shopper July 29 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Jeremiah 47; 2Kings 23:29-30; 2Chronicles 35:20- 36:1; Jeremiah 22:1-17; 2Kings. 23:31-37; 2Chronicles 36:2-5

The Danger of Impulsiveness

Almost all of us are guilty of this at one time or another—impulse buying. We go into a store, not exactly sure what we want to buy, see something we like, and buy it. A day or two later we have buyers regret: “why did we need that anyway?” We wish we had not been so hasty. A lot of times these decisions are small and do not have much consequence. However, when we make a big mistake because we were rash in our actions, it can affect us or others in great or even disastrous ways.

From 640–609 B.C. Josiah was a good king of the nation of Judah. He destroyed the idols in their land and Samaria and required the people to worship the true God of heaven. Then Josiah cleaned up the temple, removed the idols, and had it repaired and restored. While his workmen were cleaning it out and purifying it for use, Hilkiah the priest found a book of the Law of Moses (probably Deuteronomy). He told Shaphan the scribe to take it to the king. When he read it to the king, Josiah was alarmed and sent a message to a local prophetess, Huldah, who resided in Jerusalem, to find out if these things were true. Indeed they were true; God intended on using Babylon to destroy Judah for her wickedness and idolatry and to carry most of them into exile. Good King Josiah, however, would not see the destruction because he humbled himself and sought the LORD. Rather than satisfying himself with the assurance that disaster would not happen on his watch, however, he led the people in a great revival.

In today's Bible reading, Jeremiah prophesies that Egypt will attack the Philistines at Gaza, and later another powerful nation (Babylon) will destroy all the Philistines at Ashkelon (Jeremiah 47). Israel's old enemies, the Philistines, will be destroyed—that is God's grace.

Egypt's attack on Gaza happens in 609 B.C. Josiah receives a report that Egypt is coming through their land to support Assyria against a fight from Babylon at Carchemish. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the O.T., edited by Walvoord and Zuck, ©1985, p.1194). Even though it is not his fight, King Josiah hastily attacks Egypt, fearing that an Egyptian or Assyrian victory could spell trouble for Judah. Apparently, he reckons that Babylon will be more merciful than his other foes. Josiah does not ask counsel of the LORD and ignores God's warning given through Pharoah Neco, the king of Egypt, to stay out of the conflict. Josiah is shot with arrows and killed in battle (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the O.T., p.584, 648).

Upon King Josiah’s death, the people choose Jehoahaz, a son of Josiah, to be their king. He is not the firstborn, which is an unusual choice, unless the firstborn son was killed in battle or otherwise indisposed (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the O.T. p.585). The LORD sent Jeremiah to the new king to proclaim this message:

“Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, you who sit on David's throne—you, your officials and your people who come through these gates. This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place. For if you are careful to carry out these commands, then kings who sit on David's throne will come through the gates of this palace, riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by their officials and their people. But if you do not obey these commands, declares the LORD, I swear by myself that this palace will become a ruin” (Jeremiah 22:2-5, NIV)

Instead of heeding the Word of the LORD, to the great benefit of the king and the nation, Jehoahaz pursues selfish interests—he builds his palace and doesn't pay the laborers. He is not a good king like his father.

God says “… your eyes and your heart are set only on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion” (Jeremiah 22:17, NIV).

Jehoahaz’s selfish interests lead to his exile in Egypt. Pharaoh Neco replaces him with his brother Eliakim and changes his name to Jehoiakim. Unfortunately, Jehoiakim is also wicked.

Lessons to Live By

  • Let's not be hasty in our decisions to our disadvantage and maybe our ruin. We should ask the Lord what He would want us to do and follow His guidance from His Word, the Bible.

  • Do we know God? He not only gives guidance, but He also offers forgiveness, peace, and spiritual life (more...).

  • We must not lead from selfish interests, lest we and our organization be harmed. We should realize the grace of God upon us and lead people in their best interests.

Focus Verse

Philippians 2:3 (NIV) “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

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A Look Ahead: Let's not just be Sunday Christians. Let's be Christians all the time. Learn more in our Next Lesson.

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