Friday, April 25, 2014

2 Kings 13-15

It seems like 2 Kings 13-15 is even more of a bad soap opera than yesterday's reading.  Evil, bribery, treason, murderous plots, greed, and personal gain rule the land.  Following King Joash's assignation, his son, Amaziah, takes over as king of Judah.  Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, becomes king of Israel in Samaria.  These kings are succeeded by several others, whose names I cannot even begin to pronounce.  There's King Jehoash who fights against King Amaziah, followed by Azariah (who had leprosy), Jeroboam, Zechariah, Uzziah, Jotham, Shallum, Manehem, Pekahiah, Pekah, and Hoshea.  What do I do with all of this?  

I do the only thing I can do when I just don't get it.  I talk to God and say a little prayer for guidance and help in pulling some meaning from my reading.  Because no matter how lost and confused I am, God's Word always finds a way to shine some light in my life.  

So, what stands out to me today?

Sentences like these...(these refer to Jotham, son of Uzziah, King of Judah)

34 He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, just as his father Uzziah had done. 35 Nevertheless the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord.

"Nevertheless"...that's what gets me.  To me, it's like saying, He did well, but he still didn't take care of...."

During Bible times, these "high places" referred to hills or mountains where God's people either attempted to worship God or idols "their way," taking matters into their own hands.  "High places" were contrary to God's sovereign way.

The "high places" in our lives today are things that hinder the fullness of our faith, no matter how much we try to avoid them, ignore them, justify them, or pretend they aren't there.  

If we don't deal with them, "high places" in our lives can make things really confusing and messy, like they continue to do for Israel.  Thank goodness we have a High Priest in our Lord and Savior- who not only redeems us, He heals us and sets us free.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

I thank You for loving me.  Forgive me for all the places in my life where my priorities do not line up with Your sovereign and perfect will for me.

I pray for Your guidance and discernment to know what I need to bring to You for Your healing and transforming touch.  I know Your ways are much higher than my ways.

I am trying to do the right thing for You, Lord, but I am struggling with ________________.  Help me, please.

I know ____________ is also struggling.  Please be with him/her/them as well.

In the name of Jesus I pray,

Peace of Christ,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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