Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on October 3, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 2 Chronicles 35:20—36:10 (NKJV)
35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he sent messengers to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; for God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, lest He destroy you.” 22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, and did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.
23 And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” 24 His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
25 Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel; and indeed they are written in the Laments.
26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what was written in the Law of the Lord, 27 and his deeds from first to last, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
36 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. 2 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. 3 Now the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 4 Then the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him off to Egypt.
5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him, and bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of the articles from the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. 8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Then Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.
9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. 10 At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him and took him to Babylon, with the costly articles from the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, 7 Jehoiakim’s brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.
The king of Egypt goes to war against Carchemish by the Euphrates. This isn’t Josiah’s fight, yet he goes out to war against the king of Egypt anyway. The text doesn’t tell us whether or not he consulted the Lord before going into battle, but it seems as if he did not. The king of Egypt warns Josiah against meddling in the affairs of others, especially because the Lord has commanded the king of Egypt to go to war. Josiah refuses to listen to God’s Word in this instance and pays for it with his life.
Although it is lamentable that Josiah perished the way he did, his death is not entirely one of judgment. God often uses suffering and tribulation for our eternal good. The Lord promised Josiah that the destruction of Judah would not occur during his lifetime. By taking Josiah out of this life, he graciously spared him from Judah’s fate and fulfilled His promise.
The Lord can use the sufferings and tragedies of this life to show us his mercy and to draw us unto Him. He promises to give us daily bread, and He daily fulfills His Word. On the day He ceases to give daily bread, He will fulfill His promises and take us to our heavenly home and our eternal reward. Like Josiah, we may not always consult the Lord in our daily decisions, but we know that He uses all things for our eternal good.
We pray: O Lord, we beseech Thee, let Thy continual pity cleanse and defend Thy Church; and because it cannot continue in safety without Thy succor, preserve it evermore by Thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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