The chronicler continues the genealogical record, giving special emphasis to the tribe of Judah because it’s the tribe through which Christ would come.
Our good & God’s glory
Verse 8, “He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will find good.”
When we acquire, and then walk in, God’s wisdom, we not only please Him and bring Him glory, but we are doing the thing that is best for us. Our good and His glory are always connected.Continue reading →
Even though he is not mentioned by name in Chronicles, it is believed that Ezra is the author of 1 & 2 Chronicles. These two books were written after the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and after spending 70 years in exile in Babylon.
The book of 1 Chronicles starts out with a partial genealogy (mostly covering the Messianic line) from Adam, through David and beyond to remind the people of God’s promises to them and to encourage them to be faithful to God.
Also included in the genelogies are those of Ismael (1.28-31) and Esau (1.43). As God promised Abraham, Ismael’s descendants formed twelve tribes, who became some of the Arab peoples living in the area north of Israel. Esau’s descendants became the Arab peoples living east and south of Israel.
Interesting to note 2.4 says, “And Tamar, his daughter-in-law, bore him Perez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.” Remember Tamar? In her desperation to have a child, she tricked her father-in-law into sleeping with her by posing as a prostitute. And here she is mentioned by name in the genealogy of Christ. What a great reminder to us, of God’s willingness to use imperfect people like us!
Do you ever wonder where God is when you’re in a trial, being mistreated, or waiting for an answer to prayer? Though it doesn’t seem so to us, God is always in control, but He chooses the time for His holy, just and righteous purposes.
The book of 2 Kings ends, sadly, with the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the people being carried off captive to Babylon. This was God’s judgment for their continued rebellion as a nation. But the last few verses contain a picture of God’s mercy and faithfulness. Continue reading →
It’s all too common for people today to blame their problems and their spiritual condition on their parents. But here was Josiah who had a horrible spiritual heritage. Both his father and his grandfather did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet 23.25 says:
“Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.”
Wow! In spite of his family of origin, Josiah loved and served the Lord.
We don’t limit our blaming to our parents. We blame our spouses, our heritage, our temperament, and our circumstances, even God.
But no matter whom our parents or grandparents were or were not, we’re responsible for our choices. God never allows any situation in our lives that can keep us from crying out to God and being saved, or from becoming the man or woman of God that He desires for us to be (1 Cor. 10.13; Ezek. 18.20)!
A mother’s influence
Have you also noticed that as the history of Judah’s kings has been recounted, God included the names of their mothers, as well as, their fathers? In Josiah’s case, he was only eight years old when he began to reign. It’s unlikely that he made the decisions he did without wise counsel. And who do you suppose would be the most likely counselor of an eight-year-old boy?
Mothers and grandmothers can make a big difference in the lives of their children and grand-children—for good or for evil. Remember Athaliah who had her own grandchildren put to death so she could seize control. It’s no wonder her son Ahaziah was a wicked king. Continue reading →
What a great example Hezekiah was of how to respond when the odds seem stacked against us. Chapter 19, verses 14-19:
14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said. “O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.
As I’ve mentioned before, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still rises up on behalf of His people. But too often instead of going first to the Lord in prayer, we exhaust all our own solutions and go to Him as a last resort!
Notice Hezekiah’s prayer wasn’t focused primarily on himself, or even the people, he prayed that God would answer, “that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.”
The psalmist wonders aloud where God is and why He hasn’t answered. But he reminds himself of God’s mighty works in the past, as he continues to wait on Him.
A great example for us of how to respond when God’s answer seems slow in coming. Instead of doubting His love and goodness, we should meditate on His attributes and allow the Word of God to strengthen our faith and trust in Him.
Avoiding hasty decisions
Verse 2, “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet.” Fools make hasty decisions, while the wise man seeks information and understanding.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit
Jesus had told the disciples that He must go to the Father, but He would send another like Himself, speaking of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16.5-15). Here on the Day of Pentecost that promise was fulfilled.
We receive the Holy Spirit when we receive Jesus as our Savior. He lives in every true believer. He is our Helper (v. 7), Teacher and Guide (v. 13). He convicts us of sin (v. 8) and confirms the truths of Scripture to us (v. 15) as just a part of His ministry today.
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How deep is your Christianity? Is it just a veneer or is it who you are? How do you respond to God’s dealings with you? Do you pray and read your Bible only when the heat is on and stop once the pressure is off? Have you added a little “Christianity” to your life without truly making Jesus Lord?
In chapter 17 we see what John MacArthur calls “divine patience” come to an end concerning the Northern Kingdom. Their continued idolatry and disobedience to God’s commands brought the judgment of captivity.
God has not changed (Heb. 13.8). While He is patient and merciful with us, His patience will not on go forever. As a nation and as individuals, if we continue in disobedience to the clear commands of Scripture, if we practice idolatry, if we worship God half-heartedly, we will eventually suffer the consequences of our choices, as well. Continue reading →
Chapter 15 summarizes the reigns of Azariah, also called Uzziah, and his son Jothan. The Scripture says they did what was right in the sight of the Lord in many ways, although both tolerated the idolatrous practices of the people.
But then … verse 5? “Then the LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper until the day of his death …” What happened?
The parallel passage in 2 Chronicles gives us some insight. After serving the Lord well and seeing God prosper his efforts, Uzziah (Azariah) got puffed up with pride and tried to usurp the priestly role by going into the temple to burn incense on the altar of incense, something only the priest was to do. But even then, God didn’t strike him with leprosy until he refused to listen to the High Priest when he rebuked him (2 Chron. 26.16-23).
This is a great reminder to us to heed God’s Word and listen to wise counsel. And when we are rebuked, corrected, or criticized, we need to consider it carefully and prayerfully. Ask the Lord if there is even a nugget of truth in what is being said.
Amaziah started out well. Verse 3 says, “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord.” He even followed the Mosaic Law by not punishing the children of the men who had murdered his father. Then God gave him victory in battle over the Edomites. Instead of giving glory to God, he was lifted up in pride over that victory and challenged the king of Israel to war. It led to his defeat, the destruction of part of Jerusalem, the plundering of the temple, and the taking of hostages.
While pride was a huge factor, 2 Chronicles 25.14-16 gives us some additional insight: Continue reading →
Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, had been her son’s counselor (2 Chron. 22.3-4), leading him in the worship of Baal. After his death she was anxious to grab power and see to it that Baal worship continued in Judah. So much so, that she was willing to kill her own grandchildren!
Athaliah didn’t just want Baal worship allowed, she wanted it sanctioned by the one in control.
As I listen to the news and hear the homosexual, gay-marriage, pro-abortion and other anti-God proponents, like Athaliah, they are not happy to be allowed the freedom to make their personal choices. They want the sanction of government and society, in general. Continue reading →
8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both bond and free. 9 So I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.’” And he opened the door and fled.
Even though God is love – that is – it’s His very nature; He is also the righteous Judge of the universe. In His mercy He gives many opportunities for people to repent and change, but He does eventually judge evil. We must also remember that He knows the end from the beginning and the hearts of every man, woman and child. So when His judgment comes, we must know that it is always just and right. Continue reading →