Today’s Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33; Romans 16:10-27; Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 20:19
Yesterday King Manasseh repented after being rebuked by God. Today we read of all the good things that he did subsequently. He even tore down the very pagan sites that he had built up early in his reign (2 Chronicles 33:15-16). Its never too late to turn from sin and to the Lord and then live for Him.
Later this year we will read about eternal rewards that will be distributed to believers in heaven based on how they lived for Jesus after being saved. Turning from sin is first part of what God asks of us. Living for Him after we are saved is the second part.
Manasseh’s son Amon becomes king next and he was so evil that God only allowed him to reign two years because he did not humble himself. (2 Chronicles 33:21-23). His reign ends when he is assassinated by his own people who seem to have wanted a godly leader in his place. Amon’s son, Josiah, then becomes king of Judah.
If we do the math we see that Josiah was born to Amon when Amon was only 16 years old (2 Chronicles 33:21, 34:1). Amon had decided when he was very young not to obey God.
Josiah, however, followed the example of David and did not turn away from doing right (2 Chronicles 34:2). Josiah became king when he was only 8 years old. When he was 16, the same age when his father was getting a girl pregnant, Josiah began to seek God (2 Chronicles 35:3).
Four years later, after apparently learning about God’s expectations, he set out destroying all the pagan sites (2 Chronicles 35:3-7). How many times have we read about these sites being destroyed, only to come back? Josiah also restores the Temple (2 Chronicles 35:8-13). How many times have we read about the Temple falling into neglect and needing to be restored? There was apparently a strong spiritual tug-of-war in Israel for hundreds of years.
While restoring the Temple a copy of the Book of the Law (possibly Deuteronomy) is discovered (2 Chronicles 25:14). At some point in the past God’s word had been forgotten and had disappeared from society. The same can be said of our culture. Very few people read their Bibles. They are too busy watching television or seeking pleasure, which seems to the goal of everyone’s life nowadays.
King Josiah tears his clothes, a reaction implying intense passion and conviction, upon hearing the words written in the Law (2 Chronicles 35:19). He realizes that the reason Judah and Israel have had problems is because God is keeping His promise of destroying them because the people did not obey Him (2 Chronicles 35:21). Notice that ignorance of the law was not a valid excuse.
Can you imagine the President of the United States going on television and reading the Bible to America? I can’t either – but it would be very cool. That is pretty much what King Hezekiah does. Not only that but he pledges to lead by The Book and requires the people do the same (2 Chronicles 34:29-32). I know this won’t happen in the United States, but I can dream can’t I?
As Paul closes his letter to the Romans he warns against people who create problems by teaching something other than what the Romans believed (Romans 16:17). We are to have nothing to do with such people who are self-serving in their deceit of others (Romans 16:18).
The best defense against such people is to know the truth (Romans 16:19). That is why it is so important to know God’s word – God’s eternally unchanging word. Some faiths, such as Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses, are built on the idea that the original Bible documents are wrong. But God is not a moving target. He tells us exactly who He is for this very reason – so we don’t fall prey to those who don’t know what they are talking about.
Sometimes we can lose our spiritual stability. But there are things we can do to avoid that and David mentions some of these things in Psalm 26. First, we can live a life of integrity and trust in God (Psalm 26:1). Second, we can be always aware of God’s love. Third, we can avoid the influence of sinful people in our lives (Psalm 26:4-5, 9-11). I would say that this includes people we see in movies and television. We should primarily hang out with godly men and women who will enhance our relationship with Jesus. Disconnect your television, spend time with God instead, and you’ll be amazed at how strong your relationship with Him becomes.
As a result of these choices made by David, he is able to state that he is standing on solid ground (Psalm 26:12). Notice that we can choose these behaviors. Our relationship with God is based on the choices we make.
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