Note the spiritual insight of King Josiah as he reinstates the Passover. The four final kings fail to serve the Lord, 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. The Lord turned not from the fierceness of His great wrath . . . against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked Him withal. And the Lord said, I will remove Judah also out of My sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the House of which I said, My name shall be there (II Kin. 23:26-27). 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 obeyed 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 their national immorality and violence, its people were reduced to suffering and loss of everything.
Nebuchadnezzar, with an immense army, beseiged Jerusalem until it was reduced to starvation. King Zedekiah, with his wives, children, and guards, fled through an opening that was made in the wall (II Kin. 25:4; Ezek. 12:12) only to be captured near Jericho. Zedekiah watched 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 Kin. 25:7). The agonizing ordeal fulfilled two prophecies that had appeared contradictory: Zedekiah would be taken to Babylon, but would not see it (Jer. 32:5; 34:3; Ezek. 12:13; 17:16-17). How pathetic was the fall of the once God-blessed Kingdom of Judah.
We need to see the handwriting on the wall. The world recognizes the United States as worshipers of the One True God. But our sins and rebellion against the Commandments of God reveal our disloyal hearts.
America's sins remind us of Judah before its destruction. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers (and false gods) . . . save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them (Is. 47:13-14).
Thought for Today:
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (Prov. 13:24).
Through the Passover (II Kin. 23:21-23), which, as a type, foreshadowed Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Passover Lamb, who delivers 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 (Rev. 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 Broadcasts sponsored by Anna Mae & John Correll • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Government Official: Rep. Dean Heller (NV) • Country: Iraq (22 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish • Fierce harassment of non-Muslims • 96% Muslim; 3% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Go to God in prayer with boldness and seek His grace and mercy (Heb. 4:16).
Optional Reading: Romans 13
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:4