Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Canonical Reading Plan for May 19, 2 Chr 32-34.

Today's readings are 2 Chr 32-34.

We see in 2 Chr 32:1-8 some of the details and planning that go into the defense of Jerusalem when Sennacherib, king of Assyria lays siege to it. Isaiah 36-37 describes how God miraculously delivers Jerusalem from this battle. But now we see that Hezekiah was wise to prepare for the siege as well, taking precautionary measures to ensure 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 our 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 Chr 32:24-31). He brags to the princes of Babylon who will later return and take Jerusalem captive. Manasseh, an evil king, takes over after Hezekiah dies.

Perhaps the single 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 and turns Judah back toward God (2 Chr 33:11-17). Amon takes over after Manasseh. He is an evil king, even worse than his fathers.

God was gracious in speaking to Judah, guiding them through their stumbles and failures, shedding grace at every turn. Likewise, God is gracious in speaking to us. As we read and study this sad history of two godly kingdoms, set apart for God's glory - just like you and me - we should wonder how often He speaks to us through something so tangible as His written word, and whether or not we pay attention.

Josiah, Amon’s son, and a godly king brings another turn around for Israel (2 Chr 34:1-7). Huldah, a woman prophet, delivers God's word to the king as we saw in 2 Kgs 22:14-20. She tells Josiah that God will bless him and his reign, but a day of reckoning is coming for Judah's unfaithfulness. 

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