A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
At eight years old, Josiah becomes the youngest king
to reign in either Israel or Judah. He ranks as a king who served God faithfully. In his eighteenth year as king (he was now 26), he rediscovers the Book of the Law
which was either the entire Pentateuch (first 5 books) or else part or all of the book of Deuteronomy. This leads to a renewal of the covenant between Israel and the LORD, and a cleansing of the Land from all traces of idolatry and paganism.
Josiah is followed by four kings who did evil in the eyes of the LORD
, and in response, God punishes His People through an invasion by the Babylonians. During this war, Jerusalem is conquered for the first time since David, four hundred years before! One king, Jehoiachin, is exiled to Babylon, and another, client king, Zedekiah established by the Babylonians in his place. Even though Jehoiachin is released from prison after 37 years, he is not allowed to come home. Neither is Israel restored.
The pattern of faithfulness followed by unfaithfulness
starts with Abraham and his visits to Egypt and is seen at work in the lives of his sons (particularly Jacob), as well as among the Israelite slaves who follow Moses out of Egypt and as they settle the Promised Land during the time of the Judges. The difference during the period of the Israelite Monarchies is that God withholds His judgment longer (than during the period of the Judges, for example). Never the less, God's judgment cannot be delayed forever, and the people's continual return to rebelliousness against Him and His standards eventually brings it down on them.
As seen in the time of Hezekiah, even the greatest armies have no power
over the People of God if He supports them. Yet those same armies can and will become His instruments of punishment if His patience ever becomes exhausted.
In you own life, what is the greatest threat you face?
As you look at your personal development, your family, your career, your past and future, what do you fear? God demonstrates throughout the period of the kings of Israel and Judah that His grace is great enough and His power reliable enough to sustain those He loves B no matter what they face.
The Good News is: God loves you!
His judgments are reserved for the end of a long rebellious process. Right now, in the middle of whatever you are doing, you can turn to Him for encouragement, strength, protection and support.
There will always be real threats to our security
such as the Assyrian and Babylonian armies, but God will always be there as well,
and as we put our trust in Him, we can find both hope and His blessing in our lives. Try it today!
A. Eugene Pearson 2011