Category Archives: 2 Chronicles

2 Kings 13-14; 2 Chronicles 25; Psalm 53; Matthew 12

Amaziah did not get it right every time, but we first read about a time when he listened to the voice of God and stood strong in the face of opposition.

He had an enemy to face, a foreboding, powerful one. He pulled together as many men as he could from Judah and Benjamin and scraped together 300,000 men who were of age and fit to fight. Weighing the might of his adversary, he needed more. He hired 100,000 mighty men from Israel to fill in the calculated gap.

That’s when a man of God showed up with a message for him.

But a man of God came to him and said, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel, with all these Ephraimites. But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down.”

2 Chronicles 25:7-8 ESV

Amaziah questioned his advice at first, but when the prophet encouraged him with reminders of God’s faithfulness and abundant blessing, he proceeded to battle with an army that was too small by human standards.

He won. Of course. Because God is always enough. To obey is better than sacrifice.

Unfortunately, in his winning came his downfall. It seems completely illogical as we flip back through the pages of history, but he preserved the idols of the nation he defeated and brought them home and worshiped them. They had no power, no life, no blessing to bestow. Yet somewhere in his mind it made sense to honor these empty, powerless gods. And, his life pretty much falls apart from there.

I glean two take-aways. One from his surrendered heart and one from his boastful one.

Stand firm even when support seems insufficient. If we stand with God, we only need that one ally. We might not have the benefit of an audibly spoken word from God or one of his prophets, but many times in our lives (not always) it is quite clear what standing up for truth looks like. At times like that we cannot let lack of finances, partners, crowd-funding, popularity, or human logic hold us back.

Secondly, don’t give pride an inch of room. It seeps in and steals our victory, robs our blessing, destroys communion with God. It blinds us to God’s goodness and crumbles our allegiance to the Lord of Hosts, the God of angel armies, who rightly claims any victory. In times of abundance I need to raise my guard even higher.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Psalm 53:1 ESV. The world might credit wisdom or honor to those that do it “their way” or blaze a trail by their human strength or ingenuity, but those that plow ahead without surrender to God, are fools by scripture’s standards. Seems harsh, until you watch that philosophy lived out and the pride that drives it. I might not say or believe that “there is no god,” but do my life choices always validate my belief in Him? My heart is in danger of acting foolishly at times and needs frequent regrounding in scripture.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

Matthew 12:34-35 ESV

Lord, keep a firm hold on my heart, mouth, and mind. May I continually be being filled by You and your word so that in times of challenge I can stand, even if I am alone in standing. In times of success and peace may I continue to give you all credit and glory. And in the ordinary, may I be faithfully growing and preparing for the path ahead. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18; Matthew 2

Jehosophat and Ahab make strange bed-fellows. Jehosophat genuinely wants to seek God’s best, and Ahab just wants his own best. This has to be one of my all time favorite stories in the bible. Every time I must read it multiple times completely envisioning the scene. So, humor me and let’s see how this plays out:

Ahab had pulled out all the stops to get Jehosophat in his corner, and the plotting had finally accomplished its goal. But, Jehosophat had one last request, “Let us just make certain that this military campaign is in obedience to God’s word.”

“Of course, of course!” schmoozes Ahab. “I would never want anything less. Let me just ask all my highly reputable prophets standing by to bring me the Word of the Lord. I have four hundred of them, so one of them is sure to tell us what we want to hear. I mean, well, you know.”

With all the pomp and circumstance he can muster, Ahab calls to them, “Oh prophets of the most high God, Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead,” here his voice takes on a sour note, “or shall I refrain?”

“Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king,” echoes an immediate chorus of voices from around the crowd.

“That was easy enough,” Ahab thinks as he flashes his most charming smile toward Jehosophat.

Almost ready to make any excuse to leave, Jehosophat tries again, “Maybe my question was not clear. Is there not here another prophet of the LORD of whom we may inquire?”

Ahab’s eyes roll almost into the back of his head as he momentarily loses any semblance of royalty, knowing who he needs to summon. He must force the halting words from his lips, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micaiah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil.” (Full pout).

Jehosophat has no doubt this is true as it is abundantly clear that Ahab has no genuine desire to hear God’s word if it contradicts his own, but he tucks that response beneath his royal robes and merely says, “Let not the king say so!”

Ahab lets out a deep sigh and realizing there is no escaping the inevitable, snaps at the nearest officer, “Bring Micaiah. Quickly.”

The hundreds of prophets around them continue to babble their meaningless “prophecies” of great military success. One had created horns out of some handy iron scraps and as he mimics a bull charging into a crowd creatively says, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.'” Back slaps all around with that one. One after another steps forward or shouts from the back urging the kings to go and fight and win with God’s blessing.

On the other side of town, the messenger reaches Micaiah. “The king wants you to come. Let me warn you, all the prophets are speaking in unity that God favors his plans to fight Ramoth-gilead. Be like them this time, Micaiah, for your sake.”

Wondering why he should even both going with that invitation, Micaiah knows he cannot avoid this encounter. As soon as they reach the kings (who had continued to hear the prophets blathering like fools the entire time they waited), Ahab asks for his advice.

Micaiah has no respect for this ruler that ignores God’s laws and has compromised his people. Micaiah leans against a pillar, picking at his fingernails, “By all means, go up and triumph. Sounds like a winner to me,” he deadpans.

Ahab grips the arms of his throne in exasperation, “How many times shall I make you swear that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?” As if Ahab ever really wanted the truth.

Straightening up, but his face still clearly clouded by doubt, Micaiah takes a breath and delivers the true word of the Lord. It is not what Ahab wants to hear.

