Morning Reading & Prayer
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Opening – (Northumbria Community)
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.
Please Read: 2 Chronicles 25-28 (NLT) – click here
Halfhearted Amaziah in Judah
2 Chronicles 25:1-4 (NLT) – Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Jehoaddin from Jerusalem. Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.
When Amaziah was well established as king, he executed the officials who had assassinated his father. However, he did not kill the children of the assassins, for he obeyed the command of the Lord as written by Moses in the Book of the Law: “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.”
2 Chronicles 25:14-16 (NLT) – When King Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought with him idols taken from the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down in front of them, and offered sacrifices to them! This made the Lord very angry, and he sent a prophet to ask, “Why do you turn to gods who could not even save their own people from you?”
But the king interrupted him and said, “Since when have I made you the king’s counselor? Be quiet now before I have you killed!”
So the prophet stopped with this warning: “I know that God has determined to destroy you because you have done this and have refused to accept my counsel.”
2 Chronicles 25:20-28 (NLT) – But Amaziah refused to listen, for God was determined to destroy him for turning to the gods of Edom. So King Jehoash of Israel mobilized his army against King Amaziah of Judah. The two armies drew up their battle lines at Beth-shemesh in Judah. Judah was routed by the army of Israel, and its army scattered and fled for home. King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s king, Amaziah son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then he brought him to Jerusalem, where he demolished 600 feet of Jerusalem’s wall, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. He carried off all the gold and silver and all the articles from the Temple of God that had been in the care of Obed-edom. He also seized the treasures of the royal palace, along with hostages, and then returned to Samaria.
King Amaziah of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash of Israel. The rest of the events in Amaziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
After Amaziah turned away from the Lord, there was a conspiracy against his life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But his enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. They brought his body back on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.
Wholehearted Uzziah in Judah
2 Chronicles 26:1-5, 6, 9, 11, 14-15 (NLT) – All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah, as king in place of his father. After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath and restored it to Judah.
Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.
Uzziah declared war on the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. Then he built new towns in the Ashdod area and in other parts of Philistia….
Uzziah built fortified towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the angle in the wall….
Uzziah had an army of well-trained warriors, ready to march into battle, unit by unit….
Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and sling stones. And he built structures on the walls of Jerusalem, designed by experts to protect those who shot arrows and hurled large stones from the towers and the corners of the wall. His fame spread far and wide, for the Lord gave him marvelous help, and he became very powerful.
Uzziah’s Pride and Downfall
2 Chronicles 26:16-23 (NLT) – But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar. Azariah the high priest went in after him with eighty other priests of the Lord, all brave men. They confronted King Uzziah and said, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is the work of the priests alone, the descendants of Aaron who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!”
Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the high priest and all the other priests saw the leprosy, they rushed him out. And the king himself was eager to get out because the Lord had struck him. So King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house, for he was excluded from the Temple of the Lord. His son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land.
The rest of the events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end, are recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors; his grave was in a nearby burial field belonging to the kings, for the people said, “He had leprosy.” And his son Jotham became the next king.
Obedient Jotham in Corrupt Judah
2 Chronicles 27:1-2, 6-9 (NLT) – Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok.
Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done, except that Jotham did not sin by entering the Temple of the Lord. But the people continued in their corrupt ways….
King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.
The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including all his wars and other activities, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. When Jotham died, he was buried in the City of David. And his son Ahaz became the next king.
Detestable Ahaz in Judah
2 Chronicles 28:1-8 (NLT) – Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, as his ancestor David had done. Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel. He cast metal images for the worship of Baal. He offered sacrifices in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, even sacrificing his own sons in the fire. In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree.
Because of all this, the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army. In a single day Pekah son of Remaliah, Israel’s king, killed 120,000 of Judah’s troops, all of them experienced warriors, because they had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. Then Zicri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son; Azrikam, the king’s palace commander; and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command. The armies of Israel captured 200,000 women and children from Judah and seized tremendous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria.
Israel Shows Mercy
2 Chronicles 28:9-15 (NLT) – But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there in Samaria when the army of Israel returned home. He went out to meet them and said, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God? Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord’s fierce anger has been turned against you!”
Then some of the leaders of Israel—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—agreed with this and confronted the men returning from battle. “You must not bring the prisoners here!” they declared. “We cannot afford to add to our sins and guilt. Our guilt is already great, and the Lord’s fierce anger is already turned against Israel.”
So the warriors released the prisoners and handed over the plunder in the sight of the leaders and all the people. Then the four men just mentioned by name came forward and distributed clothes from the plunder to the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothing and sandals to wear, gave them enough food and drink, and dressed their wounds with olive oil. They put those who were weak on donkeys and took all the prisoners back to their own people in Jericho, the city of palms. Then they returned to Samaria.
Ahaz Closes the Temple
2 Chronicles 28:19, 22-27 (NLT) – The Lord was humbling Judah because of King Ahaz of Judah,[u] for he had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord….
Even during this time of trouble, King Ahaz continued to reject the Lord. 23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, “Since these gods helped the kings of Aram, they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them.” But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Judah.
The king took the various articles from the Temple of God and broke them into pieces. He shut the doors of the Lord’s Temple so that no one could worship there, and he set up altars to pagan gods in every corner of Jerusalem. He made pagan shrines in all the towns of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods. In this way, he aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of his ancestors.
The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign and everything he did, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. When Ahaz died, he was buried in Jerusalem but not in the royal cemetery of the kings of Judah. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.
“Blessed Be Your Name” Robin Mark
Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Categories: Life in Christ