Great Read. Some of what we just read is the background for Jeremiah so I may refer back to it. So as we may remember from a past reading king Josiah,
- who was 8 when he became king.
- When he was 16 he began to seek the Lord and began his reform at the age of 20.
- We read in the past about him reopening the temple, and hiring people to fix it up from the neglect for all those years.
- He re-instituted the offering plate the God had originally intended for the temple.
The money would pay the workers, the High Priest, Hilkiah (possibly Jeremiah’s father….woo hooo cannnot wait to read Jeremiah!), found the Book of the Law. I am not sure if the Book of the Law was more than Deuteronomy but for certain it was included. You can tell from the repeat reference to following the Lord with your Heart, Soul and Mind.
The death of Josiah was very sad, however Judgement on Judah at this point was already in motion. When we read the book of Jeremiah, 3 big events will occur during it. They will refer back to today’s readings.
- The battle of Megiddo (609 B.C.) between Judah and the Pharaoh of Egypt, Neco. This is when Josiah was killed.
- Battle of Carchemish (605 B.C.) 4 years later, during Jehoiakim’s reign they were being used by Egypt. In this battle, the Egyptians were defeated by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, this causing the first deportation of the Jews.
- (in 20 years) We will see the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. They will capture the city and the temple and exile the greater part of those who were left to Babylon.
I am not sure HOW this reading spoke to you. I was given 2 BIG messages today. First, it took reading the Book from the Lord to see how disobedient they were being. Immediately after seeing what God’s law was, Josiah and the priests repented from their ways, humbled themselves and reformed, not just their deeds but their hearts. We have been reading this book for 7 months. I pray everyday that each reading change us to be closer to God. We have all been taught wrong doctrine, rituals, theology. It is everywhere, from Hollywood to our own churches. As we see it always has been corrupt, and always will be. It is SOOOO important to read the Bible, take it exactly as it is, (He leaves no room for interpretation or lifestyle application) we are without excuse to say “Well……that’s what I think, or that’s what I have been taught”). SO READ these chapters, especially since we are about to embark on the New Testament, and leave CHANGED from the inside out. Obey Him, but not just in deed but have a changed Heart. Offer Him yourself as a living sacrifice, tell him to change in you what He does not like and put more of what He does like in you. But I warn you, do that and you will open your eyes a new creation.
Second, Josiah was one of the greatest kings, yet his own son fell right into step with all the pagan teachings (it says in the reading his fathers…the ones before Josiah). I have been completely reminded that teaching our children is a huge part of our life. This summer I have spent a great deal of time with children, who’s parents are some of the wisest and most dedicated Christians I know. I was shocked when talking to their children how little they knew of the Bible. It was almost as if their parents were so busy trying to DO God’s work that they themselves forgot one of the most important things he asks of us. And Josiah should have known this, it was in the Book of the Law.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Our reading is now going to switch to almost a 2 week read into Jeremiah (after Zephaniah), and we will pick up right here. I will try to remember to do a summary of where we are in History. (By the way Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel are some of my favorite books in the whole bible…we have some goooooood reading coming up)
Today is August 3. In the next 2 months not only will be finish the Kings and Chronicles, but we will also squeeze in 17 books. Not kidding. 17 in 2 months . So hold on tight…here we go.
Yes, the beginning of this you have read before. Here is a reminder of the men here. Hezekiah was a very good king. This is shocking because his father was the very worst king, Ahaz. He was an awful man. When Hezekiah began his reign he reformed the people, tore down all the idols, re-opened and fixed the temple, and for his faith and goodness the Lord healed him and gave him an additional 15 years. Unfortunately, we see here his son, Manasseh, was more of Ahaz than of Hezekiah. Ugggg, hated to read this.
Manasseh was so bad that in his years of killing he took the life if Isaiah. Tradisiton says that Isaiah may have been hiding from him in a hollow log and was sawed in half. Bad kings were never fond of the prophets, for the messages they brought from the Lord were of judgement and doom. I mean, c’mon, he sacrificed his own son in a pagan ritual, God had to do something with these people.
Amon, the next Judean king was a chip off the ole block. Just like his dad. Shame.
