-17).
Sadly, God’s love letter to mankind, the Bible, lies lost and hidden in plain sight in their homes. Unread and neglected, awaiting a day when perhaps some member of the household may proclaim, “I have found the Book of the Law!” The devil is in the business of making sure heavenly postage gets lost in the mail and never reaches the addressed recipients. Jesus taught that some will hear the word and not understand and then the wicked one will snatch the word away so that they cannot receive the message (Matthew 13:19).
To those in Josiah’s day, who would suffer the hardships of captivity, Jehovah sent another love letter by the hand of His prophet Zephaniah. How sweet the words must have hit the hearts of those who still loved and longed for the Lord. “The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).” They would not be lost and separated from God in that land far-off. His letter told them that He was still with them and would again shine His love upon them.
In times past receiving a letter from afar was a big deal. Now with Twitter, texting, email, and the like it is a continuous stream and perhaps, such as in printing more money, the value of each communique becomes a bit devalued. Those who receive the letter as God addressed it will be saved and will live in His love forever (James 1:21). It may well be that letter of love and life hasn’t been lost but is lying in their homes ready to be read again.
“And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3 ESV).”