Category Archives: 2 Chronicles

Zedekiah: A man NOT after God’s own heart!

“Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years.  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the Lord.  He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him take an oath in God’s name.”  2 Chronicles 36:11-13.

There are so many warning signs to see.

How easy for me to dismiss Zedekiah as an isolated someone who gets everything wrong.

Sadly, I am too often like Zedekiah.  The bits and pieces of his life have similarities in my own life.  The biggest takeaway is to see what those bits and pieces look like when they are gathered together.  I certainly would not want to go where Zedekiah’s life choices led, but am I aware of the steps in his direction that I take?

Zedekiah “did evil” consistently.  There were no “brakes” in his lifestyle.  It was what he did without change.  There are times in my life where I know that something I’ve done, or am doing, is flat-out wrong.  When I realize that something is wrong, I have choices.  I can continue, or I can discontinue.  There have been times in my life where I’ve messed that up……..and continued.

Zedekiah was alerted by God, through Jeremiah, that he needed to cease and desist.  He wouldn’t listen.  I read Scripture almost every day and look for things that I can run with.  I am almost constantly being warned of what godlessness looks like and what it’s consequences can be.  I’m not uninformed!  I can read things and then ignore them.  Why?  Like Zedekiah, I don’t want to admit I’m wrong and change.

Zedekiah aggravated someone (Nebuchadnezzar) who could punish him.  Nebuchadnezzar had put Zedekiah in charge. He had Zedekiah swear that he would be loyal.  Now Zedekiah is in rebellion.  When I deliberately disobey God, I act like Zedekiah.  I say that I love God, but do I live that out?  God is not mocked.  He knows everything that I do.  He can/will punish me.  Only a fool would expect otherwise.

Zedekiah is the perfect example of what NOT to do.  I must be aware of moments where I become like him and react in a Godly manner.  Evil must be confronted.  Listening to God, and obeying, is paramount.

Conclusion: I must learn from the life of Zedekiah.

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Closer Walk With God

“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed the ways of his father David, not turning to the right or to the left.  In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David.”  2 Chronicles 34:2-3.

Josiah was sixteen when he began to pursue what God wanted him to do.  And he kept at it.

How wonderful it is to read of someone intentionally seeking God as a teenager.  I look back at the ungodly lefts and rights I took during those years. I had too much of the prodigal son in me.  Just a waste!  But Josiah started early with God and the results of his administration revealed it.

“Seeking God” has no end time.  Josiah started young and continued with God.  I have the same responsibility, at an older age, to pursue Him too.

It also struck me that I need to narrow down a part of my prayer requests.  I get caught generalizing because I don’t have recent information on some folks.  However, when I pray for my wife it doesn’t happen because I can see/hear/watch what is currently going on with her.

When I pray for someone I am out of touch with I can thank God that He does know what is going on with them and that He, in fact, is there with them.

I received a specific insight when I was meditating on today’s two verses.  It involves praying.  I know that I am supposed to pray without ceasing and often struggle with the concept.  What would happen if I asked God what He wants me to do, not for this day, but in this hour?  It would make things more immediate.  I prayed the “What should I do in the next hour?” prayer in the room I was reading the Bible in and the first thing that came to mind was, “You need to vacuum the floor in this room.”  And that I will do after this entry is done!

I’m thinking that there are plenty of small things nearby that I need to be aware of. What if I narrowed the time period to the more immediate and sought God’s Will there?  I’m excited about the possibility it could bring to praying without ceasing.

Conclusions: Seeking God must be a priority at any age. I must consider shortening the time periods I pray about.

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Taking God on a road trip

“But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.  He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”  2 Chronicles 26:16.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Isaiah 6-7, 2 Chronicles 26-27, and Philemon.

The more I read the Old Testament, the more I realize that I have more in common with the “fallen” in the OT than the “successful.”

In today’s story, Uzziah is going good with God.  God is protecting him and is clearly with him.  But the more God does for Uzziah the less he needs God………or so he thinks.

I don’t think that Uzziah’s attitude was an overnight thing.  It was a work in progress.  The climax being Uzziah’s violation of temple procedure.

Uzziah ended up with leprosy because of his action and had it the rest of his life.

I wonder about this story when I try to relate it to my own life.  I am presently on the road and struggling.  I am away from a settled home space and into someone else’s territory.  And it isn’t going well.

