Sunday, November 13, 2016

2 Chronicles 22-23

Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Chronicles 22 and 2 Chronicles 23. (To finish 2 Chronicles this year, we need to read two chapters today. You can do it!) 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?)
  • Jehoram had killed all his brothers (to take away all threats to his reign) and now (22:1) all of his sons except Ahaziah are killed by foreign raiders.
  • Ahaziah enters into alliances with nations he shouldn't have (22:5) which has now become a pattern with his family.
  • We get more details about Ahaziah's "downfall" in 2 Kings 8:28-9:28.
  • Athaliah lived according to her evil desires and thought she got away with it, but in 22:12-13 she learns her ways did not work, and in 22:14-15 she pays the price for her sins.
  • In chapter 23 Jehoida coordinates a coup against Athaliah, who has wrongly taken reign of the kingdom and the coronation of Joash as king, and then seeks to bring the people back to faith in and worship of God.
  • After a long time of not following them, Jehoiada restored the temple and worship there according to the original plan (given in 1 Chronicles 24-25).
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Ahaziah listened to evil advisors who gave him evil advice.We need to not just accept whatever advice is given, but instead make sure it is wise and in accordance with God's Word. God tells us, when we're listening to advice from other people, to "test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
  • Jehoiada the priest takes a stand for God, though it could have cost him his life. It takes courage, but he does what is right, and it has a powerful impact on other people. We need to be discerning about when we need to take a stand and speak up for God or for justice or for people who can't defend themselves.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where do you get advice for how to live life and make your decisions? It might be friends, or it could be talk show hosts, or magazines, or politicians. When you receive advise, or listen to a world view or philosophy, do you "test everything that is said" only holding on to "the good" and 'staying away from every kind of evil"?
    • Can you think of a time when you listened to bad advice and it hurt you?
    • Do you know the Bible well enough to be able to compare the advice you receive to it?
  • Is there anywhere you might need to take a stand? Is God calling you to summon up courage and to do what's right, even if it will go against what everyone else is accepting as normal?