May 16, 2017
2 Chronicles 28-Part 2
God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever. Psalm 73:26b
LET IT GLOW
Just this Saturday morning my son called to share the news of his wife's grandmother passing away earlier. His wife had gone the evening before to visit her in the nursing home. My heart goes out to this family in their loss. We have grown close over the years, spending holidays and ball games in the living room together, as well as our shared granddaughter's activities. We don't know when we will wake up to a trouble, trial, or a tragedy. But God is only a prayer away, offering strength to endure as we turn to Him and walk down that road. Ahaz encounter those t's, yet he did not turn to the God of all comfort and wisdom. Shall we see what happened to him?
King Ahaz did it-he did not what was pleasing in God's sight by making metal images for the worship of the false god Baal. This included sacrificing his own children in fire to this metal god. Because of this, God allowed this kin of Judah to be defeated by the army of Israel and Syria. In fact, they killed 120,000 troops of Judah, then took 200,000 women and children captive to Samaria, as well as a tremendous amount of plunder. Yeah, he did it alright, angered God, who tried to bring Judah and Ahaz to repentance. Ahaz had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord.
Then God spoke through a prophet Obed, telling Israel to return the Judah captives and they went too far killing their brothers merciless. Not only was God angered, but all haven as disturbed. Instead of planning to make slaves, they had better return their prisoners to home. After all, what about Israel's sins against God? Most of the nation of Israel and certainly their kings turned away from worshiping God. So 4 leaders of Israel agreed to release their captives and the plunder, realizing they couldn't afford to add to their sins and guilt. (In turn, Israel would be taken captive by Assyria in 65 more years.)
How were the captives treated before returning home?
- Those who were naked were given clothes from the plunder.
- Also, sandals were given to them for the journey.
- They were given food and drink.
- Their wounds were dressed with olive oil.
- The weak prisoners were put on donkeys for the trip home.
- All the prisoners of Judah were returned to Jericho.
When we face troubles, trials, or tragedy, we must turn to God, not away from Him. Will we see these times as opportunities for us to ask for God's help?
Friends, did Jesus not o the same for us when we became a Christian? Spiritually speaking, He clothed us with His righteous blood, gave us sandals of peace for our life journey, dressed and healed our wounds, provides what we need, and will take us to our home in heaven when we reach the end of our journey. Thanks be to Jesus!
LET IT GROW
So did King Ahaz learn his lesson? No, he did not. You know what he did? Instead of asking God for help, he asked the king of Assyria. Really, guy? Additional trouble came with the Edomites and Philistines attacking Judah.
Verse 19 says For the LORD brought Judah low...
Well, when the king of Assyria arrived, instead of helping Ahaz, he attacked Judah.
What did Ahaz do?
- He took valuable items from the Temple, the royal palace, and from the homes of his officials.
- Then he gave them as tribute to the king of Assyria.
- He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, since they helped Syria and Israel, was his thinking.
- Ahaz shut the doors of the Lord's Temple so that no one could worship there.
- He set up altars to pagan gods at every corner in Jerusalem.
- He made pagan shrines in every town of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods.
- In this way he angered the Lord God.
- Ahaz was so wicked a king that he was not even honored to be buried in Jerusalem nor in Israel.
Daily we believers must take on the responsibility of praying for our nation's leaders and decision makers as they make important decisions which affect our whole nation. Pray for God's guidance and will.
LET IT GO
Humbly ask God for help, especially in times of troubles, trials, or tragedies.
He is always ready and able to aide us.
Trust Jesus for all I need, and than Him for what He gives.
*Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day.