Series: Thru the Bible
PDF of Outline: Harmoney of Israel’s Kingdom Books
The Books of the Kingdom and their Chronicles Pt. 5
Joash was a young king who had his uncle-priest as a mentor. He respected his uncle and followed his lead, but when Jehoiada passed so did Joash’s moral compass. It seems as though he was what the Bible refers to as a simple or naive man. Simple people, according to scripture are people who are easily influenced one way or another – they have no real soul anchor. They are particularly influenced by those they admire.
This is also the passages in which Elisha dies. It is also mentioned that years later after Elisha had been reduced to bones, a man fallen in battle was thrown into his grave and upon touching his bones, the man came to life again.
From this and other places we conclude that there is, at least on some level, a connection between the spirit of man and their bones. While Jesus was brought to the place of soul crushing despair and physical death while on the cross, His spirit was not broken and a means of symbolically illustrating this was that it was forbidden by God and prophecy that Jesus’ bones be broken while on the cross.
- A young person should never have too much authority too young. Paul issues a warning by the Spirit that regardless of age, a novice should never be in the position of an elder, lest they be lifted up in pride like the devil to their ruin and the ruin of those who follow them.
- We need to own what we believe. It is a dangerous thing to believe something ONLY because someone we like, love or admire and look up to believe it. If we believe because we’ve invested time, investigation and effort into something – especially our beliefs regarding God, then when opposition against that belief arises, you will be better equipped to stand your ground.
- Always be open to the Lord using you to both mentor others and be mentored yourself.
- In our mentoring we MUST be careful to lead and invite – not do the thinking FOR another. People have got to have an encounter with God FOR THEMSELVES – they cannot be sustained on second generation faith. The best way to do this is to invite those we mentor INTO our encounters with us – live a life of conviction before them, tell them the stories of our encounters and encourage them to pursue God on their own. You’ve heard it said that you can lead a horse to water but cannot make them drink – this is true, but you can give them salt to stimulate their thirst. WE are to be salt and light!
- Always take all of the scriptural information available to us into account before arriving at a conclusion.
- Allow stories that appear to overlap to do so, but also allow those passages which offer greater information to fill in the blanks so that you walk away with an accurate picture of what happened.
- When you’ve done all you can, then referring to extra-biblical historical accounts may also offer some clarity.
- There appears to be a connection which scripture makes between the spirit and the bones.
- Power and strength belong to God
- Faithful love belongs to God
- “The one who gives an answer before he listens–this is foolishness and disgrace for him.” ~ Prov. 18:13
- When the scriptures say something belongs to God, it means so literally. He is both it’s author, origin and when it appears in man it comes from God as a source.
- Because God is our only true source of hope. We should place our trust in Him and rest in Him.
God had told Israel that if they departed from Him to serve other gods, the land would vomit them out. Israel time and again did this, but God would warn them and they would eventually respond but in His mercy He did not turn them over to their enemies. In the end, though, their continual disobedience and idolatry caught up with them and God sold them into the hands of their enemies the Assyrians.
- It is impossible to have and maintain “true religion” [James 4:27] without loving God with all your heart.
- God designed the human heart to respond in loving trust to those who have shown themselves both caring, kind and loyally devoted to us.
- Obedience results in the human heart who comes to know and trust God.
- When a person consistently walks in unbelief it is reflected in a walk of disobedience to God.
We speak a lot in here about the need of godly men and fathers and that is an undeniable truth, but women and mothers play an invaluable role in developing children whose hearts are inclined to godliness as well.
King Hezekiah was a good king, and it is at least possible that this was almost entirely influenced by his mother Anijah who was likely the same woman who was the daughter of the prophet Zechariah (not the famous one), because Hezekiah’s father was a wicked man.
Hezekiah did a work of restoration for Judah.
- He cleansed the temple
- He restored temple worship
- God moved miraculously upon their hearts so that all was accomplished well and quickly.
- He resorts passover and celebrates it better than it had ever been celebrated
- He attempted to unite those who were not deported from Israel to Judah and God by inviting them to the celebration.
- He interceded for those of greater Israel who came and celebrated without first becoming ritualistically clean.
- This is what he prayed,“May the good LORD provide atonement on behalf of (19) whoever sets his whole heart on seeking God, the LORD God of his ancestors, even though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.”
- This reminded us of the passage which says “Obedience it better than sacrifice and to harken than the fat of rams” – 1Sam. 15:22
- This is NOT because they failed to cleanse themselves before passover, but because they entered in with all their heart. Many of these people probably didn’t even know that they needed to cleanse themselves, they just entered in, because it was in their heart to repent and return to the Lord. THAT is the GOAL of cleansing – LIFE – INTIMACY, so God in His mercy and due to the intercessions of this godly king atoned for it (or covered over it).
