Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3- One Bad Apple

August 3, 2011

Scripture Reading:
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

2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33

I quoted this song from The Osmonds mainly because I had a crush on Donny Osmond when I was in elementary school.  I would sing this song at the top of my lungs when I played it on my record player.  Some of my younger readers may have never seen a record player in their whole lives!  Anyway, this tune is catchy, but the sentiment of the song is all wrong.  You see, one bad apple actually can ruin the whole bunch.  The reason for this is that fruit and vegetables give off a gaseous hormone called ethylene.  The riper the fruit, the more ethylene it produces.  If you have a bad apple giving off ethylene around other good apples, the ethylene can cause the other pieces of fruit to ripen and  also go bad.  Today, we are gonna talk about two bad apples that ruled in the Southern Kingdom, and one very good apple that preserved the whole bunch.

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.

Good King Josiah appoints governors, and assigns a royal historian to repair the Temple with accuracy.  During the restoration, Hilkiah, the High Priest discovers the Book of the Law of Moses in the Temple. He gives it to Shaphan, the secretary, to read to the king.  When Shaphan reads the Word of God to Josiah, he tears his robe in despair.  Realizing that the curses and judgments predicted by God are bound to happen to his rebellious kingdom, Josiah sends his royal officials to Huldah, a local prophetess, to seek God's direction on the matter. God confirms that Judah is going to be punished for their idolatry.  The city of Jerusalem will be destroyed, and it's people will be thrown out of the Promised Land.  Because of Josiah's humility and sorrow over their sins, God will not do this during Josiah's lifetime.  Josiah assembles the young and old in his kingdom and reads the whole book of the Law to them.  He promises to obey the words of the law and requires that everyone in Jerusalem make similar pledges.  Because of his leadership, the kingdom does not turn away from God during his lifetime.  As you can see, the one good apple helped to preserve the whole bushel.

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.

Romans 16:10-27

It is hard to believe that we are coming to the end of this tremendous epistle.    After lengthy greetings to his brothers and sisters in Christ, Paul concludes the letter to the Romans with a warning about bad apples.  His appeal is that the Church in Rome watch out for individuals who use smooth talk to cause division by teaching things that are contrary to the doctrine taught by Paul and the Apostles.  Paul reminds the believers that the God of peace will eventually crush Satan under their feet.  This hearkens to the psalm that indicates that Jesus' enemies will become his footstool.

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?

Psalm 26:1-12

This psalm takes sides.  David is taking God's side.  Are you?

Proverbs 20:19

Gossips tell other people's secrets, probably because they talk too much.  True.

What did you learn today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton


  1. Interesting how these two passages connect with your bad apple illustration. It's interesting to hear of Manasseh's repentance, after having been such a bad king.

  2. God's grace is evident throughout the Bible.