Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30- We Three Kings

July 30, 2011

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27; Romans 13:1-14;
Psalm 23:1-6; Proverbs 20:11

2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27

Good kings and bad kings...are you getting tired of reading about these kings?  How about pronouncing their names and all the names of their enemies?  Is that getting old?  Let's take a minute to review what is going on here in this portion of Scripture.  The Jewish people have divided into two separate kingdoms.  This happened when Solomon's cocky son, Rehoboam, continued to tax the people of Israel at a high rate.  Ten tribes split off and went north.  Their capital city became Samaria.  Only two tribes stayed with Rehoboam in the south.  The Southern Kingdom was ruled out of the city of Jerusalem. 

In the book of 2 Chronicles, we get God's take on this period of the kings.  We see that God decides to focus on the Southern Kingdom, because those kings are from the line of David.  Remember that the Messiah will come through David and God likes to focus His story around events that lead to the birth of Jesus Christ.  Today, we will look at three kings from the Southern Kingdom.  Remember, there are only 8 good kings out of all of the kings of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms.  That is a pretty bad indictment against the nation of Israel, and yet it reflects a theme that we see throughout the Bible:  only a remnant will believe in God.  Remember that Jesus taught that the gateway to heaven is narrow and only a few enter through it.

The first king is Uzziah.  He is a good king, although not perfect.  His reign is marked by rebuilding towns, seeking God, defeating the Philistines and some Arabs, ranching and farming the land, and being a good military leader.  Unfortunately, all of these blessings lead to Uzziah becoming prideful.  As we all know, pride goeth before a fall.  Uzziah's fall occurs when he insists on taking the incense burner into the Temple.  This job was only allowed to be done by the priests.  There are specific regulations in the Mosaic Law for how incense burning was to occur.  Remember, this was a picture of Jesus Christ that was not to be altered. 
The Lord strikes Uzziah with leprosy for breaking the Mosaic Law and he is immediately ushered out of the Temple.  He lives the rest of his life in isolation, excluded from the Temple.  Lesson:  God judges sin, sometimes while we are still living.  Uzziah is a saved man and will be with God in eternity, but that did not prevent consequences of his sin from occurring.  He lived with the results of disobeying God.

The second king is Jotham. Jotham is Uzziah's son and is a good king in Judah.  Probably because of what happened to his father, Jotham never enters the Lord's Temple. He does rebuild towns, successfully wages war, receives tribute from enemies and is careful to live an obedient life. It seems to me that the consequences that his father suffered had a big impact on Jotham's life.

The third king is Ahaz.  Ahaz is Jotham's son, and in this man we see the results of his father never going to the Lord's Temple.  Ahaz is an evil king in Judah.  He casts images for Baal worship and completely adopts idolatry.  He leads his kingdom to follow despicable practices, and he even sacrifices his own son in the fires of the pagan idols.  Every green tree in his kingdom has a shrine or altar to a pagan god under it.  The Northern Kingdom of Israel attacks the Southern Kingdom under Ahaz's rule.  He is defeated and many thousands of his subjects are taken into slavery by the North.  The prisoners are eventually released.   Ahaz continues to get defeated by other enemies, including the king of Damascus.  Ahaz offers sacrifices to the gods of Damascus in an attempt to become victorious.  The Bible tells us that Ahaz was unaware that the God of Israel was causing all of this to occur to punish and humble the people of Judah, because of their disloyalty in following other gods.  Ahaz dies and is not buried in the royal cemetery. 

So what can we learn from the stories of these men?  God is aware of who loves Him and who does not love Him.  Not all people on earth will love and follow God.  That is part of His story.  There are consequences for sin.  If you are not a believer in God's Messiah, there will be eternal consequences for unforgiven sins.

Are you a believer in God's Messiah?  Do you love God?

Romans 13:1-14

If you are a believer in God's Messiah-Jesus Christ, then you are able to live a sanctified life.  Today, the Apostle Paul continues to show us what a sanctified life looks like.  Here are more characteristics of a sanctified believer in Christ:
  • Will obey the government, recognizing that God set up government on the earth for the protection of people and to administer justice.  Vs. 1-5
  • Will pay taxes and duties, and will honor those to whom it is due. Vs. 6-7
  • Will pay all of their debts.  Vs. 8
  • Will never finish paying the debt of loving others, while on earth. Vs. 8
  • Will love his neighbor as himself. Vs. 9-10
  • Will shed bad living and clothe themselves with good living. Vs. 11-12
  • Will not participate in wild parties and getting drunk. Vs. 13
  • No adultery, immoral living, fighting or jealousy. Vs. 13
  • Will not indulge evil desires, but be controlled by Jesus Christ. Vs. 14
Do you do these things in your life?  Does your life look sanctified?  Remember, behavior matters to God.

Psalm 23

This is one of my favorite psalms.  It is worth memorizing, if you have not already done so.

Proverbs 20:11

Children can be judged by the way they act.  This fits nicely with our lesson from Romans.

What did you notice today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton

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