Suggested Reading: 2 Kings 24
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Key Verse: 2 Kings 24:2
And the Lord sent against him raiding bands of Chaldeans, bands of Syrians, bands of Moabites, and bands of the people of Ammon; He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken by His servants the prophets.
We are now being introduced to Nebuchadnezzar, a King who will show up in our readings more often in the remaining Hebrew Scriptures than any other foreign monarch.
God is very patient, as is demonstrated again and again in our readings about the kings of Judah, but He will not forever endure disobedience and the flagrant misuse of His name. The practices established by Moses in the Tabernacle, and enhanced by Solomon in the Temple, were continuing. But the Kings who did evil in the sight of the Lord had added the idol worship of other religions. The peoples of Israel and Judah continued to be known as the people of God, but for most of the time, they did not act in a manner honouring God. God finally refused to see any more evil done in His Holy Name. God hurled enemy after enemy against Judah until it was a mere shadow of its former self, and it became a mere puppet of foreign rulers.
Let us not despair. God was working all things after the counsel of His will. He had His faithful people amongst the captives taken to Babylon. Check out Daniel 1:1-6.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, even as You had people who were faithful to You when evil deeds were government policy in both Israel and Judah, so You have those in our land who refuse to compromise their personal standards of righteousness. I pray that I may ever be one of those who serve You with all my heart, as did Daniel and the three Hebrew youths who, even though they were forcibly removed from Jerusalem, served You with integrity. In the Name of the One who served You most faithfully, Jesus, I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
While I use the common term to describe Israel, the “Holy Land,” it is by no means “holy” today. For example, the destruction of innocent life, known as abortion, is rampant amongst secular Jews who make up the majority of the population. The evil kings of ancient Judah in our recent readings burned children as sacrifices to the god Molech. Today little bodies are burned in an incinerator. The same atrocity is happening in Canada. There is no protection in our country for a child up until the moment he or she exits the womb. I believe that the reason God is still merciful to modern Israel and to Canada is because there are people who grieve and repent for national sins against God on a daily basis. I know that our Queen, our official Head of State for Canada, is grieved deeply by the evil of abortion, but as a constitutional monarch, she does not have the power of a Hezekiah or a Josiah to change things. Our government is also powerless to protect these little ones until a clear majority of the members of the House of Commons and the Senate come to abhor the practise of abortion. Back in the eighties, we had a Minister of Health, the Hon. Jake Epp, who succeeded in getting a bill through the Commons with some protection for these little lives, but this bill was defeated in the Senate by just one vote. I pray daily for leaders, those who hold life as a sacred gift of God, to rise up, run for elected office, and form the majority of our lawmakers. I not only pray but I work for such people, regardless of party affiliation.
Yours to pray and work for God’s “will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven,”
P.S. Our group of Holy Land pilgrims visited Bethlehem. My wife, Norma-Jean started everyone singing “Silent Night” in the cave under the altar of the oldest church building in the world, The Church of the Nativity (click here for a video). It’s probably the authentic stable as there have been believers such as the shepherds here in Bethlehem for 2000 years.