12/5 Reading (2 Chronicles 16-19; Colossians 2)

2 Chronicles 16: Now we get to the end of Asa. This happens because instead of following the advice given to him earlier (trust in God), he makes a pact with another King when he is attacked by Israel. A seer, Hanani, told him this was a mistake to not rely on God and he will suffer for this. Asa gets angry and throws Hanani into jail. Asa is then afflicted by a disease in his feet and dies. There’s an interesting verse here: “But even in his illness he [Asa] refused to seek the Lord and consulted doctors instead” (2 Chron. 16.12). No wonder some refuse to seek medical attention when they are ill. Verses like this just strengthens the resolve of those who choose to solely rely on the power of prayer when they or a loved one are afflicted with something. Not good!

2 Chronicles 17: Next up, Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son. This chapter just focuses on his efforts to fortify his area and to follow God the way Asa did in the beginning. Not much else comes from this part.

2 Chronicles 18: Jehoshaphat joins forces with Israel’s king and they end up going to war. They win, but Israel’s king is wounded. The interesting part of this chapter is the use of so many prophets called upon by Israel’s king. The only one who says they shouldn’t go to battle is Micaiah. He warns Israel’s king that he will die in battle. He seems to be the only one who has a connection to God because his prediction proves to be accurate because Israel’s king does die because of the wound he suffered in battle.

2 Chronicles 19: The beginning of this chapter seems to foretell Jehoshaphat’s downfall. Jehu, the son of Hanani the seer comes out and directly confronts him asking him why did he help those who hate God (i.e. Israel). However, he also learns that because he removed the sacred poles from the land where he fought, this made God happy. The rest of this chapter focuses on Jehoshaphat’s reforms to the judicial system. The main thing he stresses to all who serve as judges is that they must remember that they work for God.

Colossians 2: In the beginning of this chapter I noticed a second reference to the phrase “secret plan of God” (Col. 2.2). This was also in the first chapter. According to the notes from the first chapter, “secret plan” is “that God intended all people, both Jews and Gentiles, to receive Christ” (CEB Study Bible, p. 384 NT).

In this chapter Paul emphasizes the importance of following Christ and to be established in their faith. The text explicitly says the following: “See to it that nobody enslaves you with philosophy and foolish deception, which conform to human traditions and the way the world thinks and acts rather than Christ” (CEB Study Bible, Col. 2.8). Such an interesting verse. Is Paul suggesting that we should just follow Jesus blindly without asking questions? This is something that I would like to explore further.

Paul addresses similar things that he addressed in Romans. It’s clear that many people were concerned or at least felt pressured to first convert to Judaism prior to accepting Jesus and becoming a Christian. He specifically tells the people the following: “So don’t let anyone judge you about eating or drinking or about a festival, a new moon observance, or sabbaths” (CEB Study Bible, p. 385 NT; Col. 2.16). He follows this up by telling the people that don’t listen to or be swayed by human rules and teachings. He pretty much tells them to keep their eye on the prize, which is accepting Jesus as their savior.

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One thought on “12/5 Reading (2 Chronicles 16-19; Colossians 2)

  1. Beth

    I have a different reaction to the verse that you highlight regarding “philosophy and foolish deception.” My experience is that we are bombarded with the values of the cultures that surround us. We are not bombarded with the philosophy of Christ. Christ presented a pretty radical departure in understanding of self and other, and I hear these words as a challenges to recognize non-Christlike arguments.

    For example, there is much (and much needed) debate on capitalism these days. Even Harvard Business School is delving into “the future of capitalism.” One can easily say that capitalism is dependent on a moral foundation. Some of us (including me) may argue that we lack that moral foundation at this point in American history. We have taken capitalism to an extreme. We “believe” capitalism more than we believe Christ.

    Thanks as always!

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