After reading today’s story, I can see what has happened.  My close relationship to God is unfortunately directly connected to the setting I’m in.  When I am home, I feel comfortable in my relation with God.  When away, I get uncomfortable.  What’s wrong with this picture?  My relationship to God is mistakenly connected to my circumstances.  What happened to “in all things?”  Out the door, and down the street!

If my relationship to God is the way it should be, it will not change in any location.  He is always the same and I need be as well.  I have been doing the “changing” on the road……..and it’s wrong.

“Lord, I’ve messed things up.  I have changed and like Uzziah it hasn’t been for the better.  I want a close relationship with You that travels.  That is good in every location.  That is mindful of You in every space You place me.  I love You, Father.  Forgive me.  I re-attach myself to You.  Prick my conscience when I move away from You.  I don’t want it to happen.  You are my God.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Can we go on a vacation and still have God with us?


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Leaving God on the sidelines

“Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God…..”  2 Chronicles 16:7.

“Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians.”  2 Chronicles 16:12.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 16, 2 Chronicles 15-16, and Colossians 1.

King Asa had moments of complete surrender to God.  Today’s two examples were from later in his life and reflect anything but surrender to God.

Alternatives show up to replace God.  Tim Keller calls them “counterfeit gods.”

In the first verse, a neighbor’s help takes priority over God’s help.

In the second verse, King Asa turns only to doctors during illness ignoring God entirely.

God is left on the sidelines in both examples.  Lest we look down on Asa, think of how often we do our own versions of the same thing.

The continued bottom line is that God must be my God for all seasons.  I must walk so closely with Him that my reactions in any season are the same: He is the first I consider.

“Lord, Asa’s story is only a sad one until I realize how often I do as he did in my own life.  Forgive me.  I need a closeness to You that brings You to mind FIRST in every situation.  Help me, Father.  I love You.  Take me entirely over right now, I beg.”

What does God want must be my first question.

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Counting on God to get it right

“Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God.” 2 Chronicles 14:2.

“Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, ‘Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty.  Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army.  Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.’” 2 Chronicles 14:11.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 15, 2 Chronicles 13-14, and Philippians 4.

Asa had a terrific relationship going on with God.  They aren’t strangers.  There is interaction.

When trouble comes, and this was BIG trouble, Asa not only sees the size of the trouble but recognizes the “size” of God.

Outnumbered 2-1, it looked like a disaster for Asa’s forces on paper, but the actual result was just the opposite.

My relationship with God must be so close that I can glide for situation to situation aware of His nearness. Some of us lose contact with Him in the good times, others in the bad times, and some all the time.  That loss of contact, kills our relationship with Him.  Asa’s relationship with God was seamless.  A model for each of us to follow.

“Lord, thank You for today’s story.  Having a close relationship with You will cover all seasons of our lives.  We dare not detach from You for a second.  We will always need You.  Remove the obstacles in our lives that are negatively impacting our relationship.  Guide me, O Lord.”

Who do you count on?


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What is hell like?

“They will, however, become subject to him, so that they may learn the difference between serving me and serving the kings of other lands.” 2 Chronicles 12:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 13-14, 2 Chronicles 12, and Philippians 3.

Hell is serving someone/something other than God.

They are all roads to a terminal ending.

They will leave us wanting more than they can give.

They will disappoint us.  God will not.

There are so many things craving for our devotion and there surely are things we should have an interest in, and a concern for.  Our ultimate interest/concern, however, must be for God.

So much of live is shallow.  If I have my health, then I will be happy.  There are a lot of healthy unhappy people around.  How about wealthy and famous?  How troubling are their lives!

But in God we can have peace.  When we don’t have it, we can assume that the “competition” has inroads in us.

“Lord, You are my ultimate trust.  There can be no other gods before You.  I need You.  Prick my conscience when I am chasing counterfeits.  I know better.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.”

Trust in The God and lessen the grip of the counterfeits.  They’re terminal.

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What should I ask God for?

“That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’” 2 Chronicles 2:7.

“Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”  2 Chronicles 2:10.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 3, 2 Chronicles 1, Psalm 78, and 2 Thessalonians 2.

I love the story that goes with these verses.

Would that the leaders of the US be given what Solomon was given!

I read Scripture and write about what I learn from it in this blog.  I am intent on finding applications.  Things I learn that I can hold myself accountable to.

I take today’s verses personally.  I desperately want to live the way God wants me to live.  How often I fail at it!  Why?  Because I’m lacking in one or both things (wisdom & knowledge) that Solomon asked for.

