2 Chronicles 34: "Josiah"
Phew! We come to a nice break here in 2 Chronicles when we are introduced to the young king Josiah. Josiah was identified as a good king, and in his 12th year, he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, and the altars to Baal, among other abominations to the Lord. In the 18th year, Josiah prepared for the house of the Lord to be repaired. This led to the selection of high priests and other workers. The high priest that was tasked was Hilkiah, and he found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord. This book was given to Shaphan who brought it to Josiah. Shaphan read the book to Josiah, and Josiah realized the sin of his fathers. He immediately understood the wrath of God was coming down upon his people. After this, Shaphan sent for the prophetess, Huldah, and she prophesied that the Lord will judge Judah, but because of Josiah's heart, He would not bring disaster while he was still alive. The chapter closes that they followed the Lord, all of his days. This is really how we should be when we hear the Word of God. When a truth is revealed, we must respond like Josiah did, figuartivley speaking. Josiah mourned over his sin, the sin of his fathers, and he sins of his people. He recognized that he was the king, the influencer and had to be the one to lead the change. Are you ready to lead the change?
2 Chronicles 33: "Manasseh"
With the 3 chapters we saw on Hezekiah, one may think that more good would come out of Judah, but unfortunately, what we will see in these final chapters are more bad, which leads Judah into captivity. Manasseh reigned 55 years in Judah, as was quite possibly one of the worst kings. Notice that the designation of good and bad is not based off of thier battle records, or their riches, or thier possesions, but based on thier relationship with the Lord, and how they led the people of the Lord. Could you imagine if this is how we rated our leaders today?The text doesn't say how long it took, but we read that Manasseh rebuilt the altars and high places that his father tore down. He worshiped Baal, and even sacrificed his children (Just as we saw with Ahaz in chapter 28.). He worshiped the "host of heaven and worshiped them." What does this mean? This means he worshiped the planets and stars. He made idols, and even worshiped them in the house of the Lord. The Lord even addressed these sins of Manasseh and the people, but they did not listen (33:10). The Lord allowed the Assyrians to capture Manasseh and the unthinkable followed. Manasseh humbled humself and prayed. The end of verse 13 is remarkable when the chronicler records, "then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God." Do you see the progression? Manasseh had to humble himself, and pray for forgiveness, which required confession. He was then delieverd, and Manasseh again confessed, this time acknowledging Him as Lord. This shows us that nothing in impossible for the Lord. No one is excluded from the possiblilty of a call and answer from the Lord. It was not coninsidence that he reigned for 55 years. Manasseh then responded well, by removing the altars and altars, and restoring temple worship the Lord. After his death, his son Amon reigned for 22 years, but did not do what was good in the Lord's eyes. What a remarkable chapter that shows the Lord's patience and mercy towards His people. Whenever you feel hopeless that a loved one will never come to know the Lord, come back to this chapter for encouragement. I know that I will.
- Thank you Ryan! God is so merciful. Another thing about Manasseh is that he was born in the extra 15 years that the Lord gave his father to live after his illness. But what you bring out about Manasseh's repentance, is that Hezekiah didn't completely fail in bringing him up. Manasseh didn't get bitter against God, but as you say, repented. His son, on the other hand, knew about his father's captivity and repentance, but refused to follow the Lord. I think I would at least have been scared out of my wits to try to oppose the Lord, after his father was taken captive for not following the Lord, but he didn't fear God and the results were disastrous for the nation, and for himself.
- Today's reading was in Matthew 16 for me. The Jewish leaders continue in unbelief just like Manasseh and Amon. Jesus response was that they could tell the weather from the sky but couldn't interpret the signs of the times. Amon sure didn't interpret the signs of the times like Manasseh had done. The disciples in Matthew 16 have trouble with the yeast but the Lord reminds them of the 5000 and 4000 people fed and all that was picked up, and finally understand what he said. Jesus started out by telling them they had so little faith. I pray that we all will be able to have faith to trust the Lord in the times and interpret them as we read his Word.
