We are walking through some very dark days in the history of Israelite leadership. Each new king seems to be worse than the one before. How is that even possible?
Meanwhile, we must assume that because Judah’s king, Asa, is following God, everything is going well over there. The remnant of the Israelite people living in Judah and Benjamin are living lives that are more pleasing to God, honoring him with their obedience.
It would be easy to read this passage quickly and miss a hidden message from God. What must be going on in Israel with all these leaders? We can’t forget they are real people, with emotions, wants, desires, the whole bit. They are not just faceless names on a page.
Evil is at work here. Big time! We read over and over how God’s chosen people have been a target of evil behavior. I know that I’ve heard that we can be sure we’re on the right path, God’s path, when we encounter push back or challenge. Satan doesn’t want us to succeed. It seems like Satan delights in putting obstacles in our path.
These kings were allowed by God to do evil but then disciplined for doing so. What sort of discipline are we ready to receive for our disobedience? We have been spared the same ruthless deaths the kings endured for their disobedience because we have Jesus defending us. Our Savior is standing by to take on our burden of sin.
What does this passage say to you?
As we look around the world today, we may wonder if the rampant evil can get worse. Yes, it can. Will it? What does the future look like? Only time will tell. I’d suggest you purchase my devotional on the book of Revelation if you’d like to delve more into God’s final victory. Good news, we do have the ability to make choices of who to follow.
I like the words of Joshua 24:15: “But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua also spoke an oath about the person who would rebuild Jericho. In case you were wondering, verse 34 in our reading is referencing Joshua 6:26. Makes me wonder why Hiel rebuilt Jericho in the first place. I suppose he had not heard of the oath made by Joshua all those generations ago. If he had and did the act himself to fulfill the oath, as is presumed by some, that was quite a sacrifice he made.
Let’s pray …
Lord, there are so many dangers and distractions surrounding me and everyone I love. I feel a sense of darkness descending on this world and know that you are the only true light. I choose you! Shine brightly through me and all your people so that others can find you and cling to you. Light our way so that we can find you and grow closer to you each day. Protect me, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.