Spit flies from Ahab’s mouth as he jerks toward Jehosophat and gestures toward the one dissonant voice, “Do you see what I mean? I told you so! He never has anything nice to say about me.” (More pouting)

But, Micaiah wasn’t done. God had more to say through his lips, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. 20 Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ 21 And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’” (2 Chronicles 18:18-21 ESV)

Zedekiah cannot stand the insult to his name and family. He steps forward, slapping Micaiah across the face, “Oh really? A spirit made me lie? Tell me this, since you know so much. Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?” and he turns on his heel and walks off with his head raised.

Micaiah goes to jail (until Ahab returns from his “certain” victory). The armies go to war. Ahab dies. God saves Jehosophat. And we have a few lessons to learn.

Who am I listening to?

Am I discerning in my listening?

Do I hear only what I want to hear?

Do I ignore God’s word if it contradicts how I want to believe or think?

Do my prayers genuinely invite God into the conversation and situation?

Am I more like Ahab or Jehosophat?

So much food for thought when we try to see ourselves in the people of the bible.

God, give me your wisdom. Wisdom to hear, discern, and submit. May I never re-interpret your words to make them fit my preferred narrative. May I never simply make a show of reading your words to check a box that I tried. May I never pray without a genuine desire to hear from you and follow. Surrendered fully to your plan is my heart’s desire. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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2 Chronicles 35; Revelation 21; Malachi 3; John 20

But Josiah was determined to fight. He refused to listen to what God was saying through King Neco, so he disguised himself and went into battle on the plain of Megiddo. – 2 Chronciles 35:22 GNT

I am not sure where is the line that I have stepped over when it comes to not listening to God. I am amazed at the things I do when I could simply rest and listen. If I am not listening, I am definitely not praying.

“It was not of faith, else why ‘disguise’ himself? There is no record of any prayer before the battle, as in the case of so many of his godly ancestors; and this rash act of Josiah seems unaccountable.” – Knapp

There are so many promises of safety from God, why do I choose to ignore Him when He is talking to me.

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared.” – Revelation 21: 4 GNT

I am reminded that if I had turned my back on God somewhere along my journey, He is still there waiting for me and willing to walk with me.

The Lord Almighty answers, “I will send my messenger to prepare the way for me. Then the Lord you are looking for will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger you long to see will come and proclaim my covenant.” – Malachi 3:1 GNT

I am thankful for God’s goodness and His grace. His promises are there for me because of His goodness and His faithfulness. His patience and His mercy see me through to the end.

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!” – John 20:28-29 GNT

I make progress as I grow in maturity by confessing Jesus – the one I cannot not see from time to time and yet who I believe in all the time.

Father, I am not too sure why I fight battles that are not mine to fight. I am not too sure why I do not listen to advice that is given to me. I am even more unsure of myself when I think that You are not looking at me, watching me, knowing what I am thinking and doing – bascially thinking that I am fooling You. How do I come to such a place? Your promises are clear and simple and generous and yet I find a way to walk off the path. Thank you for making my journey of faith Your business. You come and find me and walk with me until I am firmly growing in my faith, coming to a place where I do not have to see to believe, but am able to believe without having to see. Thank You.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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2 Chron. 26; Rev. 13; Zech. 9; John 12

“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success…But when he became powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall…”Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!” Uzziah, who was holding an incense burner, became furious. But as he was standing there raging at the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s Temple, leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead.” 2 Chronicles 26: 3-23

King Uzziah let pride be his downfall. God can turn any heart around, but Uzziah let anger control him. Small acts of faithfulness don’t always seem significant at the time. But, God honors them. I think on legacy. It’s not easy to have an eternal perspective in this world. What will I be remembered for?

“Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.” John 12:25&26

Am I serving God with a humble heart?

“Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the Synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” John 12:42&43 NLT

Dear Father, I pray for a deeper trust in you. That I wouldn’t easily be swayed by the opinions and praise of others. That I would desire you more than anything else. Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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2 Chronicles 18; Revelation 7; Zechariah 3; John 6

I ran across another leader today who modelled how to be morally brave and heroic – Micaiah.

Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, “Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Prince Joash. Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely.”

“If you return safely,” Micaiah exclaimed, “then the Lord has not spoken through me!” And he added, “Listen, everyone, to what I have said!” – 2 Chronicles 18:25-27 GNT

Micaiah’s strength came from knowing his life was not in his hands, but in God’s. This could be the very reason I love the book of Revelation – revealing the end from the beginning.

After this I looked, and there was an enormous crowd—no one could count all the people! They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood in front of the throne and of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. – Revelation 7:9 GNT

Here I can stand with thankfulness for the grace of God, through faith, that I have become a part of the body of Christ – to be a light and to proclaim the Gospel and to disciple the world. I expect miracles to take place when I engage and people to be saved.

In this arena of leadership, I expect some sort of engagement with the evil one – yet my Saviour exercises His authority, preventing his advance.

The angel of the Lord[b] said to Satan, “May the Lord condemn you, Satan! May the Lord, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire.” – Zechariah 3:2 GNT

Yes, I know that the evil one wants to attack and harass those who have made a decision to follow Jesus. God is still in authority and only lets things happen what He deems necessary to happen. I love the account of Jesus telling Peter that Satan wanted to sift him like wheat, but Jesus said that He was praying for Peter and would stand beside him and would not allow the evil planned to take place.

The adventure that comes in following Jesus comes as I desire to seek Him.

I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35 GNT

Coming to Jesus means I receive Him as a gift from God and is showcased by my desire, prayer, assent, consent, trust and obedience.

Father, I am thrilled with the opportunity to provide leadership to those I am serving. Sometimes I think more about serving than leading and I need You to help me recognise the times I need to be up in the front lines. I pray that You and I will always be talking together. My strength and all that You have called me to be comes from our relationship. Thank You. AMEN

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 2 Chronicles, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Revelation, Zechariah