Today I read 2 Kings 24, 25, and Psalm 31, 32. So I am behind again in the reading plan. I will catch up this week. We had a visitor for a bit this week so I didn’t read, I usually fall behind on the weekend. I’m thinking I should read ahead during the week so the weekends are included in the week, and make time to do my reading when visitors are here.
In Kings I read about the fall of Judah, just like the fall of Israel. First Egypt was attacking and taking things, then Babylon came in and took the people prisoner. They left poor people in the land to take care of vineyards and fields. But later the man who was their leader was killed so the remaining people fled to Egypt.
Interesting to read how this was God’s plan against the people of Judah since the time when Manasseh was king of them. 24:3 says, “The LORD commanded this to happen to the people of Judah, to remove them from his presence, because of all the sins of Manasseh. 4 He had killed many innocent people and had filled Jerusalem with their blood. And the LORD would not forgive these sins.” Whoa, the end of verse 4 is just… whoa.
Some interesting things to me are when the kings of these foreign nations make some changes to the country they are attacking. Quite a few times I read how they kidnap the king, take them away to their country, but they reappoint someone else and rename them to fill the position of the person they kidnapped. Weird. And then this, the end of chapter 25 talks about the king of Judah named Jehoiachin. He was held as prisoner in Babylon for 37 years. Then a new king of Babylon came into power and he took Jehoiachin out of prison, gave him an allowance, and gave him a seat of honor higher than the kings in Babylon. But we don’t know why. Weird again!
I read Psalm 32 today. This is an awesome Psalm and I say you should go read it. It starts out with happy is the person whose sins are forgiven, whom the LORD does not consider guilty. It is a Psalm of David and he talks about how he was weak when he kept stuff to himself and then he confessed his sins to God and God forgave his guilt. Interesting what we read earlier in 2 Kings 24:4, how God would not forgive the sins of the nation of Judah. Here David is confessing his sin and God is forgiving him. We know that sin has consequences and we can read about the consequences from David’s sin, but we also know he lived a life where God was most important, even when he messed up. And God forgave him, so David was clean but still caused consequences down the line because of his sin. So with a nation of people is this different, meaning an entire nation can be affected by an evil king? And would a nation’s collective sin cause consequences for those people who are living like David did, with God as most important? So when the nation faced the consequences so did the ‘good’ people? The nation of Judah’s sin was not forgiven by God and he removed the people from his presence, maybe there weren’t any more people left that were putting God first? I am not sure, and it makes me really think about where I am living now, yikes. However, I think the key here is when God said he removed them from his presence. The relationship with God was affected. The nation was removed from God’s favorite place on earth and from where he dwelt in the Temple. But an individual person’s relationship with God can stay intact no matter where their nation is.
Being forgiven takes our relationship with God to a new level. Unforgiven sin builds a wall and the communication with God gets damaged. Believing in Jesus as our savior begins our eternal life and starts our relationship with God. Keeping that relationship connection unaltered and growing stronger takes place when we confessing sin and live to please God. David had this awesome connnection and I am thankful we can read about his life, mistakes, consequences, and successes.