I was generously given a copy of Milton Vincent's The Gospel Primer this week. Not sure it's available in the UK yet but it's a helpful daily tool to get me preaching the gospel to myself. I'm loving this award winning poem by Karsten Piper: Luke 18:25. Read it, then check the reference. Sam Storms - Acts 20 & Jude, mp3s sounds like it'll be good on the iPod.
Studying the back end of 2 Chronicles today I was struck that there are eight kings mentioned between 35v20 and the end of the book (seven if you go with the slightly shorter ending and finish at v21, which I think I probably do, but anyway...)
Five kings of Israel all of whom fail to recognise the voice of God. Particularly tragic is the first, Josiah, who had previously read the entire law to God's people. His 18 year reign of reformation ends in shame as he dies a death like that of word-hater Ahab. Within 22 years the nation is forcibly removed into exile.
Three are foreign kings and they're all people who speak God's word to God's people. Neco of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and Cyrus of Persia. Israel should have been a light to the nations but the nations had to speak the word to them and call them to faithfulness. And the people still didn't listen.
They were hard hearted and stiff necked in their last days just as in their first days after the exodus. Nothing changed (somewhat of a testimony to the powerlessness of the law). They also had Jeremiah, a man whose heart delighted in God's word (Jer 15v16), whom they ignored. No wonder he lamented. And no wonder, eventually the slow anger of God burned against them. No wonder the land breathed a sigh of relief as it was purged of sin, only to have to start groaning again later, waiting for the true king to come. A king who will speak God's word to his people and to all peoples. A king who will be the Word of God.
Ed Goode - also blogging about Josiah
My copies of Tim Keller's The Reason for God and Tim Challies The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment arrived today so I'm off to read them.