TODAY’S READING: II KINGS 21-25
Wicked Manasseh and Amon; Last good King Josiah; Four evil kings; Babylonian captivity
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
The righteous leadership of Hezekiah was quickly replaced by the overwhelming evil of his son Manasseh. Though we read of his later repentance in II Chronicles 33, Jeremiah 15:4 says that the kingdom will be removed because of the deeds of Manasseh in Jerusalem. The deeds of a leader (husband, father, teacher, pastor) have a far reaching effect for good or bad.
Josiah, the last good king, did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. He had chosen to do right and restore the temple before the book of the law was found. The knowledge from the Word of God would not have been uncovered, if Josiah had not already chosen to do right! II Peter 1: 4-7 shows us that virtue (choosing to do right) is added to our life before knowledge. If we have not decided to follow what the Lord says, what need is there to accumulate any more knowledge?
With the new knowledge from the books of the Law, Josiah humbles himself before the Lord, makes a covenant to the Lord in presence of all the people and begins to cleanse the temple and the land. He removes the idols and the high places of worship in Jerusalem. Interestingly, he carries the items of sin across the brook Kidron, destroys them and scatters the ashes on old graves. The Lord Jesus Christ crossed the very same brook Kidron (Cedron) on the way to the cross and the grave (John 18:1).
Josiah continues the cleansing and goes to Bethel to destroy the golden calf set up by Jeroboam. The idol worship that plagued the children of Israel throughout the entire time of the kingdom is finally destroyed by the one who was prophesied by name. II Kings 18:25 tells us that there was no king like Josiah that turned to the Lord with all of his heart. Not until Josiah, did any king go up and destroy that one idol.
None of the final four kings follow in the footsteps of Josiah; all are weak evil kings, controlled by other foreign kings. Because of the evil of Manasseh, the Lord will not spare Judah. The leaders, the people and the treasures that should have been dedicated to the Lord, are carried away to serve in captivity.
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
As PROCLAIMER OF THE WORD – II Kings 26:2 (Luke 4:16) As ONE PROMISED BY NAME – I Kings 13:2 & II Kings 22:1 (Matthew 1:21-23; Luke 2:21) As THE PASSOVER – II Kings 23:21 (I Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29; I Peter 1:19) As INNOCENT BLOOD OF JERUSALEM – II Kings 24:4 (Matthew 27:4; Acts 13:28)