Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Revival and Reformation (part 1)

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
How long has it been since you sat down and read Second Chronicles in the Bible?
There are some happy things in it, like King Jehoshaphat sending the choir out to sing in front of the army that had to meet the huge armies of Moab, Ammon, and Edom (chapter 20). God wonderfully delivered His people. Jehoshaphat led out in wonderful revivals and reformations, but "the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers" (20:33), and the Lord destroyed the ships that the king had built (vs. 37). His son Jehoram rebelled against the Lord (chapter 21). His son Ahaziah was also evil (chapter 22).

Next came the reign of terror under Queen Athaliah (22:10). Then the beautiful story of how the priest Jehoiada saved the royal infant Joash and put him on the throne (chapter 23). And guess what King Joash did when he grew up? Turned away from the godly example of Jehoiada, and murdered Jehoiada's son Zechariah (24:17-22; this was in the 8th century before Christ, yet He fixed the guilt for that murder on the Jewish leaders of His day; Matt. 23:35).

Joash's son Amaziah was also an evil king (chapter 25), followed by a good king, Uzziah. What a welcome relief to have a king who did what was right and whom God blessed! "But when [King Uzziah] was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction"; he grew arrogant, and that led to his downfall (26:16). He was stricken with leprosy for his arrogance (vss. 19-21).

King Hezekiah was a welcome relief from the almost endless litany of rebellion against the Lord, but at the end, he too was out of harmony with God's blessed will for him, and he left the most awful legacy on the nation--gave them his son Manasseh, the most wicked king Judah ever had (Jer. 15:4).

King Josiah was Hezekiah's grandson, and he was a "perfect" king, did everything exactly right, followed the Spirit of Prophecy meticulously (chapters 34-35), but ended up rejecting the living demonstration of the Spirit of Prophecy because it came to him from an unlikely source--the mouth of the King of Egypt (35:20-24). He died in the battle that God expressly told him not to go into, and from then on it was downhill all the way for Jerusalem, the Temple, and for David's Kingdom until King Zedekiah and the burning of the Temple and the city, "there was no remedy" (36:15, 16).

What went wrong? Why were all those revivals and reformations so short-lived? Why are ours today? The answer: they were all based on Old Covenant principles. Yes, the Old Covenant was good; but not good enough! [More tomorrow.]

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: October 10, 1999.
Copyright © 2012 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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