As I have read through the Chronicles in the Old Testament, I’ve thought a whole lot about the Jews and the tragedy of their ultimately going into captivity in Babylon. For all those years, they had thought that they knew what was best for them ~ to have a king to lead them. Most of the kings were very wicked; and the final one ~ King Nebuchadnezzar ~ had the temple, which King Solomon built, destroyed. In II Chronicles 36:19 it says And they burnt the house of God, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels thereof. My heart hurt when I read that verse - trying to envision the darkness of that day when the temple was burned to the ground.
Under the leadership of many evil kings, the Children of Israel continued to make very poor choices. II Chronicles 7:22 says Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them. In the end, God’s chosen people were taken into captivity for 70 years.
This very account reminds me of the "falling away" of the church today. For some it is just about stage entertainment. They feel if you don’t entertain then folk won’t come. For others they have gotten away from preaching the Word ~ of telling about Jesus and how to be saved from our sins. And yet for others it is meeting to eat or socialize in place of preaching. The church has fallen away. And these situations don’t even include the many folk who call themselves Christians and they don’t even attend church.
I believe that in the same way it grieved God in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar ~ it grieves God today that His church ~ His people ~ are not about the Lord’s business. We live in a very wicked time and I believe it is directly related to the falling away of God’s people. In many ways we are already in captivity to the sin that lies around us.
What can we do to help strengthen the church? That’s a whole lot to ponder ~ isn’t it. Stay in prayer and stay in the Word ~ and we will be well on the pathway that we need to be on.
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