Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Evil, Idols, and Ears

2 Chronicles 36:1-5; 2 Kings 23:31-24:4; and Jeremiah 22:1-23, 26:1-24, 25:1-14.

Jehoahaz. . .reigned in Jerusalem for three months (he was Jeremiah's grandson). . .He did what was evil in the LORD's sight, just as his ancestors had done. . .Pharaoh Neco put Jehoahaz in prison. . .then installed Eliakim, another of Josiah's sons, to reign. . .he changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. . .he did what was evil in the LORD's sight, just as his ancestors had done. (2 Kings 23:31-37) So. . .how did Josiah fail to pass down his devotion to God to his sons?

"People from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, 'Why did the LORD destroy such a great city?' And the answer will be, 'Because they violated their covenant with the LORD their God by worshiping other gods." (Jeremiah 22:8-9)

These disasters happened to Judah according to the LORD's command. He had decided to remove Judah from His presence because of the many sins of Manasseh. He had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD would not forgive this. (2 Kings 24:3-4)

"Again and again, the LORD has sent you His prophets, but you have not listened or even tried to hear. Each time the message was this: 'Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the LORD gave to you and your ancestors forever. Do not make me angry by worshiping the idols you have made. Then I will not harm you.' But you would not listen to me," says the LORD. "You made me furious by worshiping your idols, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. And now the LORD Almighty says: Because you have not listened to me, I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the other nations near you. I will completely destroy you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever." (Jeremiah 25:4-9)

Oh, LORD, show me my idols. I've set my heart to worship You alone, but without Your strength, I'll turn to those old familiar idols I have made every time. . .idols of comfort, control, fear of man, performance. . .

Give me ears to hear You moving, LORD. Give me ears that hear You whispering, singing, rebuilding, restoring. Use my ears to spur my feet to action and my heart to compassion for Your concerns, Your workings in my world.

THANK YOU that You are allowing me to be the redemptive generation, the place where those generational sins get brought to the foot of the Cross and covered in the blood of Jesus. . .THANK YOU for telling me I'm thirsty, for quenching that thirst with Yourself, with Your Word. You're blessing me with a beautiful garment of praise!

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