Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Aug 4, 2 Kings 22-23, 2 Chron 34-35

Today's readings are 2 Kings 22-23, 2 Chron 34-35. Tomorrow's are Zeph 1-3. 

In 2 Kings 22, Josiah takes over after evil king Amon dies. Josiah is a good king. But, the word of God has been so neglected most people in the kingdom have not heard it. It is found a read and King Josiah mourns that the Jews have not been faithful. God sends a woman, Huldah, to prophecy to Josiah (2 Kings 22). She tells him God will judge the people but will have mercy on King Josiah for his humble and godly nature. 

Even though Josiah has God's promise that he will be spared, he enacts godly reforms in 2 Kings 23. He tears down the altar and removes the high places. He restores the temple, renews the Passover and eliminates the ungodly mediums and seers. 

Judah still struggles with the sins perpetrated by the people in Manasseh's time (2 Kings 23:26-27). Josiah dies an honored and godly king. But, Jehoahaz takes his place and does evil in the sight of the Lord. Pharaoh intervenes and makes Josiah's son, Jehoiakim, the king. Jehoiakim, even though he is Josiah's son, aligns himself with Pharaoh and becomes an evil king. 

2 Chron 34 recounts the details of Josiah's reign, placing more emphasis on the role of Huldah, the woman prophet, who delivers God's word to the king in greater detail than what we heard in 2 Kings. 

2 Chron 35 provides more detail regarding the reforms Josiah initiates. We also hear that Josiah dies in battle after being warned by Pharaoh Neco (the same Pharaoh that puts Jehoiakim on the throne) not to insert himself between the Egyptian army and the Babylonian army at Carchemish. As it turns out, God was speaking through Neco and Josiah chose not to listen, resulting in his death and setting another disastrous series of events in motion.   

So, we see that God will hold those who reject Him accountable as HE does in the case of the people of Judah. Their godly leader, Josiah, brings a reprieve but as soon as Josiah dies, the new king and the people slip backward again. The battle at Carchemish  proves to be significant. It is the beginning of dominance by the Babylonians who will eventually carry Judah and Jerusalem off into captivity. 

Furthermore, we see a woman playing a significant prophetic role. Note, Josiah listens to Huldah when she brings the word of God, but chooses to ignore Pharaoh Neco when he brings the word. Josiah failed to heed the full counsel of God, choosing instead to make his own decisions after receiving the blessing through Huldah. 

We are always at the peril of being left to our own devices when we choose to ignore the full counsel of the word, We have an advantage over Josiah, though. We have the complete Bible to refer to, God's immutable word in writing. It is our duty to know what it says and heed it. As believers, we actually have less excuse than Josiah did.  

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