Saturday, May 7, 2016

2 Kings 15

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Kings 15. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  •  Another king, this time Azariah (or Uzziah; they are alternate spellings of the same name), does a lot that's right, but still does not take down the "high places" - the places where people were making sacrifices to God but were not supposed to (verse 4). Later in the chapter we see that Jotham did the same thing when he ruled over Judah (see verses 34-35).
  • Leprosy (verse 5) was apparently a punishment for Azariah wrongly taking the role of priest. We learn more about what he was doing in 2 Chronicles 26:16-21.
  • The "northern kingdom" of Israel experiences a long period of political instability, with several assassinations, some of which we see in this chapter.
  • In verse 19 we read about Pul (which was the Babylonian name of the Assyrian ruler Tiglath-Pileser III) invading Israel. This westward movement and invasion by Pul is also written about in the Assyrian annals as well. (So this stuff isn't "just in the Bible.")
  • In verse 32 we switch from looking at the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel to the kings of the southern kingdom (called Judah).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Both Azariah (Uzziah) and Jotham basically did good and basically pleased God. But both followed the example of their fathers and allowed the same grievous sin to continue that their fathers had.
  • The truth is that it's hard to overcome the influence of the poor models in their lives. It's also critical that we overcome the influence of the poor models in their lives. One way we can do that is by finding better influences to spend time with and follow their example.
  • It's also important to think about the influence we have. If other people (especially your children, if you have any) were to watch and follow your example, would it lead them to a life that fully honors God? If not, if you're modeling (perhaps hiding) a behavior that

NOW WHAT?
(How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Who are the people you tend to look up to? Are they providing an example you should follow? If not, ask God to help you stop admiring their way of life and to help you find some new models to follow.
  • Who looks up to you? Kids or family members? Co-workers? Friends? What kind of example are you setting? Is there something about your life that needs to change, so you don't lead someone else in the wrong direction?