In Today's Scripture Reading:
Josiah's reign; book of the Law found; fall of Jerusalem; captivity of Judah; decree of Cyrus to rebuild the Temple
One of the highest honors ever attributed to a king was given to Josiah, when it was recorded: He did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined (turned aside) neither to the right hand, nor to the left. . . . and he read in their ears all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in the House of the Lord (II Chronicles 34:2,30).
But the last four kings of Judah — Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah — were all evil, and led the nation in a descending course to its disastrous end morally, politically, and spiritually. During his reign of 11 years (36:11), Zedekiah (Mattaniah), the youngest son of Josiah, did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord (36:12), and rebelled against Babylon's domination because he thought he had the support of Egypt. This time, the Lord left the Israelites to their ruin. Nebuchadnezzar showed no mercy and surrounded Jerusalem until there was no bread for the people of the land (II Kings 25:3). The horrors of the starving defenders of Jerusalem are recorded in Lamentations 2:19; 4:3-10 and Ezekiel 5:10.
Nebuchadnezzar's soldiers eventually broke through the north wall and mercilessly butchered both young and old. Then they burnt the House of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly (valuable) vessels thereof (II Chronicles 36:17-19; II Kings 25:4-11; Jeremiah 52:5-23). Most of those who had escaped the massacre were driven off as slaves to become exiles in a foreign land (II Chronicles 36:20-21).
Because of His great love for Israel and His covenants with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, the Lord made a precious promise to the Jewish people that is fast approaching fulfillment. They will soon recognize Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is My Covenant (Agreement) unto them, when I shall take away their sins (Romans 11:25-27).
Through the messengers of God who were rejected by His people (II Chronicles 36:15-16; compare Isaiah 53:3; Mark 9:12). Jesus came unto His own (own people), and His own received Him not (John 1:11; also Matthew 21:42; Mark 8:31; 12:10; Luke 9:22; 17:25; 20:17).
35:13 sod =b> boiled; 36:3 put him down =b> deposed him; condemned =b> taxed; demanded tribute; 36:10 brother =b> uncle; 36:15 rising up betimes =b> early every morning, again and again.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Dr. John A. Hash and by Thursday Morning Prayer Staff: Pam Pendergrast Government Officials: Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA), and Sen. David Vitter (LA) Country: Syria (17 million) in southwestern Asia Major languages: Arabic and Kurdish Limited religious freedom for Christians 90% Muslim; 4% Eastern Orthodox; 2% Roman Catholic; .25% Protestant Prayer Suggestion: Praise and thank the Lord that He can do exceedingly more than we ask or even think (Ephesians 3:20).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 18:30