May 10, 2006

Read 2 Kings 23:21-25

In Today's Reading:

Passover restored; destruction of Jerusalem and Temple foretold; death of Josiah; fall of Jerusalem; captivity of Judah

Josiah was the last godly king of Judah before the destruction of Jerusalem, and he did which was right in the sight of the LORD (II Kings 22:2; II Chronicles 34:2). He destroyed all the idolatrous practices in Jerusalem and Judah. And the king went up into the House of the LORD . . . and he read . . . all the words of the Book of the Covenant which was found in the House of the LORD. And the king . . . made a covenant . . . to walk after the LORD, and to keep His Commandments. . . . And he brake down the houses of the sodomites (male cult prostitutes) (II Kings 23:2-3,7).

Josiah went beyond Judah, into the Assyrian-controlled former northern kingdom to Bethel, where Jeroboam had built one of the golden calves. And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves (Asherah idols). . . . Josiah . . . sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres (tombs), and burned them upon the altar . . . according to the Word of the LORD prophesied almost 300 years before (23:14-16; I Kings 13:1-3).

And the king commanded . . . Keep the Passover unto the LORD your God, as it is written in the Book of this Covenant. . . . Moreover the workers with familiar spirits (mediums), and the wizards (spiritists), and the images, and the idols, and all the abominations (detestable things) that were spied in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might perform the words of the Law . . . found in the House of the LORD (II Kings 23:21,24).

The last four kings who followed Josiah were all evil, puppet rulers, appointed by and subject first to Egypt and then to Babylon.

Finally, Nebuchadnezzar marched his army into Judah and destroyed Jerusalem.

The destruction of the once-glorious kingdom of Judah and Solomon's Temple reminds us that even the greatest present-day nation on earth, with all its wealth, military might, and nuclear defense, cannot survive — regardless of how much the people may pray — if they continue to ignore the Word of God (23:25-27). He that turneth away his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer shall be abomination (Proverbs 28:9).

Christ Revealed:

Through the Passover (II Kings 23:21-23), which was a type foreshadowing how Jesus Christ, our Redeemer will keep us from spiritual death. I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell (the grave) and of death (Revelation 1:18).

Word Studies:

25:12 husbandmen =b> farmers; 25:16 without weight =b> beyond measure; 25:27 lift up the head =b> release from prison.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of my beloved mother Lucy Rumyahn · Government Official: Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) · Country: St. Kitts-Nevis (42,000) in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies · Major language: English · Religious freedom · 74% Protestant; 7% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for a spirit of humility and submission before the Lord (John 3:30-31).

Optional Reading: Romans 13

Memory Verse for the Week: Ezra 3:11