October 30


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II Chronicles 24-29

We are in the Nation Stream reading from the Common English Bible.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Lord God, we see such extreme contrasts this week.  We are either for you or against you. We are either running to you or from you. Encourage us to keep the fire of discipleship lit in our souls. Amen.
The 350 year kingdom of Judah that ran from 933 B.C. to 586 B.C. had 20 kings. Today we read of kings #8 -thru- #13; Joash through Hezekiah – the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign anyway.  Today’s reading covers a period of 120 years or thereabouts.

24 – Joash, also referred to as Jehoash (like we call our William’s “Bill” and Robert’s “Bob”, Joseph is “Joe” etc.), came to rule after Athaliah and her illicit rule was over.  Remember Joash is son of Ahaziah, the king before Athaliah snaked her way to the throne for six years and killed anyone who threatened her rule. Joash/Jehoash did right as long as Jehoiada was alive as his inspiration and mentor. Joash called for the Temple to be renovated. While Jehoiada was alive to mentor his rule, Joash cleared out the Baal idolatry, and restored the worship of God.  However upon Jehoiada’s death however, the leaders came to Joash and convinced him down a path of quick demise. They revive the sex cult of Ashtoreth, and Zechariah the prophet/Jehoiada’s son is stoned to death. So God’s patience ran thin and Syria plundered Jerusalem, killing the leaders who gave such evil counsel to Joash.

25 – by the way, the six chapters we read today in II Chron. 24-29 are paralleled in II Ki. 11-18.  As mentioned earlier this year, Chronicles is the southern kingdom perspective and told from a more theological slant. Kings is told from a more gritty, ‘face valute’, and “boots on the ground” stance. Back to ch. 25 – It is the reign of Amaziah. He is on the throne from 25-59 years of age. He did right sometime and went decisively wrong after a victory in Edom. For him, it was the point of no return.  He never came back to a reverence for God.  He found allure in the gods of Edom. For this his people turned on him and consequently God had too.  He lost an intriguing war with Israel up north that was as senseless as it was emotional and foolish to have happened at all anyway.  Then again, his mind went jaded once his heart turned from God as we’ve seen happen throughout time.  He gets killed by insiders. When are people going to learn?

26 –  Uzziah, his son, was king from 16 to 68 years of age.  His resolve to follow God was stalwart and lasted for a much greater percentage of his life than that of his father Amaziah.  Uzziah was gifted, blessed, clever, organized, wealthy, powerful, and won vital battles all because of his godly pledge during youth.  He entered a realm that was “out of his pay grade” when he overstepped the priests.. Remember Saul doing that during 1050-1010 B.C.; his 40 year reign. It got him killed.  Uzziah was fortunate to just leave the Temple with a case of leprosy that would have alarmed any dermatologist. His son Jotham managed affairs after that though he wasn’t king until Uzziah died.  Isaiah was young and rightly looked up to and honored Uzziah.  But once Isaiah realized his call and could see beyond Uzziah as a role model then Isaiah’s calling and visions and prophecy were greatly “amped up”  Remember that after King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord.” ?  [Isa. 6:1ff]  We do well to have role models but let’s not allow flawed people to detract us from seeing God’s personal plan for our lives.

27 – Jotham followed Uzziah and ruled 16 years from his 25th to 41st years. He was coregent with his father as is mentioned in ch. 26.  He obeyed the Lord in holy reverence.  His father’s condition served as a warning and Jotham heeded it. He kept to his duties as king and was victorious in battle against Amon.  He could have done better in enforcing to clean up the corruption that citizens were engaging in, yet his intent was more to focus on the construction of fortresses and repairing damage from attacks during prior kings’ reigns.
28 – Ahaz’ rule overlapped his father for three years.  Again, he was coregent for a time, but Jotham’s godly resolve was not embraced by Ahaz – not in the least and Judah suffered horribly for it.  People think their decisions and lifestyles are their own business.  Well, what happened during Ahaz reign? He thinks he has the prerogative to regress and bring back the Baal’s like Israel had done in the north. He wasn’t done smacking God in the face, He brought in Molech and was sacrificing live humans in bonfires. Holy moley what a devil! He put up pagan shrines in every hill so that the people would be lured into the wrong way all over his nation. Y’ever wonder what possesses a wicked chump to carry on like this? And do you think God sat back calmly playing checkers with Gabriel? Not a chance. Enemies attacked Judah from the north/east/&/west.   Death was everywhere. Many were taken prisoner to Damascus. 120,000 more Judeans were killed and another 200,000 were taken north to Israel as captives for a time.  Ahaz’ had other sons killed during the melee~.  More is told of this man turned monster in
2 Kings 16. The chaos never left him. He was completely confused and deliberately so and the longer he lived, the more of a wretched scoundrel he became. Aren’t you glad he wasn’t before the flood and lived 800 years?!
29 – Ahaz’ son Hezekiah came to the throne upon Ahaz’ death.  But Hezekiah was the spiritual opposite of his father Ahaz. He immediately commenced upon tremendous reforms. He reopened the Temple his dark-souled father had shut and locked.  The priests and Levites were gathered and Hezekiah gave them the pep talk of their lives!  They cleansed the Temple – it took over a week – and then they all regrouped.  It was a great day in Jerusalem!  After this came the regal ceremony of rededicating the Temple.  Thousands of offerings were made and sacrifices lifted up to the Lord.  The worship was reminiscent of David and Solomon’s day three and a half centuries ago.  The joy on the Temple Mount could not be overstated.  There was a rhapsody of joy as the people came together in the name of the Lord.  All were surprised at how quickly the national atmosphere switched back to God and all the wonders that accompany  such worship.  The worship is what shielded this city from the most heinous group that ever gathered around it in the late 700’s B.C.  We’ll get to that next week.

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