Highlights In Today's Reading:
Note the spiritual insight of King Josiah as he reinstates the Passover (which illustrates Jesus' death and resurrection). Four more kings rise and fall and then the Kingdom of Judah is taken captive and the Temple is destroyed by the king of Babylon. Read with horror about what happened to the once-mighty Jerusalem.
Just twenty-three years after the death of Josiah, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was defeated and Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. Under the reigns of its last four kings, who were mere puppets of Egypt and then Babylon, it was trodden down by successive conquests and the pitiful deportations into heathen lands. Jerusalem was invincible while its people were obedient to the Word of God. But eventually it became powerless because of sin. As a result of unfaithfulness and continued disobedience to the Word of God by its national immorality and violence, they were reduced to suffering and loss of everything.
Nebuchadnezzar, with an immense army, swept down upon the northern parts of the country (Jeremiah 34:7) and marched directly against Jerusalem to beseige it. At length, the city was reduced to starvation. King Zedekiah, with his wives, children, and guards, fled through an opening that was made in the wall (II Kings 25:4; Ezekial 12:12) but they were captured in the plains of Jericho. Zedekiah was forced to witness the horrifying death of his family; then his own eyes were gouged out and he was forced to walk more than 800 miles in chains to Babylon (II Kings 25:7). The agonizing ordeal fulfilled two prophecies that had appeared contradictory: Zedekiah would be taken to Babylon, but would not see it (Jeremiah 32:5; 34:3; Ezekiel 12:13; 17:16-17).
How gruesome pathetic was the fall of the once-wonderful Kingdom of Judah. At that time in history, only Judah was known as the worshipers of Jehovah God and the prophets that God used to provide the Old Testament dwelt there. We need to see the handwriting on the wall. The United States is recognized as worshipers of the One True God. But our sins betray our trust.
This great nation known throughout the world as a Christian nation cannot survive the rejection of God and His righteousness. America, like the Kingdom of Judah, is experiencing similar sins before its destruction. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers (and false gods) . . . and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame (Isaiah 47:13-14).
Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required (Luke 12:48).
Thought for Today:
For a nation to forsake the One True God is utter madness and chaos. May every nation see the example of Israel and turn to the Lord.
Through the Passover (II Kings 23:21-23), which was a type foreshadowing how Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Passover Lamb will keep us from spiritual death through His sacrificial death. I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death (Revelation 1:18).
25:12 husbandmen =b> farmers; 25:16 without weight =b> beyond measure; 25:27 lift up the head =b> release from prison.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite and Rick Hash • Government Official: Rep. Dennis "Dean" Heller (NV) • Country: New Zealand (4 million) two large islands southeast of Australia • Major languages: English and Maori • Religious freedom • 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults • Prayer Suggestion: Pray through the Name of Jesus Christ for it is by Him that we have access to God in prayer (Ephesians 2:18).
Optional Reading: Romans 13
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:7