2 Kings 20-22
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CHAPTER 20 — NO….YOU are not dreaming….. we have read the beginning of this chapter before about Hezekiah’s rule, being a great King for Judah, following the ways of The Lord, destroying all the high places, idols, and Asherah poles…cleaning house. Then he re-opened the Temple so the people could come worship The Lord there again (his father Ahaz had nailed the doors SHUT!) Because of Hezekiah’s faith and goodness The Lord heard Hezekiah’s prayer and healed him. BUT… the Lord not only heal him but extended his life (15 years.) The Lord also gave him a sign that HE would do what HE promised (moving the shadow back 10 steps.) Next we saw Hezekiah showing (possibly an act of kindness to the envoy or an act of pride…we are not specifically told. However, because he showed off ALL his possessions to the wrong people (Babylonian Envoys). THEN the Babylonian’s would later remember all the wealth they saw. Isaiah told Hezekiah they would return and take ALL his possessions.
Here is a reminder of the men here. Hezekiah was a very good king; which is TOTALLY AMAZING because his father, King Ahaz, was the WORST King!! Unfortunately as wonderful as Hezekiah was as a King, we see his son, Manasseh, was more of Ahaz than of Hezekiah…….soooo sad!!
CHAPTER 21–Manasseh (reigned 55 years) was so bad that in his years of killing he took the life if Isaiah. Jewish tradition says that Isaiah may have been hiding from him in a hollow log and was sawed in half. Bad kings were never fond of the prophets, for the messages they brought from the Lord were of judgement and doom. Manasseh sacrificed his own son in a pagan ritual, consulted mediums, used divination, built Asherah poles, and really set a very bad example as a leader of his country. Through his leadership he encouraged the people of Judah to return to worshiping in anyway they desired to any god they desired!! BAD BAD BAD — God had to do something with these people.
Amon (reigned two years), the next Judean king was a chip off the ole block, bad to the bone…….. Just like his dad. SAD SAD SAD!!
CHAPTER 22–Then came Josiah and he reigned 22 years. Josiah was a good King and he followed in the ways of The Lord. During Josiah’s reign verse 8 tells us: “Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the BOOK OF THE LAW in the house of the Lord! Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.”
CAN YOU IMAGINE FINDING THE BOOK OF THE LAW HIDDEN IN THE TEMPLE!!! Josiah sent Hilkiah to the Prophetess Huldah to ask what it meant and what should be done. That most certainly was WISDOM!!!
We end today’s reading with: “Behold, therefore [King Josiah], I will gather you to your fathers, taken to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring on this place. And they brought the king word.”
In reading this I am soooooo aware of the impact ONE leader can have on an entire country… will the country serve the ONE true God or will they be encouraged to serve everything else that is against Him?? And once again… I have a huge burden to pray for our leaders at all levels in all areas. WE NEED godly leaders.
I found it beautiful the way God was protecting Josiah because HE knew his heart!!! What a wonderful way to end today’s reading…witnessing God’s protection on a King who was humbly seeking HIM!!! God did not want Josiah to live to see the judgement that was going to come upon Judah!!
Sharing HIS love,