Read 2 Chronicles 34
Josiah's reign; Book of the Law found; Josiah killed in battle; reign and dethronement of Jehoahaz; reigns of Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah; decree of Cyrus to rebuild the Temple.
Necho king of Egypt . . . sent ambassadors to him (Josiah), saying . . . forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face . . . And the archer shot at king Josiah . . . and he died (II Chr. 35:20-24).
The highest honor ever given to a king was given to Josiah. And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart (II Kin. 23:25).
During the reign of Josiah, Pharaoh-Nechoh of Egypt wanted to pass through Palestine with his armies to join the Assyrians in a war against Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. The Egyptian king urged Josiah not to interfere saying: Forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that He destroy thee not.
On this occasion there is no record that Josiah sought counsel from the Lord or asked the godly prophet Jeremiah for advice. Instead, he attempted to keep the Egyptian king from passing through his country and was fatally wounded. Just three months after his death, the kingdom of Judah lost its political independence, and all of his spiriual reformation vanished. Then the people . . . took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king . . . and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. And the king of Egypt put him down . . . condemned the land (II Chr. 36:1-3). It is so important to look to God and His Word in all our decision-making. Sometimes, it may appear we have it all figured out. That appearance often is a deception. It may look like we are making a good choice, but is it God's choice?
This is why we train ourselves to read the Word of God and pray every day. As we do, we can rely on the unfailing, unchanging Hand of God (Heb. 13:8). God wants us to trust Him to help us make all our decisions. He wants us to ask Him to be involved in every aspect of our lives (I Thess. 1:3).
Had someone failed to pray for the godly, thirty-nine-year-old king? Oh, how vital it is to pray for those in authority and for those who are effectively being used of God. Pause right now to pray for your pastor, for other men (and ministries) of God, and for our nation's leaders, that God will protect them and guide their every action (James 5:16).
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority (I Tim. 2:1-2).
Thought for Today:
Are you being faithful to the Lord by praying daily for those in authority?
Through the messengers of God who were rejected by His people (II Chr. 36:15-16; compare Is. 53:3; Mark 9:12). Jesus came unto His own (his own people), and His own received Him not (John 1:11; also Matt. 21:42; Mark 8:31; 12:10; Luke 9:22; 17:25; 20:17).
35:13 sod, boiled; 36:3 put him down, deposed him; condemned, taxed; demanded tribute; 36:10 brother, uncle; 36:15 rising up betimes, early every morning.
Pray for Staff: Rick Hash • Government Official: Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN), and Del. Madeleine Bordallo (Guam) • Country: Gambia (1 million) in West Africa • Major languages: English and Mandinka • Religious freedom • 87% Muslim; 10% animism and ancestral spirit worship; 2% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Bless the Lord that His Word is absolutely trustworthy (I Kings 8:56).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Timothy 1:17