I just love how we are reading as the chapters in the Bible fit together. Yesterday we read Micah, the Prophet who delivered a message to the kings, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, these very kings that we read about in 2 Chronicles and 2 Kings today. It helps us to put pieces together; like a puzzle, and gives us a better understanding of the times.
Wow, there is a lot in these chapters for us to learn from. As we have seen time-after-time, God has sent word to the Israelites to turn from following other gods. God has continually warned them of the consequences, but they do not heed the warnings and they do not listen.
“All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of Egypt from under the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods and followed the practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before them, as well as the practices that the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things against the LORD their God that were not right. From watchtower to fortified city they built themselves high places in all their towns. They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the LORD had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger. They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, “You shall not do this.” The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: “Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.” But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God. They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the LORD had forbidden them to do. They forsook all the commands of the LORD their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal. They sacrificed their sons and daughters in[c] the fire. They practiced divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the LORD provoking him to anger. So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from his presence.” 17:8-18
And then we read in 17:40-41 “They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the LORD, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.”
What a sad testimony – what a sad legacy to leave your children and grandchildren.
But then I couldn’t help but wonder, “Even as I am worshiping the Lord daily and serving Him, are their idols (things I place before my relationship with God) that I am serving? Are their things in my life that God has asked me to remove or quit doing that I keep doing? Are there things of the world that have crept their way into my life and that I need to stop doing and remove? Is there a legacy of family practices that go against what God would have me do that would be better left behind?
Until next time – Be Encouraged
Tomorrow’s reading Isaiah 13-17