Thursday, October 22, 2009


Do you ever read some of the stories in the Bible and think to yourself, “People! What were you thinking?” I have just finished reading Chronicles and the history of the kings. These were God’s people…His nation. They had been delivered from slavery and given the land where they were living. And yet, they kept forgetting who brought them there. 
Don’t we do the same thing?

The books of Kings and Chronicles lay out the history of the Kings of Israel and Judah. A king would begin his reign and follow all of God’s commands.
He would tear down the idols.
He would restore the temple.
He would reinstate the feasts and festivals.
He would command the people to follow God’s laws.

Then, after his death one of his sons would come along. You would think that having this Godly king as a father, he would have the same beliefs, standards and principles. But amazingly, time after time the son would come to power and return to their wicked ways.
He would put back the idols.
He would use the temple for his idol worship.
He would forgo the feasts and festivals…  
And the people would follow him…..
Where was the faith of the people? Was it in their God or was it in whatever king was reigning at the time? Why did no one, priests included, say “Wait a minute! I don’t really care what the king does, but I’m going to obey my God!”
I don’t begin to understand the times and ways of that time period. Maybe like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland they would hear “Off with your head!” But it seems to me that they just followed the tide and didn’t make God their God. 
Where was their fear? 
Did they fear man more than they feared? 
Where is our fear?
Do we fear man for than we fear God?
King Josiah was 8 years old when he began his reign. When he was 16 years old, he began to seek the God of David. When he was 20 years old, he began to purge Jerusalem and Judah of the idol worship. When he was 26 years old, he assigned men to repair the temple of the Lord.  In the process, they found the Book of the Law. It was brought to Josiah and read to him. He was grieved at discovering that the nation’s fathers had not kept the word of the Lord. He changed the way things were done from that moment on.
He celebrated the Passover
He appointed priests to the temple duties
He had the Levites return the ark to the temple.
He commanded the people to worship God… 
And the people followed him……

When Josiah died, one of his sons became king….Jehoiakim. “And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God.” And again… 
the people followed him…
Nebuchadnezzar finally came in and took over and so began their captivity.
Three things I noticed as I read through Chronicles.
First, these people were followers. Whatever king was on the throne, he set the standards and they followed. I understand now why Jesus called us sheep. We tend to blindly follow the leader.
Second, time after time after time, when they returned to God, He took them back. Manasseh was an evil king, but “…when he was in distress he sought the favor of the Lord and humbled himself greatly before God…And when he prayed, the Lord was moved …and listened to his entreaty.” (2 Chronicles 33:12, 13)
Another thing occurred to me though, that I thought was interesting. Even though Josiah was just a little boy of 8 when he began his reign, and his father Amon was an evil king… “he began to seek the God of David.” Why?
There must have been a remnant.”
Doesn’t God always leave a remnant? God always planned to have a people, and even though the people kept wandering off, He always kept a remnant. He promises that even in the end of the age, there will be a remnant. A piece of His perfect plan that will not be lost.
The only explanation I can come up with for God to act this way is…Mercy. To continually forgive us when we vacillate so in our convictions and actions is the act of a merciful God. How many times have I said, “Lord, I believe” and then turned away when it doesn’t go my way? Or I have to wait too long for an answer? Or I don’t receive the answer I want? And yet, when I realize I have gone my own way and call out to Him…He
is moved 
and listens 
and forgives. 
All because of His….


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