Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 14, 2012 … “We have met the enemy; and he is us!”

Chronological Bible Reading - Day 196 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Chronicles 25 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Kings, Chapters 16-17 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: 2nd Chronicles 28: 1-5; 22-23 :[NIV] … 1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.2 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel and also made idols for worshiping the Baals.3 He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his children in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites.4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree. 5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hands of the king of Aram. The Arameans defeated him and took many of his people as prisoners and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hands of the king of Israel, who inflicted heavy casualties on him. … 22 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord.23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, "Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me." But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel.  
Highlight Passage #2: 2nd Kings 16: 10-11; 17-18 :[NIV] … 10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.11 So Uriah the priest built an altar in accordance with all the plans that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus and finished it before King Ahaz returned. … 17 King Ahaz cut off the side panels and removed the basins from the movable stands. He removed the Sea from the bronze bulls that supported it and set it on a stone base.18 He took away the Sabbath canopy that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the Lord, in deference to the king of Assyria. 
Highlight Passage #3: 2nd Kings 17: 1-2; 5-9; 13; 22-23 :[NIV] … 1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years.2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not like the kings of Israel who preceded him. … 5 The king of Assyria invaded the entire land, marched against Samaria and laid siege to it for three years.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. 7 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 gods8 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. 9 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. 13 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 ancestors to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets." 22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them23 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. 

My Journal for Today: Another big historical lesson from the Old Testament in the times when the northern tribes in Israel, who were divided from the southern tribes in Judah, perpetuated their disobedience and idolatry, … doing so until finally God had had enough and He allowed the Arameans to consume and exile the Israelites in the north and ultimately the Babylonians came in and captured Judah.

Really, as one reads/studies these times in today’s chronological read in 2nd Chronicles 28 and 2nd Kings 16-17, it is remarkable (at least to me) that God was so patient and forebearing, allowing His children, the Israelites, to carry on with their disobedience as long as they did. They certainly had, in Moses’ Book of the Law, God’s written warnings; and, as it says above in 2nd Kings 17: 13, which is in bold/underlined, God had sent Prophet after Prophet to try to get his people, especially His kings, to repent and follow God’s will and His ways, through His word. But, … so many of these leaders, like Ahaz in Judah and his priests, as well as Hoshea in Israel, simply relented to the idolatrous practices which had infused their culture from the pagan tribes around them, … even child sacrifice as we read about in Ahaz’s life where he sacrificed his sons to the pagan gods.

Does all of this remind one of a modern nation, founded on God’s will and His ways by following His word in its history, … a nation that has fallen prey to idolatry and the worldly practices of other pagan peoples? … Duh!!!

Years ago, In the Pogo cartoon [depicted above], Walt Kelley, it’s author/artist, gave us that great quote, “We have met the enemy; and he is us!” I’ve adopted Kelley’s quote for my title to my journal entry today because when one looks our founding history and where we are now in this country, could we not say that America has perverted it’s Judeo-Christian roots and taken on the pagan idols and practices of Satan, the world, and the flesh? And now, as a result of our disobedience, just as happened to the Israelites of old, we see God allowing paganism, humanism, and idolatry to consume our culture and our nation. God has lifted His Spirit protection of our nation just as He did so for Israel and Judah.

We are being overtaken by baby killing, just as did Ahaz in Judah. We are being overrun by the idols of pornography and political greed just as were the Israelites in the readings above. And God has sent “prophet” after “prophet,” men quoting and teaching from God’s word, the Bible, to warn our leaders, especially our Presidents, of their disobedience to God’s word. But so many of our leaders, especially since 1960, have ignored the merciful warnings; and we have seen the plague of pornography to proliferate; … we have seen tens of thousands of babies sacrificed in abortion; … and we have seen our leaders march us away from our biblical roots.

And, my dear ones reading here, I’m afraid that we’re seeing God allow the pagan world to consume a nation which was founded to honor the LORD. Oh, for sure, there is the same hope for the remnant of America as there was for the remnant of Israel; and that hope, of course, is now found in the faith that today’s believers have in the One God sent, His Messiah, to save His world and His church.

 Oh, how I pray that any who read here are covered by that faith in the blood of God’s Messiah.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, dear God, save us from our sinful ways and bring us to a place of repentance as a nation. Heal our lands; and restore us to a God fearing and God worshipping peoples. Amen

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