Read II Chronicles 31 -- 33
In Today's Reading:
Hezekiah destroys idols; firstfruits and tithes; Assyria invades Judah; Hezekiah's death; Manasseh's reign; Amon's reign
After the death of wicked King Ahaz, his godly son Hezekiah became king and assumed leadership of a nation where idol worship was very popular. Furthermore, his father had placed the kingdom of Judah in subjection to Assyria, which was fast becoming the world's most powerful kingdom. Its seemingly invincible armies had seized control of both Syria and the northern kingdom of Israel. In addition, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had jurisdiction over 46 walled cities inside the kingdom of Judah.
Hezekiah could have mourned over the mess he inherited, either hating his father or blaming God for the wretched moral and economic conditions. Instead, Hezekiah reopened the Temple which his wicked, idol-worshiping father had desecrated, and appointed Levitical priests and told the people to support them. He restored worship of the true God and observed the Passover.
As with Hezekiah, who inherited serious problems because his father was evil, it may seem that we too are victims of other people's sins. But Christians never need to fear the future or "unfortunate circumstances" of the past We should not be concerned about our parents' mistakes, which we may have inherited, or other situations over which we have no control. Dwelling on one's past mistakes, or those of others, never provides helpful solutions, and can create depression, suspicion, self-hatred, and hatred of others. How encouraging it is to know that, when Hezekiah and Isaiah prayed with no hint of ill will, the Lord protected them.
It's so easy to resign ourselves to past failures and remain discouraged and defeated. But, let us confess that, in the past we have not been as good as we could have been. It's not too late to recognize that God will give you strength to become a spiritual overcomer.
Devotional commentary also refers to: Philippians 3:13-14; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26; 3:12.
By Hezekiah's offering for the regular burnt offerings from his own possessions (see II Chronicles 31:3). The burnt offerings were wholly consumed, symbolic of total surrender, and offered as a sweet savor to the Lord (see Leviticus 8:28; Numbers 15:3). God offered His own Son in Christ Jesus who, in total surrender on the cross, was wholly consumed, even unto death (see Ephesians 5:2).
31:10 store = abundance; 31:14 oblations = offerings; gifts; 31:16 courses = assigned tasks; divisions; 31:18 set office = devotion; 31:19 several = single; 32:6 comfortably = encouragingly; 32:8 rested themselves = relied; 32:17 rail on = belittle; denounce; 32:18 affright = frighten; 33:11 fetters = chains.
Staff: Jé French · Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries in 54 countries · Government Officials: Rep. Steve Israel (NY) and Rep. Dan Miller (FL) · Country: Cyprus (754,000) in the Middle East · Major languages: Greek and Turkish · No open evangelism or conversions to Christ · 75% Greek Orthodox; 19% Muslim; 1% Protestant; 1% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (see Matthew 6:7-8).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:9,11