Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Monday, August 1, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Aug 2

Today's readings are 2 Chron 32-33.  Tomorrow's are Nahum 1-3.

We see, in 2 Kings 20, some of the details and planning that go into the defense of Jerusalem when Sennacherib, king of Assyria lays siege to it. We heard about how God miraculously delivered Jerusalem in Isaiah 36-37. But  now we see that Hezekiah was wise to prepare for the siege as well, taking precautionary measures to insure that his city can withstand the attack. 

This is a beautiful example of God's people trusting in Him for a miracle but being diligent to understand that God may work through practical preparation as well. Hezekiah's trust in God is total. But his trust doesn't mean that Hezekiah decides to simply "let go and let God". The king of Jerusalem is compelled to carry out his duties and do what he can to walk out his trust in a responsible manner knowing that God can just as easily deliver His people through his careful preparation as He can through a miracle. In reality, God uses both to accomplish His will.

The victory comes but it is more costly than it seems. Hezekiah, a good and godly king, falls victim to his own pride (2 Kings 20:25). He brags to the princes of Babylon who will later return and take Jerusalem captive. 

God remains true to his promise to preserve Hezekiah, who lives out his grace-given fifteen years in peace. But, Hezekiah's son, Manasseh takes over after Hezekiah dies, then Amon after Manasseh. Each king after Hezekiah is increasingly worse, more evil and leads the people of Judah further away from God. 

Perhaps the one statement that sums up this entire divided-kingdom period can be found in 2 Chronicles 33:10 "The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people but they paid no attention."

Eventually, Manasseh repents but the damage is done. His son Amon is more evil than his fathers. 

God was gracious in speaking to Judah, guiding them through their stumble and failures, shedding grace at every turn. God is gracious in speaking to us. As I read and study this sad history of two godly kingdoms, set apart for God's glory...just like you and me, I have to wonder how often He speaks to me, through something so tangible as His written word, and I pay no attention. 

1 comment:

  1. I was encouraged when I read in 2 Chronicles 32 of how when Sennacherib blasphemed the Lord and spoke so strongly to discourage Judah they held fast to the word of God. They did not fear the Assyrian king or his word but trusted in what God had already told them. It made me think about how important it is to know the truth so that you are able to discern a lie.

    In verse 31 of chapter 32, we get much greater insight on the story of Hezekiah, information that enlightens our understanding of 2 Kings 20. Regarding the Babylonian envoys, we learn that, "God left him (Hezekiah) to himself, in order to test him and to know all that was in his heart." And in 2 Chr 33:12, we get greater insight into Manasseh than is given in 2 Kings 21.

    Scripture is such a great teacher; especially when we use scripture to help interpret scripture. Kings and Chronicles many times tell the same stories, with one often times filling in details that the other didn't offer. What a great blessing to receive such clarification from God so that we can have clear understanding of his word.