2 Chronicles 32: “Assyria Invaded Judah”
We’ve seen in Judah’s past that there was time of peace during a good kings rule, but we don’t see that this time as Sennacherib, king of Assyria invaded Judah. It seems like Hezekiah thought Assyria was after their water, so he blocked the water stream with a wall, this also provided security against attack. One way or another, the stream of water was very vulnerable, so it had to be protected. Once again we see some familiar words in verse 7, “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed.” They trusted Hezekiah with these words and were comforted. Sennacherib knew that the people trusted Hezekiah, so he sent servants in to try and convince the people that Hezekiah and the Lord would not be able to protect them. So, in response, Hezekiah prayed before the Lord for protection and deliverance. The Lord spared them, and Hezekiah became very well decorated with gifts and processions. This added a dark and prideful cloud over him, even to the point of sickness, but when he went to the Lord, his life was extended. When the Lord did take Hezekiah home, he was honored among the people and buried with King David.
Hezekiah went to the Lord when his people were threatened, and when he was sick. He trusted the Lord that He would protect His people from the hand of Sennacherib. Do we trust the Lord in the hardest of moments? Do we pray for miracles? Better yet, do we believe that God can perform these miracles? Even when we are praying for these miracles in our lives and the lives of others, we must believe that He is able. When we limit the Lord, we begin to lean on our own abilities. That’s not what the Lord desires from us. It’s not enough to simply speak the words, you must believe that He is able. Do you believe?
- Thanks Ryan! Right on! Hezekiah's faith and leadership caused him to seek the Lord in every circumstance. Today I was reading Matthew 15 and the Lord talked about defilement coming from the heart. Toward the end of the chapter he tells the Gentile woman that her faith was great because she said even the dogs eat the scraps from under the table. Hezekiah showed great faith, too, because he was in the Word and followed the Lord with all his heart. Thanks for your application!
2 Chronicles 31: “Hezekiah Organizes the Priests”
The next thing we see Hezekiah do is bring down all of the “high places” and altars throughout Judah, Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. You see, if you are trying to remove sin from your life, it’s not enough to simply put something away, it must be destroyed. Next, he appointed and divided the priests, and ordered collection so that they were provided for. Hezekiah proves to be a great king, one that the people needed. He brought them back to the Lord and the text says that, “every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God and in accordance with the law and the commandments, seeking his God, he did with all his heart, and prospered.” When we search the Scriptures, we are told what He desires for us. Search the Scriptures today, and see what the Lord has in store for you.
- Thank, Ryan! That is a good application! Today in Matthew 14, John the Baptist is killed, Jesus feeds the 5000, and Jesus and Peter walk on the water. When Jesus fed the 5000 he had just gone in a boat to the other side to get some time alone after hearing of John's death. But the people found him and soon there was a great crowd. But Jesus had compassion and healed their sick and taught them and later fed them all. When I am tired or sad I don't want to be around people, but Jesus was sad, however he put his own feeling aside to minister to the people. The other two stories in this chapter have to do with little faith. Later in a boat after feeding the 5000 and 4000 Jesus was talking about the yeast of the Pharisees, and the disciples started talking among themselves about the fact that they only had one loaf of bread. Jesus (in Mark 8) asked them why they didn't remember the 4 or 5 thousand and in other books or other translations he asks them why they had so little faith. The other story is Peter after he walked on water he took his eyes off of Jesus and started sinking. Jesus extended his arm and pulled him up saying You have so little faith. Hezekiah had great faith because he was in the Word. I've been meditating on faith, and I have a theory that little faith is talking about the quality of faith, depending on myself instead of looking to Jesus and the Word. Because he also talks about faith of a mustard seed when they asked him to increase their faith. So small faith while looking to and depending on Jesus is great faith. Little faith is when I am depending on myself, like Peter when he was sinking. So great faith or extraordinary faith doesn't come as a result of my efforts, but rather comes when I look to Jesus, or like Pastor Pat's message Cling to a risen Savior, then is when we move mountains with our faith as small as a mustard seed.
