Sunday, February 5, 2017

Attention to Detail

The Books  of  the Kings (1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings)* are very interesting reading, if sometimes tough  sledding.  There  are many stories, some  brief, some that require extrapolation  in  order  to mine a nugget  therefrom.  Some are  bloody, some illustrative of the rewards of  righteousness as well  as the punishments of  evil.

Today look for a bit at the fifteenth chapter of 2 Kings in which Azariah comes to the Judean throne in Jerusalem.  He was sixteen years of age when he began his reign.  Azariah was the son of Amaziah and Jecholiah.  This reference to his mother is the only place in the Bible where she is named.  The significance of the recognition perhaps lies in the fact that her name means "powerful."  Combine that with the father's name which some scholars believe means "strong" and imagine a son from that union.

Azariah, or Uzziah as he was also called, he being the same Uzziah that Isaiah referred to in the introduction to the Book of Isaiah, ruled for fifty-two years.  The good news is that he "did that which was right in the sight of the Lord" as his father before him had done.  The bad news is that notwithstanding the good he did, he failed in one point: he did not eliminate the burning of sacrifices and incense in "high places."  These "high places" were forbidden to the children of God as they were basically places of sex-oriented idol worship.  They remained popular with the people.  And.

And "God smote the king, that he was a leper" the rest of his life.  No time frame is given, so we cannot know how long he was so afflicted, yet he did live sixty-eight years.  He lived in what we would call quarantine, no doubt within the palace, and his son, Jotham, carried out the duties of judging the people.

From this example one might extrapolate that it is possible to live according to God's plan and yet neglect one small area that needs to be tended to.  And.

And I think that is not inaccurate.
 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  --Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
*The Chronicles of  the  Kings relate to the reigns  of the same monarchs that  are recorded in the Books of the  Kings.  The principal difference is that the Kings record historical  data and actions of the people involved; Chronicles provides  interpretations of  the acts.

Word of the day: extrapolate

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