Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Notes on Advent Study #8

King Uzziah
energetically and faithfully pursued the welfare of his people, being especially active in the military and in agriculture. His administration was marked by revival and restoration of the military and internal security that had been lost in recent generations.
Late in his life, Uzziah's pride drove him into sin, and he violated the LORD's temple. Since we are never told he repented, one might argue that we should judge Uzziah “did right in youth, evil in old age,” as we did with some kings. However, a courageous group of priests withstood the king's evil act, and the LORD himself supported them by afflicting Uzziah with leprosy. As a result, even though Uzziah perhaps never repented, he retired from office, and the impact of his sin was thereby limited.
For this reason, we feel justified in agreeing with the scripture's assessment that “Uzziah ... did that which was right.”
2 Chronicles 26:3-4 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.

King Jotham
Little is known, except that he was faithful to the LORD all through his life.
2 Kings 15:32-34 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign. Five and twenty years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.

Scripture says this about King Ahaz' reign:
2 Kings 16:2 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
The above characterization is an understatement. Ahaz steadfastly determined to reject the LORD, in spite of repeated acts of mercy and aid on the LORD's part. Not merely dabbling in evil, Ahaz went the whole distance, even to the extent of sacrificing his own children to idols. The effects of his actions were felt brutally throughout his kingdom.

The Jewish encyclopedia might be an intersting to do additional reading

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