Don’t Live Like a King
What influences you in our culture? The kings of old were influenced negatively and influenced others negatively. But there were also righteous kings who chose to influence others for righteousness. We have much to learn from the kings we read about today. What “not” to do, for sure, but also so much can learn about what we need to do, as well. Don’t live like a king—imitate Christ the King.
Overview of Today’s Reading
2 Kings 21 details the reign of Judah’s King Manasseh and then King Amon. In chapter 22-23 we learn about Judah’s King Josiah’s reign and the reforms he made, along with a couple more Kings in Judah—Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim. In Chapter 24 Jehoiakim’s rebellion and deportations to Babylon happens. And then we end today’s reading with Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem.
Bible Reading of the Day: 2 Kings 21-25
Reading from 2 Kings 21:1-2, “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother was Hephzibah. 2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.”
Y’all – the king was 12 years old!!! But that does not compare with Josiah who was 8. It was a different time and culture for sure. But notice why God was displeased and what was evil about King Manasseh. He followed the detestable practices of the pagan nation.
Don’t Live Like a King—Don’t follow the culture
I see it more now than ever. I think once you are over 50 years old everything comes together. The culture around us is pervasive with anti-God messages. If we don’t resist these messages, we will be carried away by them.
Don’t Live Like a King—Don’t Serve Idols
Manasseh’s son King Amon wasn’t any better than Dad. In 2 Kings 21:20 it says “He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. 21 He followed the example of his father, worshiping the same idols his father had worshiped. 22 He abandoned the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and he refused to follow the Lord’s ways.”
Kings imitated the culture around them and influenced kings who followed. Don’t live like a King who follows the culture. We can decide to be counter-culture.
Don’t Live Like a King—Be Like King Jesus
We are all imitating someone or something. Influences are all around us. God’s word. The culture. People.
In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul said “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.”
Friends, not only do we need to not imitate the wicked culture around us, but we need to set an example for the believers and for the culture around us.
I used to tell my children when they were little that it was not just the avoidance of evil, but the example of righteousness they needed to set. King Josiah would be a king worth imitating. He imitated King David. 2 Kings 22: 2, “2 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.”
Let God’s Word Be The Biggest Influence In Your Life
2 Ki 22:8 “Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!” Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it. 11 When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair. 12 Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: 13 “Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah. Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found.”
Josiah then made reforms in accordance with the influence the word of God had on him. You see it is not enough to say we believe. We act according to that belief.
Josiah tore down altars and high places used for idolatry and spiritual adultery and he reinstituted the celebration of the Passover.
Friends, we might feel like our culture is too far gone, but God is asking us if we will be like King Josiah today. Will we influence our culture more than it influences us? Will we imitate Christ?
Scripture of the Day: 2 Kings 23:25
“25 Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses. And there has never been a king like him since.”
After King Josiah, King Jehoiakim became king and then Nebuchadnezzar laid siege of Jerusalem. Such a consequence for turning away from the LORD, friends.
- Live for an audience of One.
- Don’t imitate the culture. Imitate Jesus.
- It is not enough to say we believe. We act according to that belief.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #212: 2 Kings 21-25
Scripture of the Day: 2 Kings 23:25
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