Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 19, 2015

“You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Chronicles chapter 24.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+24&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah from Beersheba.  2 Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

17 But after the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them.  18 They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols;  so wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their guilt.  19 Yet He sent prophets to them to bring them back to the Lord;  though they testified against them, they would not listen.

20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest;  and he stood above the people and said to them, “Thus God has said, ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper?  Because you have forsaken the Lord, He has also forsaken you.’”  21 So they conspired against him and at the command of the king they stoned him to death in the court of the house of the Lord.  22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which his father Jehoiada had shown him, but he murdered his son.  And as he died he said, “May the Lord see and avenge!”

23 Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him;  and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.  24 Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men;  yet the Lord delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers.  Thus they executed judgment on Joash.

25 When they had departed from him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and murdered him on his bed.  So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.  26 Now these are those who conspired against him:  Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess.”  2 Chronicles 24:1-2 and 17-26.

———————————–

As long as Jehoiada the priest was alive, Joash did what was right in the sight of the Lord.  Verse 2.

But after the death of Jehoiada, Joash listened to the bad counsel of the officials of Judah.  “They abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols”.  Verses 17 and 18.

Even though the LORD sent good prophets to bring them back to Him, Joash would not listen to the good prophets from the LORD.  Joash even murdered the son of Jehoiada the priest.  Verses 19-22.

But, Joash and his people suffered the consequences of forsaking the LORD.  “Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him;  and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.”  And, “his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and murdered him on his bed.”  Verses 23-25.

We are reminded of the importance of good friends, good counselors, good elders, good spouse, and good rulers that was the theme of a recent devotion.

“He who walks with wise men will be wise,
But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”  Proverbs 13:20.

We should avoid foolish friends, foolish counselors, foolish elders, foolish spouse, and foolish rulers.

We wonder if part of the problem was that some Jews married foreign women of different religions.  “Now these are those who conspired against him:  Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess.”  Verse 26.

Despite the wisdom of King Solomon, foreign women turned his heart from the LORD.

“Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh:  Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.”  Solomon held fast to these in love.  He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.  For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites.  Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done.”  1 Kings 11:1-6.

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