2 Chronicles 31-32 B

“But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown to him, and he became proud. So the Lord’s anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.” 32:25

Out of all of Hezekiah’s ups and downs with the Lord, I find this one the most relatable. Receiving God’s mercy and responding ungratefully, with pride. I wonder what the details are here. Did he brag about special treatment he received from the Lord? Did he try to take credit for something only God can do?

Later, in the book of Luke, this concept comes up again. Jesus heals 10 men with leprosy and only one turns back to thank and praise him for this miracle.

It’s not too late to turn back and thank God for something he’s done in your life.

“Then Hezekiah humbled himself and repented of his pride, as did the people of Jerusalem. So the Lord’s anger did not fall on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime.” 32:26

When has God healed you?

Where have you let pride move in? Is there something incredible about your story that you are trying to sneak credit for?

God is gracious; but he doesn’t tolerate pride. Ask him where you need humility in your life. (And brace yourself, because he’s sure to point it out!)

-Carly

2 Chronicles 29-30 B

Hezekiah is a big deal. He gets a lot of coverage in Kings and Chronicles for how he’s able to turn the ship around after a horrible king. Unfortunately, he’s sandwiched by another horrible king. He stands alone.

He’s a contemporary of Isaiah, and it’s generally accepted (if my memory serves) that they were related: First cousins, maybe.

I love Hezekiah and how to sends out Kingdom wide invites to a Passover. He takes his time, making sure the temple is properly consecrated. After all these many days of extreme overhaul, it says this:

“Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.” (‭‭29:36)

It happened suddenly, by their count. One day, you’ve got a menacing king who offers human sacrifice, and the next, the temple is clean and worship of the LORD is reinstated.

This gives me hope that with a few weeks of earnest work, a nation can be changed suddenly. It’s not promised to last forever, but just as “too good to last” can be true, the opposite also applies.

Nothing truly lasts. The world changes up and down, back and forth. Patience, endurance and hard work when opportunities come is important. Where do you find yourself today?

-Bethany

2 Chronicles 27-28 B

Just the other day I was feeling bored and ready to move on from Chronicles. Something I love about reading the Bible alongside a good friend is the accountability it provides; I continue to pick up my Bible and trudge through.

But the past few days I’ve been so fueled by the chapters and today’s reading felt the same. I needed to be reminded that ultimately God is on the throne, even when godless men wear the (temporary) crown.

One minute, Jotham is reigning over Jerusalem and walking steadfastly before the Lord, and the next minute Ahaz is using his kingship to close the doors of the Temple and sacrifice his children to Baal. Burned his children alive in an act of “worship” to a statue, you guys.

We can’t rely on people, even the godly ones. Because they come and go, they change their minds, they age or move or step down. If you feel discouraged in this area of life right now, lean into the Lord.

He’s the Solid Rock, the Good Shepherd and he never changes, gives up or wavers in his faithfulness to us. The only King we can count on!

-Carly

2 Chronicles 25-26 B

“He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God prospered him.” (26:5)

“But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the LORD his God, for he entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.” (26:16)

Sometimes when we’ve experienced blessing from the LORD over an extended period of time, we are tempted to either let it go to our heads, or go rogue; assuming His blessing will follow us unconditionally.

We must always walk in humility and check ourselves for this kind of thinking. We are not entitled to His blessing and power. He graciously bestows it on us as our hearts are postured toward Him.

Uzziah was, at one time, seeking the LORD, and this was His time of favor. When we are looking to Him for wisdom, depending on Him and obeying His commands, we are in a favorable position.

Check your heart today for any areas of entitlement, and seek the LORD for where He desires to lead.

-Bethany

2 Chronicles 23-24 B

What a wild ride we’re on. It’s so sad to read about Joash crumpling up his relationship with the Lord and tossing it over his shoulder so easily. Part of me throws up my hands in disbelief and the other part of me can deeply relate.

Maybe Baal seemed more tangible. Maybe the Asherah poles were an easier thing to worship. It didn’t require a relationship, just mindless religious behavior. God wants our heart, he wants faith and surrender from us, daily. Manmade objects? They don’t need anything from us. They’re easier; but they also don’t mean a thing. They’re distractions, puppets with their strings being pulled by Satan.

“They decided to abandon the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they worshiped Asherah poles and idols instead! Because of this sin, divine anger fell on Judah and Jerusalem. Yet the Lord sent prophets to bring them back to him. The prophets warned them, but still the people would not listen.” 24:18-19

My heart lurched reading that last couple verses. They decided to abandon God, yet he sent prophets to bring them back in. He loves us so much. He is relentless in his efforts to save us, even when we’re blindly rebelling and abandoning him. He gives us chance after chance and comes after us when we run away.

When is a time you’ve seen God send someone to come after you when you wander away? He is the best Shepherd.

 

-Carly

 

2 Chronicles 21-22 B

Things take a pretty steep dive into bloody chaos following the death of Jehoshaphat. For a moment, it seems the line of David could be toast.

“Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath the king’s daughter took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she would not put him to death. He was hidden with them in the house of God six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.” (22:10-12‬)

It is incredible how many times the LORD manages to save the last shred of hope in the darkness hour. The end could have come many times over, but here we are, preserved. He uses the one couple in the royal family still faithful to the LORD to keep the line of David from being destroyed.

But no one knew that. Think about those six years. The remnant of Israel, everyone who still feared the LORD, must have been confused. Devastated. David’s line is gone? Every descendant is dead? What about the promise to have a son of David on the throne forever?

Six years of not knowing Joash had been spared. Six years of Athaliah on the throne, making her own reforms. Six years on the heels of an already bad slide following Jehoshaphat’s death.

Hopelessness can make you real sick. Times are tough now (not quite this tough, but still) and I hear a lot of people praying for Jesus to come back pronto and officially let the world burn. Things can seem hopeless.

But we can’t always know about the hidden Joashes. We don’t know what the LORD can still accomplish on the earth in our lifetimes or the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. It doesn’t have to be hopeless, because we can still have faith that a descendant of David is enthroned, even when we can’t see Him.

Where in your life are you currently feeling hopeless? Is there a promise of God you need to remember and cling to? He keeps His promises even when we don’t see them being kept. We don’t have any real right to always have the inside scoop on what the LORD is doing. All we can have is faith.

-Bethany

2 Chronicles 19-20 B

There are a lot of great verses to cherry pick in these chapters! I was drawn to one in particular, but since Bethany wrote a post about it last time, I’ll just redirect you to it.

I love the story in 20:22. As the army of Judah is humbling themselves through worship, God is behind them defeating their enemies and winning their battle before it even starts.

“When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.

When have you turned to face your battle and realized God had already stepped into it before you arrived? I love stories about God providing things before we need them.

You are not alone, God loves you and he is with you. He can take on your problems and then he’ll let you plunder and enjoy the goodness his victory brings.

-Carly