- He encouraged the downcast Levites
- All of this inspired a prolonging of the celebration…showing that when God has one’s heart, “laws” are not necessary.
At the beginning of all of this, the Levites showed more piety than the priests and helped out the priests by preparing the animals for sacrifice which was technically not their job, but their job WAS to help the priests so God allowed it.
Later the Priests were sorrowful over their poor response and repented.
Following this wonderful Passover, both those from Judah and those who came to worship from greater Israel – meaning the Northern Kingdom, returned to their home towns and destroyed all the pagan pillars, the Asherah poles, the high places and altars to the last one.
- People are sheep – they will typically follow a strong leader
- Sometimes those closest to God in terms of position (like the priests) show less piety than those further away. This is often due to over-familiarity.
- God is able to move human hearts in accordance with His will.
- The Goal of sacrifice was LIFE. Gal. 3:21, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, righteousness would have come through the law.”
- When God has our hearts – laws are not necessary.
- Intercession for others is both good leadership and a powerful expression of loving your brother.
- A good heart towards God will seek to unite as many hearts who will to come to Him.
- Before worship comes purity.
Hezekiah re-establishes the divisions of the priests and levites into order by their callings and houses.
He personally contributed daily to the evening and morning burnt offerings.
He encouraged the people towards the financial support of the Levites and priests. As usual we found that this same basic pattern for giving was followed by the early church and encouraged by Paul in his letters in the New Covenant in Acts 6:1-7; 1&2Cor. 9; 2 Tim 5:17-18.
About the same time, the King of Assyria attacked Samaria and secured the fall of the Northern Kingdom.
He also turns to attack Judah, but Hezekiah sends a message to him that he has done no wrong and requests that the king turn back from Judah because he was willing to pay whatever the King of Assyria asked – THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE! Not only was this a failure to place his faith in God, it placed his faith in money AND established a relationship of extortion with this foreign king. Typically such payments became annual and increased in amount. No doubt Hezekiah was wanting to protect his people, but in the end he made them all debtors to Assyria and somewhat under their power.
Later King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah prayed and God heard them, sent an angel to annihilate every brave warrior, leader and commander of the Assyrian king so that he turned back from his pursuit.
- God has given gifts and callings as He pleases, both under the Old Covenant and not under the New.
- Things run best when each person is busy in the work God has called and gifted them to.
- God expects ministers to be well compensated for their work.
- Leaders lead by example
- When a leader is granted great possessions, they should honor God with those possessions in a way that…
- Blesses the people
- Encourages and enables them to worship God
- Sets an example before them.
- It is foolish to trust in ANYTHING other than God – especially money.
- Prayer is more powerful than money, position or influence.
The prayer the King Hezekiah prayed to deliver he and Israel from the Assyrian King was again, based upon Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple and its focus was that the kingdoms of the earth may know that God is the only true God – He is God ALONE!
At this same time Hezekiah was ill, no reason is offered for his illness, but Isaiah was sent to have him put his affairs in order because his sickness was fatal! Hezekiah cried out to the Lord and asked Him to remember the good he had done and his acts of faithful love to God. God heard his pray and saw his tears which resulted in his being given an additional 15 years.
For all the good that King Hezekiah did and all the ways in which he showed devoted love for God and Israel, he was still a human being open to failures. He evidently had some pride in his heart and was foolish enough to show some visitors from Babylon all his treasuries. This evoked the prophecy from Isaiah that Judah would eventually be taken away captive to Babylon.
King Hezekiah’s son Manasseh is an ungodly man and undid much of the reform his father had done in his life. He led the people into greater sin than the land’s former inhabitants.
God declared that because of how Manasseh had led Israel into sin and because Israel had been provoking God since the day He called them out of Egypt He was going to turn over His inheritance to their enemies.
When they came against Judah and carried him away captive he repented with all his heart before God and God returned him to his land. He removed the foreign gods and idols from the Lord’s temple and the altars on the mountain of the Lord’s temple – he built an altar to the Lord offered sacrifices of thanksgiving on it and told Judah to worship God. However, Israel continued to use the high places instead of coming to Jerusalem.
- God is merciful and does not forget our faithfulness nor our labors of love for His name.
- No man is above pride, error or sin.
- Pride goes before a fall
- The sins of a ruler may not always be fully judged in their lifetime.
- God is great in mercy and stands ready to abundantly forgive.
- Even if forgiven, God still requires judgment for sin. There is always a reaping for what is sown.
