Saturday, August 04, 2012

August 4, 2012 … God’s Book – A Cleansing Force

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 217 

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Kings 22-23 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Chronicles, Chapters 34-35 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: 2nd Kings: 22: 1-2; 8; 11-13 :[NIV] … 1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother's name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath.2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. … 8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord." He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. … 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's attendant: 13 "Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord's anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us." … 18 [Pronouncement of Huldah, the female prophetess] … Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.'" So they took her answer back to the king.  
Highlight Passage: 2nd Kings: 23: 1-3; 12-14; 21-23; 29; 31a-32; 36a-37 :[NIV] … 1 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.2 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord.3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant. … 12 He [Josiah] pulled down the altars the kings of Judah had erected on the roof near the upper room of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh had built in the two courts of the temple of the Lord. He removed them from there, smashed them to pieces and threw the rubble into the Kidron Valley.13 The king also desecrated the high places that were east of Jerusalem on the south of the Hill of Corruption [which later in the NT became the Mount of Olives] — the ones Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the vile goddess of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the vile god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the people of Ammon. 14 Josiah smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles and covered the sites with human bones. … 21 The king gave this order to all the people: "Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant."22 Neither in the days of the judges who led Israel nor in the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah had any such Passover been observed.23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem. … 29 While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo. … 31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. … 32 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done. … 36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. … 37 And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his predecessors had done. ============  
Highlight Passage: 2nd Chronicles: Chapters 34-35 :[NIV] … Read the parallel passages described in 2nd Kings 22-23 from the links above provided for your study.

My Journal for Today: Today I was led to read two parallel passages in 2nd Kings 22-23 and 2nd Chronicles 34-35, primarily focusing on the reign of King Josiah in Judah, who became King at the age of eight, reigning after his evil father and grandfather. And after Josiah died in battle with Egypt at age 39, two more evil kings followed him, Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim; and it was during the reign of the latter when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, swooped in from the north and took Judah captive, exiling many, including Jehoiakim, to Babylon, which had conquered the Assyria empire.

So, as you can read in the highlight passages I have chosen to copy above from my study, Josiah, was like an oasis of leadership, a respite amongst a desert of evil kings in Judah. How this young boy, who’d been raised under the influence of two generations of evil and idolatrous father-kings, is one of those wondrous testimonies to God’s intervention and selective anointing. And Josiah’s life and times as the King of Judah, during these three decades in Judah’s history, also gives witness to the power of God’s word to turn individual lives and the lives of nations around when/if their leaders diligently follow God’s truth from His word with the determination exhibited by Josiah.

For the first 18 years of his reign, Josiah did all he could to do what was right in God’s eyes. How he was compelled to follow this path, which had laid out by his great-grandfather, Hezekiah, having had the parental influences of his evil father and grandfather in his immediate past lineage, is somewhat of a mystery; but it does illustrate that one man, especially in the position of kingship or ruling authority, who decides to do leadership and life God’s way, following after God’s will from His word can turn around an entire nation.

When Josiah was 26 in the process of cleansing the Temple and eradicating the sites of idolatry, Hilkiah, the high priest, who’d been reestablished by Josiah, found God’s Book of the Law; and Hilkiah had his assistant priest read all of God’s word to Josiah. And here’s where the power of God’s word, when it is used for God’s purposes (as you can read in Isaiah 55: 11 and in the NT, 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17) shines forth and can change the lives of individuals, like Josiah, and entire nations, like Judah, when God’s ways from His word are implement.

As we’ve read in my past journal entries this past few weeks, God had prophesied that Judah was to be consumed by the Babylonians; and at the end of the passages highlighted above in 2nd Kings 23, you’ll read that’s exactly what ultimately happened. However, Josiah’s repentance as the king of Judah, his humility and faithfulness in the hearing of God’s word, and his actions to honor God by ridding Judah of all vestiges of idolatry, allowed God to pour His sanctifying grace into Josiah and His chosen peoples, even if it were only for a few years, … a season of mercy and exhibited love on the part of God.

In reading this story of God’s historical mercy and grace, through the lives and times of Josiah, could you imagine what would happen if our country’s leaders, which so resemble the evil times of Manasseh and Amon, who proceeded Josiah, and the evil leadership of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, who followed Josiah? What would happen if our President turned from evil to follow God’s word to the letter? What if President Obama read and believed the Bible to the core of his being and repented of what he’s been led to do in the first four years of his Presidency; and what if, being elected to another four-year term (Oh how I pray this will not be the case!!), Obama deeply and sincerely repented and made, as did Josiah, a covenant of repentance and direction to follow God’s will and His ways directly as spelled out in God’s word?

Oh, yes, my friends, mark my words … if such a miracle of God’s anointing were to take place, we would see one of the quickest and most powerful revivals ever witnessed on the face of the earth because of the power and influence America still has in the world. Well, I don’t think I need to go on; … we know what to pray for, don’t we?

My Prayer Today: … Lord, give us a Josiah to rule and to join the remnant of faithful believers in this land so that America can once again shine Your light into this ever darkening world. Amen

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