II Chronicles 5-Ezra 2
We are in the Nation Stream reading from the New Living Translation.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Dear Lord God, even when punishment needs to be delivered, and it is hurtful, even then you are planning restoration. We are grateful that you are always planning to redeem and restore us. Amen.
In our reading today, the inevitable occurs. The southern kingdom, the core of God’s agenda, the ones who have known Him the most and the most dynamically, they have taken God past the edge of His grace and patience. Jerusalem falls. It cannot be healed as is. Not with these people and their deep commitment to stray from truth. The Babylonians arrive to pillage. Then we jump about 50 years to a new era when the exiles are returning.
35 – We are in the middle of Josiah’s reign. His reforms were marvelous and right to the utmost. His celebration of the Passover was, a “show stopper” (forgive the Broadway verbiage). It was immense and complete. Josiah was committed in this sense. When God asked Josiah “for a buck” – he gave three. The zeal is good, though it gives him problems at the end. At any rate, Josiah does it big for God. And remember that he pulls off this Passover celebration as a leader and he is 26 years old. Many 26 year olds don’t even have their studio apartment furnished past “refugee status” at 26! And here was Josiah celebrating (leading!) the Passover in the greatest way it had ever been commemorated in 500 years. Josiah is a legendary. And yet his dreadfully unfortunate death tells us something that was not a yielded matter in his heart. He was king at 8. He was not eager to learn from mommy, memorize his times tables, he is King. It’s too much power too young. But what do you do about timing at this stage of the game? If he had not had a core attitude of “hey, I’m king!” that goes back as far as he could remember, perhaps he would have listened to the advice of one older who knew better. He had no fight with the Egyptians. He had latent commitments to Assyria that were not right to have, but he did. He thinks Assyria will honor him for attacking their attackers. But it turns out to be a fool’s move. It’s dumb as jumping off a dock to save a stray cat that accidentally fell into a feeding frenzy of sharks. You get killed and save nothing!