Amon, King Hezekiah’s son reigned for 2 years and revisited all the the sins his father had forsaken. He was killed in his own house and was succeeded by his own son Josiah who was arguably the best king either kingdom ever had.
Josiah began to seek the Lord IN HIS YOUTH. Ecclesiastes encourages this: “Seek the Lord in the days of your youth before the difficult days come and you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’.”
He re-instituted all of the reform of Hezekiah, even to the point of burning the bones of the priests who had sacrificed on the pagan altars ON those same altars.
The book of the Law is found and Josiah commissions certain people to inquire of the Lord what to do since no doubt God’s wrath is upon us for the unfaithfulness of our ancestors. They consulted Huldah the prophetess who told them that God was going to send terrible disaster, but because Josiah had responded to the law with a tender and humbled heart, weeping before the Lord in repentance for all Israel has done, it would not come in his lifetime, but he would die in peace.
Josiah then read the Law to the people before the temple HIMSELF!
Then the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant in the presence of the LORD to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments, His decrees, and His statutes with all his mind and with all his heart, and to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book; all the people agreed to the covenant.
He literally destroyed EVERY vestige of pagan worship, burning it, beating it to dust and then desecrated it by scattering it on the graves of Israel.
Josiah instigates passover and giving to the priests and levites.
Josiah marries the daughter of the great prophet Jeremiah.
Josiah eventually dies in battle and is greatly honored in his death. Dirges were sung which continued to be sung for many years after his passing.
The scriptures continually refer to his actions as those of “faithful love done according to what is written in the Law of the Lord.”
- You are NEVER too young to seek the Lord and the younger you start the better you will be.
- The difficult days of adulthood can be faced with greater strength of heart and faith if you begin your journey with God in your youth.
- When you obey God, do it COMPLETELY and with all your heart.
- Giving is a sign of a heart reconciled to God.
- Let your obedience be acts of faithful love.
- The memorial of the righteous is blessed.
Jeremiah is commissioned by God to encourage the people to submit to the King of Babylon who God was turning them over into the power of in fulfillment to his word given to King Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah.
Judah went into exile to Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon placed a man named Gedaliah as governor over those left in Judah. Gedaliah was a friend of the prophet Jeremiah and followed his advice to surrender to the king of Babylon and encourage those in Judah to serve him so that it would go well with them. The Chaldeans were mounting a resistance movement against Nebuchadnezzar and so viewed this compliance of Gedaliah as collaboration as a traitor. However, this was not treason, it was submission to the judgment of God and men of discernment will know the difference. Certain men of this movement worked together to kill Gidaliah and then fled to Egypt. Jeremiah’s ministry was viewed with hostility and he was regularly harassed and threatened by Judah and its leaders as a false prophet.
Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet for many reasons, not least of which was his charge to pronounce God’s judgment on the people and nations for breaking covenant with God.
Though all of this disaster was prophesied and accomplished, God gave Jeremiah the honor to decreeing future hope for Israel in the establishment of a New Covenant which we have referenced many times over the years as fulfilled in Romans 2:15.
Jeremiah describes the seventy-year exile they would undergo, but also of their glorious return in Jeremiah 25.
Jeremiah poured out oracles of judgment on the nations (Jer. 46-52), but he counseled Israel to circumcise their hearts (Jer. 4:4) to the Lord. His prophecies went unheeded. So he went into a forced exile of his own in Egypt, where he uttered some concluding prophecies recorded in Jer. 42-44.
- He is the One working in each individual heart.
- He is the One going ahead of us and causing certain people to be born and raise them to power in order to maintain justice and steer hearts towards loyalty.
- He is the One who influences the hearts of Israel’s kings (and all leaders).
- He is the One Who influences the hearts of the kings surrounding Israel
- He is the One who speaks faithfully to His people through His prophets.
- God commands us to submit to those He places over us – whether they are good or evil.
- Not every word from God “seems” like something He would say.
- Just because what you say is not popular and is not well received by the masses, does not make it wrong.
- There is, most often, NOT safety in numbers. “Everybody is doing it” or “Nobody believes that” are NOT proof of what is right!
- We MUST be moved and led by the Word and the Spirit – NOT by our reasoning, emotions or intellect.
- Some of the most powerfully used by God – lived lives of rejection, separation and difficulty.
- God honors those who serve Him.
- The fact that Jeremiah encouraged the people to “circumcise their hearts” reveals the truth that:
- God was more concerned about the heart than outward observances.
- The outward observances were types and shadows of our lives in Christ under the New Covenant.
- Paul received his knowledge and understanding of the New Covenant and how it is lived by revelations from the Old Testament.
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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