Bible Reading for APR26: II Kings 21-23

APRIL 26

Chapter 21 records the reign of Manasseh. Historians have
calculated that Manasseh ruled jointly with godly Hezekiah for at
least ten years. How strange that godly Hezekiah should reign but 29
years, while ungodly Manasseh reigned 55 years. But God was giving
His people just what they wanted and deserved. No sooner was
Hezekiah off the scene than Manasseh’s true character was revealed.
He built up what Hezekiah tore down and tore down what Hezekiah had
built up. Manasseh even carried his idolatry right into the courts
of the Temple. He rebelled against his godly father’s example and
against the law of the Lord.

Verses 10-15 record the removal of Manasseh. He was captured
by the Assyrian captains and taken to Babylon. He later repented of
his sins and when he was restored to the throne he immediately began
to repair the damage he had done. He fortified Jerusalem against the
enemy; he removed the idols and the strange altars; and he sought to
lead the nation back to the Lord. Following the death of Manasseh,
his son Amon reigned as king for two years. He was also a wicked
king, and was slain in a conspiracy and buried near his father.

The assassination of Amon brought Josiah to the throne at
the young age of eight years. Because of godly influence in his
early life, Josiah began to seek the Lord at age 16. Then, at age
twenty, he began to purify the city and the land of the idolatry of
Manasseh and Amon. Josiah’s ultimate goal was to restore the Temple
and bring the nation back to the Lord, but he knew that he would
have to destroy the old sins before he could establish new
obedience.

During Josiah’s day there was peace and blessing, but God
did not withdraw His original promise of judgment because of the
sins of Manasseh. Josiah, the king who attempted to restore the
nation of Israel back to God, was assassinated and will best be
remembered as a king who wanted his people to know that they had
been “bought with a price.”

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