This week was a crazy journey through the wicked and upright Kings of Judah and Israel. It was sad to see that the wicked Kings were in far greater numbers than those who were seeking God. Of the 38 Kings listed, 19 for each kingdom, only 10 were found to be righteous before the Lord.
As I read the account of King Hezekiah in II Chronicles 29, I found myself immersed in the richness of the story and I was cheering from the sidelines for all he was to accomplish in turning the hearts of Judah back to God. He went back to the Book of Law and began reinstating every command given to the Israelites. I was hopeful that finally God's kingdom would be at peace again after finding their way back to him. For 29 years he worked to return the people to righteousness.
As I turned the page to chapter 33, I wasn't two verses in before seeing that Hezekiah's son, Manasseh did evil in the eyes of the Lord. WHAT? The story doesn't say he slipped a little, it goes on to say he sacrificed his sons in the fire, practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft. I was blown away. How could father and son be so different? What went wrong? We can certainly speculate from our perspective, but we may never know.
I continued doing some research through my Zondervan Handbook of the Bible and found another archaeological find that confirms more of the authenticity of the bible. In II Kings 18 and II Chronicles 32, while Hezekiah is King, Sennacherib, the King of Assyria threatens to invade Jerusalem. King Hezekiah and Isaiah cried out in prayer and the troops of Assyria scattered and never entered Jerusalem. A tablet called the "Taylor Prism" was found in the ruins of Nineveh in 1830 that gives an account from King Sennacherib of this very battle. But of course, he doesn't admit that he was defeated by the God of Israel! The King's records never told of anything bad or any defeats in battle.
I hope those who are participating are keeping up with their reading. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed reading this history. I found this verse to be very encouraging:
"The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth
to strengthen those whose hearts
are fully committed to him."
II Chronicles 16:9
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