Note the time frames. The first chapter we read is sort of a flash back and we re-read the Assyrian’s taking Israel into Captivity and WHY they are being held captive.
Then we are 10 years later, the 14th year of Hezekiah’s reign, placing us about 701 B.C. (numbers get closer to zero as we go) Sennacherib, king of Assyria, is the son of the king that deported Israel’s people (Northern Territory). To keep them from attacking the southern territory, Judah, they paid them an annual tribute. But when Sennacherib took his fathers reign, Hezekiah stopped paying, thinking Assyria was just forgot to ignore them (fat chance), also remember Hezekiah “showed off” all his riches, all the Lord gave him he was prideful about.
Sennacherib began to attack, so Hezekiah quickly paid him all he had, but it didn’t matter Sennacherib attacked anyway. (look at your Cross references…I bet a lot of them say Isaiah…all this was prophesied.)
(By the way you are not going crazy, yes you read all this last week in Isaiah) This is good for you to reread. If God had a message for you, maybe you ignored it the first time.
Psalms. I actually enjoyed reading the Psalms better than the History today (Sorry, just being honest) . The history confused me and I had to concentrate ( ugg right)…the Psalms were beautiful.
Psalm 46: What is your view of God?? This powerful and yet it ends with “Be Still and know that I am God”. Even thought we see His power, He will whisper.
Psalm 80: Restoration. Everyone reading is in a different part of their life and Restoration is a season many people need and Only God can fully do that.
Psalm 135: I know it is a long day but 135 should not be skimmed. A praise that God is God and that any other form of worship is a waste of time.
AS we read in Isaiah there would be a remnant of people that would be left behind during the exile. (rereard that)
Hezekiah is the King in Judah.
- His father was Ahaz, the awful King that locked up the temple doors,
- but his mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
Hezekiah begins with breaking down pagan s idols but also has enough wisdom to break down His own people’s idols. Then re-consecrateing the items of the temples. WHy? They have become defiled!
DO you remember the Bronze Snake that was created back in Numbers 21? Great Story to reread! God had told Moses to make a Bronze Snake and raise it up, and all who believed would be healed. The snake was just a piece of metal, it was their Faith in God that healed them (also a HUGE foreshadows of the Messiah, for those who believe…) anyway, the Hebrews had even made an idol out of that snake. Modern day application would be anything religiously superstitious,that we feel might “protect us” of “bring us luck” just because it looks religious doesn’t excuse it from being an idol. We must really keep checking ourself on this. I was raised catholic, oh never mind….
2 Chronicles. Hezekiah. I know we have read many Kings names that they all get swooshed together but we need to let this one stand out right now. If your son or daughter needs to do a book report on an important man…pick Hezekiah! These people have not celebrated the Lord in over 200 years, and Hezekiah brings back the original law that God had commanded. It was beautiful to read the names of the Tribes again.
“People of Israel RETURN to the Lord”. The word RETURN always stands out to me. I am always thinking it should be “come” to the Lord but we forget that He created us and that we were His from the beginning,and we are the one that moved…not Him.
I wish I could talk about this topic but this blog is long enough, Chapter 30 verse 9 says paraphrased that messengers were “scorned and ridiculed”. Listen, God always knew that talking about Him or encouraging people to Worship the ONE true God would be an unwelcoming conversations but look what happened even though they did it…
Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah pardoned everyone who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not clean according yed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, to the rules of the sanctuary.” And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 2 Chron 30:18-20
Isn’t that awesome! SO as we watch the news at night and think “Good Golly what is the world coming to” we can know that the only way to have a perfect world is His way.
HUGE Read today! 2 Kings Seventeen!!! Click here
Verse 6: “In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes. All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the LORD had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger. They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, “You shall not do this.” The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do.
They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left, and even Judah did not keep the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced. Therefore the LORD rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers, until he thrust them from his presence.
When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king. Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the LORD and caused them to commit a great sin. The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them until the LORD removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.
(skip to 34) To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the LORD nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the LORD gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. When the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
Click below for a GREAT handout that you can refer to as we read through the Prophets as they line up with the Kings.
