Today’s readings… (2 Chronicles 36), (Hosea 4), (Acts 20)

Today we completed reading 2nd Chronicles, a chapter which describes the final end of the kingdom set up in God given glory in the reigns of David and Solomon.  Now it has become a time when “all the officers of the priests and the people were exceedingly unfaithful …” [v.14] to God.  Despite this, The LORD, the God of their fathers , sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people …” [v.15] We can see parallels with today.  There was a resultant awareness and awe of God in the generations following the time the Bible was first printed.- and initially many parts of the world became God fearing.  This spirit has now just about all but disappeared – yet human beings still benefit from the “compassion” God still shows in holding back from the severe judgment human beings deserve.
Let us ask ourselves – are we worthy of God’s calling?   We recall Paul’s words, “… we always pray for you that our God may make you worthy of his calling …” [2 Thess 1 v.11]; yet how can God make us worthy if we take little or no notice of his word?
We fearfully note the next verse in Chronicles for it is parallel with what must be about to happen to our world, for the people then were “despising his words and scoffing … until the wrath of God rose … until there was no remedy” [v.16]  Well, the only remedy was destruction of ungodliness!
There is also a clear parallel to this in what we read in Hosea today.  This prophet was giving a message in the final years of the northern kingdom saying “the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God …” [4 v.1]  What a contrast with the last verse of the previous chapter and its remarkable vision of the future!  This is as much a vision for us as for them!  A time will come, says God through the prophet when “the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king, and they shall come in fear to the LORD and to his goodness in the latter days.”
This verse will be fulfilled when the kingdom of God is established!  Today we see that Israel has, at least in part, returned to their land, but are yet to “seek” the LORD.  We are in “the latter days” – but how we individually believe and behave will decide whether we experience “the goodness of the LORD” and rejoice in the incredible wonders that are promised to God fearing men and women of all ages and all races.

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