2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33; Romans 16:10-27;
Psalm 26:1-12; Proverbs 20:19
One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl.
Give it one more chance before you give up on love.
~ The Osmonds
Yesterday in our reading, Hezekiah passed away and his evil son, Manasseh, comes to power. He rebuilds the pagan shrines and altars and even sacrifices his own sons in the fire. Never able to get enough of the occult life, Manasseh practices sorcery, divination, consults mediums and psychics, and even delves into witchcraft. This would mean that he took drugs, in order to hallucinate and receive visions. He takes a carved idol and puts it in God's Temple in Jerusalem. God reaches out to Manasseh, but Manasseh ignores Him. So, God takes action. God uses the Assyrian armies to humble Manasseh, by putting a ring through his nose and leading him by the nose into captivity in Babylon. In deep distress, Manasseh finally cries out to God. The Lord is moved by his repentance and requests. Manasseh is sent back to Jerusalem and realizes that the Lord, alone, is God.
In Jerusalem, the bad apple throws off his evil ways and removes the foreign gods from the land. He tears down the idols and encourages the people of Judah to worship the Lord.
Unfortunately, one bad apple often begets another bad apple. In this case, once Manasseh dies, his evil son, Amon, becomes king. Amon must have been influenced by his father in his early years, because Amon is stuck on worshiping the idols that his father made. Amon never humbles himself in front of the Lord and is eventually assassinated by some of his officials.
This happens when Amon's son, Josiah, is only eight years old. Will we have another bad apple? The answer is no. Josiah is a good apple. By the time he is sixteen years old, he begins to seek God. In a campaign to purify Judah and Jerusalem, Josiah destroys all of the pagan shrines, Asherah poles, and carved idols. It is a slash and burn campaign designed to stamp out idolatry.
Do seek to vote for leaders who follow God? Do you realize that their godly lives can affect a whole nation? God judges both individuals and nations.
Paul clarifies that the plan of salvation and the grafting in of the Gentiles was kept secret from the beginning of time. It is through Paul's writings that we have this clarified aspect of God's will. It is fitting that Paul conclude his letter to this influential church by reminding them that the prophets foretold and the eternal God commanded that the Gentiles would believe and obey Christ. It is in His wisdom that this is accomplished.
For those of us who are Gentiles by birth, this epistle is our Hallelujah! Thank you, God, for your eternal love and salvation of all people groups on earth!
Do you discern wrong teaching in the modern Church? Are there doctrines that divide, rather than unify people? Have you thanked God for His plan of bringing the truth of Jesus Christ to the Gentile world?
This psalm takes sides. David is taking God's side. Are you?
Gossips tell other people's secrets, probably because they talk too much. True.
What did you learn today?