Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Aug 1, 2 Kings 20-21

Today's readings are 2 Kings 20-21. Tomorrow's are 2 Chron 32-33. 

2 Kings 20 occurs immediately before God supernaturally delivers Jerusalem from Sennacherib, king of Assyria. It is the key to why Hezekiah, king of Judah, turns to the Lord for help when the attack occurs (Isaiah 36-37). 

Hezekiah becomes ill and Isaiah tells him he is going to die. When Hezekiah cries out to the Lord, God shows grace and gives him another fifteen year of life. Hezekiah learns a valuable lesson in this. He can trust God with his life. In just a short while, this will encourage him to will trust God with the fate of his city and his people (2 Kings 20:6). 

The victory goes to Hezekiah's head. He brags to the envoys the king of Babylon sends, showing them the riches of his treasury and the temple. Isaiah tells Hezekiah this was a mistake. While God has promised peace to Hezekiah for his remaining days, his sons will pay the price for his pride.

2 Kings 21 pic up with the reign of Manasseh, Hezekiah's son. Manasseh is an evil king, doing evil and leading the people into idolatry. God sends prophets to condemn Manasseh and warn the people. 

Amon is the next king, another evil one. He is assassinated and his son Josiah takes his place. 

Judah's slide has begun. Hezekiah, a good and godly king fell victim to his own pride. Isaiah prophesied that there would be long term consequences for his stumble. God remains faithful to the promise He gave Hezekiah but those who follow him turn against God and begin to do evil. 

Hezekiah could easily have assumed there were no consequences for his sin merely becasue he did not immediately suffer any. The word of God told him differently. Nonetheless, Hezekiah did not repent. As a matter of fact, he took the position of "If it doesn't harm me, it doesn't matter." Read 2 Kings 20:19 carefully. Hezekiah has already learned that contrite repentance will bring God's grace. But he doesn't repent. He has become self-absorbed and lacks compassion on those who will follow him.

Seeing the long term impact Hezekiah's sin has should teach us two lessons. 1.  Even the best and most godly of us should be diligent to avoid becoming victims of our own pride. 2. We should never take God's grace for granted nor think that because the consequences for sin are not immediate, there are none. 

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