Did you look at your chart? These are the kings in Israel mostly. Very short reigns…why? because they were not following the Lord. You can also see from the chart we are pretty close to the line of Israel ending. What will happen to them? Where will they go?
Next year when you read the Bible again, I want you to put a little time into looking at World History and its coorelation…it is awesome. But God gave us a hint in the Scriptures 2 Kings 15:19
Then Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem gave him a thousand talents of silver to gain his support and strengthen his own hold on the kingdom. Menahem exacted this money from Israel. Every wealthy man had to contribute fifty shekels of silver to be given to the king of Assyria.
Assyria is becoming a HUGE world power. The reason they want the Promise land is because it lines the coast of the sea and the real power and money is to control the trade route. So keep an eye on the ASSyrians. They are really wicked people rising to take over the world (Hmmmm….just like today)
What was the Capital of Assyria? Nineveh (from Jonah)
Shall we talk about what happened in Judah while all these Israel Kings were “doing evil in the eyes of the Lord”. In 2 Chronicles 26 Uzzah (also called Azaraiah) who was doing so good…even the scriptures said
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success. 2 Chrons 26:4-5
But what happens to so many people? What has been the MOST talked about sin in the Bible? Murder? lust? Homosexuality? Stealing? Coveting? NO. Pride and worshipping anything other than the Lord. Top 2. Want me to repeat that? PRIDE AND WORSHIPPING ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE LORD.
Uzziah not only did not take down the high places but in verse 16 it says his pride was his downfall. He entered the temple as a priest would. You all know how wrong this is. ONLY the descendants of Aaron, the Levi tribe can hold priest positions. Pride ignores the way of the Lord. In the bible Leprosy is an outward expression of what is inside a man. God revealed Uzziah’s pride by giving him Leprosy.
Well I am glad the reading was short BUT it is a HUGE part of History. I wrote a blog last night to post for today and it is missing on my computer. I am so mad. Anyway, here is the cliffnote version.
Keyword is Apostacy=Turning away from the Lord. How do I remember what this word means…starts with an “A”. A for America, A for Apostacy. Ahhhhh get my point.
SO what EXACTLY are we reading about? As I said earlier, we saw the nation divide, we are now reading about the beginning of nation’s fall. This is the Fall of the Northern Kingdom, Israel. The Northern Kingdom came into existence in 931 B.C., In spite all that Elijah and Elisha did for them they never turned from their sinful ways as a nation. Israel is in a PROSPERITY period and no one is noticing that Assyria is growing to be a huge, strong nation and eventually will conquer Israel in 733 BC. (so you can get an idea of where we are in between). Some of Israel’s greatest years are in this era, Jeroboam had little devotion to God’s law and the rich got richer and the poor got poorer (Hello USA). Israel is getting cocky and self-centered. Jeroboam dies in this chapter, so it is about 747 BC and in that one year Israel had 4 kings (the beginning of the decline) Jeroboam Jr, Zechariah, Shallum and Menaham (who will reign 10 years)
Jehoash (good) had a son Amaziah, king of Judah. Did good but STILL did not take down the places of worship outside the Temple. What are these High places? They are “man made” ways to worship. God laid out ONE way to come to the Father. ONE. And the people have fallen prey to how their neighbors were worshipping and doing that. God does not lay out His Plan for us to then make our own way to Salvation. DO YOU NOTICE WHAT A HUGE SIN THIS IS. How many times have we read the phrase “But they did not take down the high places”. There is ONE way to worship God today and that is Through Jesus and I will not be tolerant to hear any other way.
Amaziah, even kills the men that killed his Dad, but stays in God’s law and does not kill their sons. But then he acts a bit cocky and picks a fight with Israel calling them a small thistle. Why is Amaziah acting like this? Because He is prideful because he conquered the Edomites. The Edomites were conquered, but as we read in Obadiah, that was all the Lord’s doing. It was God’s wrath and judgment.
In 2 days we will begin the end years of the Northern Kingdom, Israel, while Assyria reaches its peak power under the reign of Tiglath-Pileser, terrible name, so sometimes he is referred to as Pul.
You may have picked up on the name Jonah! SO look tonight for your Overview. Very exciting read for me.