2 Chronicles 35:1–36:23
2 Chronicles 35 is primarily about this amazing Passover kept by Judah and even portions of Israel there in the city of Jerusalem. It was so amazing that we read this in:
2 Chronicles 35:18 (NKJV) “There had been no Passover kept in Israel like that since the days of Samuel the prophet; and none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
Josiah was only 26-years-old, but he was a godly king who loved the LORD. He led the nation to celebrate this Passover, and started with the priests and Levites making sure the Ark of the Covenant was in the Holy of Holies, where it belonged. He then gave to the lay people lambs and goats totaling 30,000, he also gave 3,000 cattle, all from his personal possessions. This paved the way for other leaders to follow the example of their king, and they gave to the people who otherwise may not have been able to celebrate the Passover.
It was a massive Feast Day that included the 7-day celebration of Unleavened Bread. These two holy days, go hand in hand, remembering the time that Israel was set free from Egypt, God wanted to make sure they never forgot the day and way He redeemed them from slavery.
For us as Christians, we can always look back to the day, the way, the season, and reason God set us free. I hope we never forget how Jesus has saved us. May we never forget, He is our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Josiah was a godly king, but he was not by any means a perfect king, and he meddled in a fight that was not his. He challenged the king of Egypt when he shouldn’t have, and it cost him his life.
From there the Nation of Judah sunk lower and lower.
Jehoahaz the son of Josiah became king, but the Egyptians deposed him and replaced him with his brother Eliakim, changing his name to Jehoiakim.
Jehoiakim was carried away to Babylon and his son Jehoichin reigned in his place. Again the Babylonians intervened and made the brother of Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, the king of Judah there in Jerusalem.
All these kings did evil in the sight of the LORD, so God sent prophet after prophet warning them of impending doom, but they would not change. We read in:
2 Chronicles 36:15–16 (NKJV) “And the LORD God of their fathers sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. 16 But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.”
Did you catch those last 5 words? “…til there was no remedy.”
There was nothing else God could do to reach this nation other than judge them…and that’s exactly what happened. After 3 sieges the Babylonians conquered Judah and carried them away in 589 BC. They would be in captivity for 70-years, one year for every year they failed to keep the sabbath for their land.
But then the day came, fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:11-12), when the Jews were allowed to return, just as God had predicted, under the edict of Cyrus, king of Persia.
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
The church at Corinth was like all other Christians in that they were sanctified and called to be saints. They were truly blessed and had experienced God’s amazing grace. Paul writes about how they were eagerly waiting for the return of the Lord and how God would keep them firm to the end, for God is faithful by whom we are called (1 Corinthians 1:7-9).
Paul does, however, say a couple of things about the Corinthian church in chapter 1 that might be considered “different.” First of all, they came short in no gift, meaning they were a very gifted church. But the second thing about them is that they were a very carnal church (1 Corinthians 3:1, 3-4). So Paul doesn’t waste time dealing with issues – beginning with division.
Paul pleaded with them to be united, to speak the same thing. Imagine a church where some were saying they followed Paul, or Peter, or Apollos – this broke Paul’s heart! Paul didn’t die for them – Christ did! We should all be saying we follow the Lord Jesus Christ, not man! The enemy will do anything he can to take our eyes off of Christ and divide households and churches.
I’m not surprised, but I am impressed that Paul didn’t ask the people to lean in his direction in any way, even though he was the one who planted the church! In retrospect, Paul was grateful that he hadn’t baptized too many people there in Corinth, because he didn’t want to paint the picture of possessiveness in any way.
Paul wasn’t sent to baptize people, or to have anyone follow him, no, Paul was sent to preach the Gospel. It’s noteworthy how Paul explicitly stated, that God did NOT sent him to baptize. This is another indication that baptism doesn’t save us, for IF it did, God would have sent him to baptize.
God sent Paul to preach the Gospel, but not with wisdom of words – not eloquently, or profoundly, but in simplicity. In the rest of the chapter, Paul will elaborate more on how he trusted not in his delivery of the message, but simply the content of the message…in the power of the Gospel and the cross of Jesus Christ.
Another Psalm of David, who was not only the sweet Psalmist of Israel, but the rugged soldier of many battles, who teaches us how to fight the good fight.
The enemy will oppose us, the wicked will come against us – let’s be sure to make that same proclamation, that declaration of salvation, as David did:
Psalm 27:1 (NKJV) “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
What a relief, there is NOTHING to be afraid of, even if an army surrounds me, I will be confident in Christ, I will stay focused on Him with laser-like vision.
Psalm 27:4 (NKJV) “One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.”
What a beautiful passage, that we would be consumed with “One thing,” to be in fellowship with God – every day of my life. To do what? To behold His beauty – to learn about Him, and the way He promises to protect us from all of our enemies.
God will give us victory…and that’s why we praise Him, even now.
Proverbs 20:20 (NKJV) “Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in deep darkness.”
Heavy, heavy, heavy warning to children to make sure they don’t curse their parents. (see also Deuteronomy 21:18-20)
A lamp being snuffed out speaks of death.
And the deep darkness can very well refer to the degree of punishment in the afterlife; Jesus spoke of outer darkness three times in the Gospel of Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 25:30).
Proverbs 20:21 (NKJV) “An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.”
In one sense, inheritances are dangerous because the ones who gained it, didn’t really earn it, and they often times therefore don’t appreciate it.
It doesn’t mean that giving or receiving an inheritance is bad, but it needs to be thought out and sifted through slowly, not hastily.
If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.