Today we are reading 2 Kings 23. In this chapter we read about Josiah’s reforms. “And the king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the priests and the prophets, all the people, both small and great. And he read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant. Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.” ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭23:2-3, 25‬ ‭ESV‬‬ What a joy to have a leader who is zealous for God! Josiah gathered the nation and had the Book of the Law read to them. Imagine if our nation did that today! A national day where everyone gathers and hears the Bible read. Josiah destroyed the centers of pagan worship and re-established the Passover. He was a powerful leader and I am sure that the godless and immoral people opposed him. May God give us leaders like Josiah! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 22. In this chapter we read about King Josiah and the Book of the Law that was found in the Temple. “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left. And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes.” 2 Kings‬ ‭22:1-2, 8-11‬ ‭It is striking to learn that the king did not know the word of God. He was so convicted by what was in the book that he tore his clothes in grief. How many people in our lives are unfamiliar with the word of God? How will they hear? Who will tell them? Without God’s word they don’t know Jesus. May God bless us to eagerly teach our families, friends and neighbors. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 21. In this chapter we read about the wickedness of Manasseh. “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.” 2 Kings‬ ‭21:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Can you imagine how horrible life would be under Manasseh? He wasn’t just apathetic about God, he aggressively pursued false gods and facilitated and participated in worshipping them. All authorities are established by God but not to do evil. Those who make laws promoting and defending immorality will be accountable to God. I wonder, why did God allow this wicked king to rule 55 years? Why do wicked and corrupt people come to power at all? In the end, we must speak the word of God to this generation and stand against everything that is wicked in God’s sight. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 20. In this chapter we read about Hezekiah’s illness. “In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.'” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.””
‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭20:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Can you imagine being told by the prophet of God that you are going to die? What would you do? Hezekiah prayed for God to heal him and extend his life. How has God healed you? How has God extended your life? How does our perspective of knowing Jesus help you when you consider your death? Every day is a gift from God. Some days you have to look very hard to see the gift! May God fill you life with joy and hope! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 19. In this chapter we read about the fear of Hezekiah and the encouragement he receives from the prophet Isaiah. “As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.” When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.'”” 2 Kings‬ ‭19:1-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Have you ever been frightened by the threats of someone else? How did you get past your fear? Hezekiah had Isaiah come and speak God’s word to him. God can and will do the same for you. In your moment of fear, call out to Him and search His word for peace. A contemporary Christian song says, “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” God is bigger than your biggest problem. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 18. In this chapter we read about King Hezekiah and his faithfulness to God. “In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.” 2 Kings‬ ‭18:1-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ As you think of your life, could it be said of you that you did right in eyes of the Lord? What are the areas where you need to repent and change? How does your obedience to God bless others? May God bless others through you and make you a beacon of hope to all who meet you. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 17. In this chapter we read about the wickedness if Israel and their exile into Assyria. “In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced.” ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭17:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬ When God’s people persisted in their wickedness and idolatry, God “cast them out from His sight”. This scenario is reminiscent of Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden. The same would happen to us if we insisted on a life of wickedness and idolatry. Through daily repentance we reject sin, confess it and receive forgiveness. Through the study of God’s word we learn and are reminded of what is pleasing to Him. May God give you a joy-filled heart that gladly seeks His ways. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 16. In this chapter we read about King Ahaz who reigned in Judah (the Southern Kingdom). “In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God, as his father David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree. ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭16:1-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬ What would you give up your son or daughter for? King Ahaz “burned his son as an offering.” Why? We can only speculate. Most likely, he believed that by murdering his son in this cruel and horrific way he would gain the favor and blessing of a god. Our society has for decades murdered our children in a barbaric way to seek the favor of a false god called happiness. Is it really a person’s choice to murder? No. We are to defend the weak and protect the vulnerable. We are to sacrifice ourselves for the good of our children and spouse and not the other way around. Jesus laid down His life for us and so we must lay down our lives because this is right in the eyes of the Lord. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 15. In this chapter the treachery between successive kings continues. We also read about God’s punishments on the kings and people. “And the Lord touched the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and he lived in a separate house. And Jotham the king’s son was over the household, governing the people of the land. In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria. In those days the Lord began to send Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah.” ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭15:5, 29, 37‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The behavior of God’s people, including their kings, was terrible. They were violent and corrupt and worshipped false gods. In response God caused illness, allowed invasions and even sent the invaders. Do you believe God does things like that today? If He did, what could you see as God’s punishments for our sins? How are we similar to the people of Israel and Judah? May you always walk humbly with the Lord. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 2 Kings 14. In this chapter we read about the continued rivalry between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel. “You have indeed struck down Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Be content with your glory, and stay at home, for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?” But Amaziah would not listen. So Jehoash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah faced one another in battle at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah. And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his home. And Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh, and came to Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem for four hundred cubits, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate.” 2 Kings‬ ‭14:10-13‬ ‭ESV‬‬ King Amaziah is feeling confident so he challenges King Jehoash. Jehoash destroys the army of King Amaziah and sacks Jerusalem. Have you ever challenged someone unwisely? Have you ever suffered a defeat for being brash? How would you advise someone who is acting like King Amaziah? May God put you in a position to give wisdom to those around you. Pastor Tim