Psalms 79, 74, 2 Kings 22 through 23:27 & Obadiah

The Invasion before the Invasion

From our reading of the Psalms in today’s study we might conclude that these Psalms speak of the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem and the destruction of the city and the temple. This would be an accurate conclusion. However, from our reading in 2 Kings 22 and 23, it is apparent that the nation has already been invaded, and that invasion started a long time ago.

Josiah is now the king of Judah. He will be the last “good” king. Josiah ordered the High Priest to begin a restoration project on the temple. Low and behold, as they are cleaning out the temple, they find a book. Turns out, that book is the law, the Law of Moses. This begs the question, what were they doing before the law was found? What were the High Priest and the Levites teaching?

Proverbs 29:18 declares, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.” NASB 

It is clear from this proverb that godly vision and direction comes from the Law. The Hebrew word for vision is used in the first verse of Isaiah and Nahum describing the prophesies they received from God.  What is sad about this proverb is that it was written by Solomon who became unrestrained by the Law allowing idolatry to invade the nation. 2 Kings 23:13

From the description of the things that were removed and destroyed from the temple and the nation it is clear that the nation had been invaded by idolatry, immorality, and the beliefs and customs of the nations around them. Instead of Judah being a witness to those nations, the nations corrupted them. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be misled, ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” NIV

Of course, if the Bible is lost on the shelf and the religious leaders are not teaching from the Bible, how would one know what the Bible said?  Our proverb above makes it clear that we have a spiritual hunger inside us that can only be filled and satisfied by God. If we have no understanding of God and do not seek Him we will try to fill that hunger with anything and everything that crosses our path in life. We have a need to feed on the Word of God!

Josiah, as king, realizes the state of the nation and that they are in trouble. He attempts to bring reform, but there is a problem. The corruption of the spiritual invasion has gone on for so long that the people are established in the old ways. Through the years they have become strong in their ways and if there is going to be any change, they will have to be broken of the old ways.  The Hebrew word for strong is also translated “hard” or “hardened” in the Bible. It is used to describe a hard heart. It means to be strongly established in something. It is like a habit that we cannot break.  For further study on how a hard heart gets established you can read the study, “The Hard Life or the Strong Life” located under the “Shepherd My Sheep” on this website. I highly recommend this study.  

We need to be careful that we do not put the Bible on the shelf, casting off the warnings within.  If we allow our relationship with God to become a casual one, based on our convenience because of our many activities in our search to be fulfilled, we will eventually become hard to the things of God and on the road to brokenness. See Matthew 22:33-46

Our scriptures today contain important examples and lessons we need to learn from to prevent the spiritual heart disease of a hard heart.

 Be hard to the corrupting influences of the world and strong in your faith in God!

Pastor Dave