Read II 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. He destroyed all the idolatrous practices in Jerusalem and Judah. Then the king called for an assembly of all the people in Jerusalem, as well as of Judah, to the Lord's Temple. He read all the words of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord's Temple. Then the king made a covenant to follow the Lord and to keep all His commandments. He also tore down the shrine houses of the male prostitutes.
King Josiah even went beyond Judah, into the Assyrian-controlled former northern kingdom, to Bethel, where King Jeroboam had built one of the golden calf places of worship. He broke the pagan idols of Asherah and scattered the human bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar. Then he scattered the ashes to defile the area. This fulfilled the Word of the Lord prophesied almost 300 years before.
King Josiah also encouraged all the people to keep the Passover of the Lord as written in the Covenant. Josiah executed the psychic fortune-tellers and destroyed all the household idols in Judah and in Jerusalem. Josiah did all this to obey and carry out the Word of God that was found in the Lord's Temple.
The last four kings who followed Josiah were allevil, puppet rulers, appointed by and subject first to Egypt and then to Babylon.
Finally, Nebuchadnezzar marched his army into Judah and surrounded Jerusalem for over one year, eventually reducing its people to starvation. The Babylonian king forced King Zedekiah to watch as he ordered Zedekiah's sons to be killed. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon then blinded Zedekiah's eyes and took him to Babylon.
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. The prayers of anyone who ignores the Word of God are too detestable for God to hear.
Devotional commentary also refers to: I Kings 13:1-3; II Chronicles 34:2; Proverbs 28:9.
Through the Passover (see II Kings 23:21-23), which foreshadowed Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, then rose from the dead, and will keep us from spiritual death by His having overcome death (see John 1:29; I Corinthians 5:6-7; I Peter 1:18-19).
25:12 husbandmen = farmers; 25:16 without weight = beyond measure; 25:27 lift up the head = release from prison.
The Center for Christian Statesmanship, Washington DC · Government Officials: Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) and Rep. Robert Weygand (RI) · Country: Brazil (171 million) in South America · Major languages: Portuguese and Spanish · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% various forms of spiritism · Prayer Suggestion: Pray daily to your Father in heaven (see Daniel 6:10).
Optional Reading: Romans 13
Memory Verse for the Week: I Peter 1:23