Today’s Reading: 1 KINGS 15:16-22; 2 CHRONICLES 16:1-10; 1 KINGS 16:1-34; 1 KINGS 15:23-24; 2 CHRONICLES 16:11-17:19; 1 KINGS 17:1-7
Today we continue down the depressing path of history that is the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Each king seems to do more evil in the eyes of the lord than the previous one. Lessons learned by one king do not seem to get passed down to their son. Idol worship continues. Foreign armies come and go as they please. Thousands of men are dying. The glory days of King David and Solomon are well past gone.
While the turmoil in the history of the people of Israel continues, the permanence of God and who He is has stayed the same.
The City of Jericho
Over 500 years prior to when we are reading right now, Joshua fit the battle of Jericho. The people of Israel marched around the city for seven days, blew their trumpets and the walls came a tumbling down. A great day in the history of the people of Israel. A great day for God to demonstrate his power and love for his people. I posted about the Battle of Jericho back on March 23rd in a post entitled Wonderful Grace of Jesus.
One of the points to recall in that story of Jericho is the solemn oath that Joshua made after Israel has completely destroyed the city as God had commanded. This is what the Lord said:
Joshua 6:26 – 27 (NIV)
26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:
“At the cost of his firstborn son
will he lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
will he set up its gates.”
27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.
Today we read how God remembered the solemn oath of Joshua. 500 years later God remember something that one of his faithful one said. 500 years later God fulfilled a promise. Granted, it is not a new idea that God fulfills promises years later. The New Testament is filled with references to fulfilled promises about the Messiah. But here is just a little promise or solemn oath made 500 years ago that is fulfilled.
I Kings 16:34 (NLT)
34 It was during his reign that Hiel, a man from Bethel, rebuilt Jericho. When he laid its foundations, it cost him the life of his oldest son, Abiram. And when he completed it and set up its gates, it cost him the life of his youngest son, Segub. This all happened according to the message from the Lord concerning Jericho spoken by Joshua son of Nun.
This begs a questions – since God is so powerful, awesome and all knowing. Is there anything he can not remember?
Jeremiah 31:31 – 34 (NIV) (cf. Hebrews 8:7 – 12)
31 “The time is coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to] them, ”
declares the LORD.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”
Is it possible that God is unable to remember our sins? No, it means God has chosen not to remember our sins. It is a conscious decision he has made to forgive and forget. This is only done through the life giving blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:15 (NIV)
15For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.