Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 17; 1 Kings 17

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Our Scripture reading is 2 Chronicles 17 and 1 Kings 17. Our text is historically rich and represents a spiritual crossroads in the history of Judah and Israel. Therefore, I will post two devotions today, with the first taken from 2 Chronicles 17.

 

2 Chronicles 17 – A Revival in Judah

 

Jehoshaphat’s Ascension to the Throne of Judah (17:1-5)

 

Having learned from the failures of his father, Asa, Jehoshaphat became Judah’s fourth king. “And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto Baalim; 4  But sought to the LORD God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings [sins and wickedness] of Israel” (2 Chronicles 17:3-4).

While the people of Israel to the north suffered oppression due to the wickedness of their kings, the people of Judah experienced a spiritual revival. King Jehoshaphat, the son of the late king Asa, turned his heart to the LORD and began to walk in the way of God’s Law and Commandments (2 Chronicles 17:4). Because of Jehoshaphat’s faithfulness, the LORD blessed Judah, and the people brought to the king “presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance” (2 Chronicles 17:5).

Jehoshaphat’s Commitment to Spiritual Instruction (17:6-9)

 

After he removed the idol places, Jehoshaphat dispatched five “princes” (emissaries of the king) throughout Judah (2 Chronicles 17:7). Those leaders were charged with ensuring that the people of Judah were instructed in the Word, the Law, and the Commandments (2 Chronicles 17:8). To fulfill the king’s command, two priests and nine Levites accompanied the king’s princes and were responsible for instructing the people in “the book of the law of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 17:7-9).

 

Jehoshaphat’s Influence on Neighboring Nations (17:10-11)

 

As God blessed Jehoshaphat, the “fear of the LORD” fell upon Judah’s neighbors, who paid tribute to Judah (2 Chronicles 17:10-11). “Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store [storehouses of provisions]. 13And he had much business [trade] in the cities of Judah” (2 Chronicles 17:12–13a).

The king’s love and dedication to the LORD and His Law, inspired “mighty men of valour” to rally around him in Jerusalem, and the nation experienced a season of peace and prosperity (2 Chronicles 17:13-19).

 

Closing thoughts:

I invite you to take a few minutes and ponder our nation and world’s troubles today. We live in a world where disease, famine, pandemics, and political corruption are a perpetual menace. In the hour when we need integrity in government, we are void of solid leadership in every aspect of society. Even Bible-believing churches and institutions are plagued with weak, pathetic spiritual leaders who lack passion and conviction.

Is there hope for these troubled times?

Is there hope for these troubled times?  Yes, but the answer is the same as in Judah’s day. Our homes, churches, nation, and world need leaders who, like Jehoshaphat, will lead us to repent of our sins, turn to the LORD, and walk in the ways of His Law and Commandments (2 Chronicles 17:3-5, 10, 12-13).  

Our homes and society will not be healed until we confess our sins, turn to the LORD, and repent.

 

2 Chronicles 7:1414If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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