Both of those items MUST be in place.  Try one without the other and problems will be found.

My tendency is to do better in the “knowledge” part.  I get facts but don’t always react wisely to them.  Running through TV channels late at night is not spiritually healthy for me to do.  I know that as a fact but last night I didn’t have the wisdom I needed to not do it.  Deep dive into godless smut.

“Lord, fill me with You.  I beg for Your wisdom and knowledge as I try to live pleasing to You.  Forgive me for trusting myself in anything.  I desperately need You in all things.  Guide me.  Direct my path this day, I beg.  I love You, Lord.”

God gave Solomon wisdom and knowledge because he asked for it.  Won’t he do the same for you and I?


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God is a heart mover

“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:” 2 Chronicles 36:22.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 25, 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 40-41, and Revelation 12.

God will have His way.

We can make plans but God knows the ending.

I do not believe that Cyrus intended to help God …….. but he had no choice.  God owned his heart and God was going to work there to get His will done.

This is God using those who aren’t attached to Him to fulfill His purposes.  That’s powerful.

God used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Israel and Judah.  I doubt that Nebuchadnezzar had intentions to please God but he did anyhow because God ruled his heart.

In our world, we are aware of things beyond our control.  That’s a great realization to have.  We truly have zero control over anything.  We have free will, but God is the ultimate director of where our choices will lead us to.

It is comforting to me to know that God is in charge.  My fears in this area come from my forgetting this important truth.

I want God to work in my heart.  I want every thought/word/deed to please Him.  I must surrender the control of my life to Him and then act accordingly.

“Lord, thank You for the Cyrus story.  We look at the externals (and worry) but You are over everything.  Forgive me for my distrust.  I love You, Father.”

We are not in charge of our lives and we are foolish to think we are.  God rules everything.

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Get on the right track and stay there

“In the first month of the first year of his (Hezekiah) reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them.”  2 Chronicles 29:3.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 29-31, and James 4.

There had been a run of terrible kings but along came Hezekiah.

We have no idea what caused him to be so different from those before him but it must have been something significant.  Talk about night and day!

What impressed me, among many things, was that Hezekiah started changing things for the better immediately.  He didn’t settle into the job of King and think that eventually a change or two might be put in place.  Not him, right away he is into getting the temple back into working order.

In my own life, I need to make immediate and significant changes.  I need to do them now.  Slowl surely doesn’t work.  Too much falling back along the way.  Get things right and stick hard to them.

Hezekiah never wavered and God was pleased with him.  I want that from God.  I want a consistently, Godly lifestyle.  I want to do the right thing without looking back.

“Lord, You are my God.  Guide me each step.  Enable me to be full-time Godly.  Prick my conscience when I am off-course and help me, I beg, to get things right at once.  I love You, Father.”

I need to start each morning in a hurry to be filled with God.


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Am I working at my relationship to God?

“Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.”  2 Chronicles 27:6.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 6-7, 2 Chronicles 26-27, and Philemon.

I am always looking for “role model” material as a read through the Bible.  One of them showed up today in Jotham.

Note the secret to Jotham’s success: “he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.”

Plenty for me to latch onto from Jotham’s example.

The word “steadfastly” is a synonym for “consistently.”  I am a believer with an inconsistent spiritual lifestyle.  I know plenty about what God wants me to do but trying to live it out consistently is a major struggle.

I find myself letting go of God.  I don’t do it deliberately, just often.  I look around, after a while, and wonder why I am drifting along apart from Him.

I do not want to be estranged from God and I know how glorious it is to be close to Him.  But in my weakness, I get loose from Him, and live to regret it.

Jotham’s relationship with God was steadfast.  I am certain that he was intentional about it.  Jotham didn’t drift through many days in a state of unawareness of God.  I do that too often!

My part-time job has ended for three months.  I am home and much more accountable for what I do and don’t do.  I don’t respond well to others holding me accountable.  I have many good intentions but I like to enact them on my terms.  That doesn’t always play well at home!  But where is God in all this?  I need to be steadfastly cultivating my relationship with God.  I need Him at the get-go, plus there must be plenty of interactions throughout the day with Him. I know what I need to do……….will I attach myself to it?

“Lord, thank You for parading role models past my eyes in Your Word.  I need to realize what separates me from You.  Help me to steadfastly follow You.  To be willing to go all-in in my relationship with You.  Forgive me for being so inconsistent at home.  Your Love must shine off me here.  Help me, Father.”

Do you pursue God “steadfastly?”

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