Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for July 14, 2 Chron 28, 2 Kings 16-17

Today's readings are 2 Chron 28 and 2 Kings 16-17. Tomorrow's are Isaiah 13-17. 

Many of the scenarios in these chapters are familiar, we've seen them before but now, in greater detail and in the context of history. 

Here are the kings and dates again:

And here's a map of the region. Assyria is to the Northeast, Babylon to the East:

By now, the two kingdoms have turned away from God to a startling extent. It all started with Solomon and some questionable decisions. Now the kingdoms are fighting against each other, just as Solomon's sons did. They have abandoned God, embraced other gods and are even sacrificing their children to those false gods. They turn everywhere for help; to former enemies, to pagan nations...everywhere but to the one true God. 

Right around the middle of Ahaz's time, in 722, Israel is taken captive  by the Assyrians. Judah is spared...but Babylon and the Chaldeans are lurking just over the horizon. 

Once again, we see God's sovereign hand moving among nations outside of Israel and Judah. Once again we see that God's children will always be God's children. However we also see, once again, that there are worldly consequences for disobedience. God's blessing and protection are removed nearly completely. They are left to fend for themselves. God has not abandoned them. He has, though, allowed them to become the victim of their own rebellious hearts. There will be redemption. There will be a remnant. But there will be suffering in the meantime. 

As believers, we should take this lesson to heart. Much of the Old Testament is comprised of lessons that reveal the character and nature of God. We see, repeatedly, that God will not forsake His people, that He is true to His promise and His word. Simultaneously, we see that there is a worldly, not eternal, price to pay for the ongoing sins of His people. True, heartfelt, contrite repentance is always rewarded with grace and mercy. Hard hearts and a callous attitude toward sin is always rewarded with hardship.

God will deliver His people to the Promised Land. But, because of their constant falling into sinful ways, the journey will be rough. It's the same for us.  God will bring us into His presence for all eternity. If we insist on sinning and rebelling against Him without godly grief over our stumbles, our journey to heaven will be rough,  

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