Today’s Reading – 2 Kings 20 – 22 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Joshua 1:8
Read the “0503 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read: Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and shall not be quenched. But to the king of Judah which sent you to enquire of the LORD, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again.” (2 Kings 22:16-20)
After the Word of God was discovered in the Temple while renovations were being made, King Josiah realized that the southern kingdom of Judah was far away from where she once was, and where she should have been. The king is a great man and desperately wants to get things right with the Lord, so he goes to a woman, named Huldah, a prophetess, who explained to him that judgment was certainly in store for Judah for the sins of her past. However, the good news is that the coming judgment would be postponed until after the days of King Josiah. Why? Because his heart was tender, and he was greatly humbled before God. He was determined to do what was right and lead the people of God to submit to whatever God commanded them to do.
Fast forward a couple of hundred years, way past the time of Josiah, and also past the horrible judgment that was prophesied by the prophetess as well as by others. Jerusalem had been completely destroyed, including the Temple, and the people of God had been living in captivity for seventy years, first in Babylon and then in Persia. God now opens up a window for the people of God to go back into the land of Judah, rebuild the Temple and the City of Jerusalem, and worship and serve the Lord as God had commanded them through Moses. Ezra the priest was leading a remnant of the people of God in worship, and explained to them that God had given them grace for a “little space.”
“And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 9:6-9)
I believe that God will give America a space of grace as well, even though judgment is certainly warranted for our sins as a nation. We have forsaken God; we have tolerated, condoned, and even promoted all kinds of vile immorality; and we have murdered the unborn by the millions. Our country certainly has judgment in its future, and it may be that we are experiencing some of that right now through this pandemic. But, we can also get that space of grace, if we will simply humble ourselves and submit to the will of the Lord.
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If 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.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 4 comments.