- Pat Damiani published a newsletterReadThornydale Family ChurchApril 22, 2019
Thanks to all the people who made it possible for us to have two amazing worship experiences yesterday. From our Worship Team and Greeters to those who set up and picked up chairs, to those who helped with the Easter Egg Hunt to those who helped with breakfast, and everyone else who pitched in, it took a lot of hard work by many of you to pull that off. I'd like to list of the names of everyone who helped out, but I'm sure that I'd miss too many of you. But I would like to give special thanks to my wife, Mary, who came to the rescue with a couple of things that I let fall through the cracks.
I also want to call your attention to the Paul Tripp Marriage Conference on May 3 and 4. We will be streaming this great conference at the church. This is a great opportunity for you to develop your marriage using Biblical principles. You'll find more information in the Upcoming Events section below. Please make sure to sign up so we know how many people to expect. Feel free to invite your friends to attend with you.
Walking with you toward Jesus,
2 Chronicles 30: “Hezekiah Observes the Passover”
Here we see some uncharacteristic writing from the chronicler. That is, he writes more than a single chapter on a certain king of Judah. Here we see the continued story of Hezekiah, the last good king of Judah before captivity. Hezekiah here observes the Passover, unfortunately he was unable to observe at the right time, but he seemed to know the Scriptures well enough to know that he could observe it in the second month under certain circumstances (Numbers 9:1-5). He wanted to not only observe the Passover within his own home, but set out for all of Judah, Ephraim and Manasseh to participate. Hezekiah knew the significance of this feast. Probably not so ironically, we celebrate the risen Lord today, and here we are talking about the Passover. From Guzik: “This great feast remembered the great and glorious deliverance of God on Israel’s behalf in the days of the Exodus (Exodus 12). It was a deliberate, emblematic reminder of the central act of redemption in the Old Testament (the deliverance from slavery in Egypt). Communion is likewise an emblematic reminder of the central act of redemption of the New Testament (and the Bible as a whole). The long neglect of Passover among the tribes of Israel would be like a church that had not celebrated the Lord’s Table in a long, long time. Jesus is the ultimate Passover lamb, who by his own body and blood established a new covenant (Luke 22:14-20). Just as Hezekiah’s congregation were cleansed and healed, Christians are made clean by their Passover sacrifice, except that Jesus’ sacrifice is the ultimate and unrepeatable Passover.” What a great reminder as we come to this chapter on this very special day! Death, the penalty of sin, was defeated by Jesus and made available through faith. He is our deliverance. As Hezekiah led this people to remember the Exodus, so shall we remember Jesus.
- Thanks Pastor Pat! (We didn't see you move around, but are glad that's already happening!) Today I was reading in Matthew 13 and the last verse says Jesus couldn't do much there except heal a few people, because of their unbelief. How much more they would have received if they had accepted him! When I face unbelief in others or in my own life, it usually ends up being a flop completely. But for Jesus, he healed a few people. He didn't give up - he found a few who believed. That's what I need to do - not give up in the face of unbelief. I need to cling to the living, resurrected Jesus and keep growing in my relationship with him.
- Sunrise service went great, on to the next!! Looking forward to worshipping with you all again!
- Great to see this picture. Our church here for some reason doesn't have sunrise service, possibly because the young people have a retreat that weekend and also a lot of people are gone. In Mexico city a lot of people are gone. On Sunday morning we could walk in the middle of Tlalpan Blvd which is normally a traffic jam! We went up to the roof of where we live to watch the sun come up over the mountain. The message at our church was on the Power of the resurrection - seven things. The Life - He is not here Matt. 28:6, and John 11:25 He is the good pastor and lays down and takes up his life; Love - the women went to the tomb v1; the angels 2-4 One angel made the earthquake, moved the stone and the soldiers were so afraid they were like dead men; the testimonies 7-8 and Luke 24:32 - 34 Go quickly and tell his disciples! The power of the Lord frees from fear v9-10; The power of service v18- 20 to the ends of the earth; and the power of the truth v 4 The truth is more powerful than lies. I look forward to seeing the Easter message from there so I can meditate on that also! Keep on keeping on!