2 Kings 23:31-37 – Two Bad Apples

Read 2 Kings 23:31-37

3 apples with the words "Just because you find one bad apple doesn't mean you should give up on the whole tree

How could a father like Josiah produce two sons who both do what’s “evil in the Lord’s sight”? We know that what God has promised is coming. Josiah was able to “save” himself, but clearly his goodness didn’t trickle down to his children.

But I’m projecting my own understanding of how an earthly father nurtures his children. I am very fortunate that my dad modeled devotion to the church and frequently volunteered to serve the kingdom. I saw that behavior as a child and understood being faithful was important. I also witnessed many others going in the opposite direction.

I suppose that’s what happened, and why two of Josiah’s sons were bad apples. They followed the wrong crowd. Maybe they didn’t have a good relationship with Josiah because he was so busy being a good, reforming king. Maybe they resented his absence. I realize I’m making a lot of assumptions here, but sometimes it’s helpful to put ourselves into the story so we can remember these are REAL people we’re reading about. What do you think “real life” was for them?

I’ve known a lot of good parents who have had trouble-maker children. But I’ve also known some awesome kids who have “brain-dead” parents, clueless to their child’s genius. God has made us each unique. He wants the best for all of us. Some of us just do a better job at living up to that standard.

Have you ever been called a goody-two-shoes? How about a Bible-thumper? I used to feel like these were “bad” things. Not anymore. I’m happy to be living into the life God has designed for me. There’s such peace in being in alignment with God even when the world around me seems to be crumbling. There are a lot of unhappy people walking around these days. If only they knew Jesus!

Take some time to think about how many good things God wants you to have. It may seem a little daunting to imagine all the abundance and happiness he intends. Sometimes we might not feel worthy. I read somewhere that when God pictures us, he sees us as living our best life having attained that greatness. We should imagine the same if we want to achieve more and realize the abundant lives God intends for us.

We don’t need to be “bad apples” either because our parents weren’t the best or because we’ve followed the wrong crowd. It’s never too late to change our attitudes to be more in alignment with God. If you struggle with that one a little, ask God to reveal himself to you.

There is always a message we can uncover when we read God’s word. How is this passage speaking to your heart today?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, we need you more than ever in this world of evil and corruption. I know you want so much more for your children, yet we keep messing it up. Help me to focus on you and your desire for me. Thank you for loving me even when I get off track. Reveal yourself to me so that I can abide in your goodness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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