The 5 Kings Minus 1
As I study the lessson and prepare to present it in church I felt it necessary to use medium as it will help me share it as well as help me to express on paper what’s only in my head.
Lack of Remorse
Dostoevsky could have been talking about, with the exception of Josiah, the five kings who ruled Judah during the ministry of Jeremiah. One after another, these men seemed totally unrepentant for their actions, even as it became clearer and clearer that their actions were bringing the calamities that the Lord, through Jeremiah, had warned would come.
God gave Success
Josiah was the sixteenth king to rule in the Southern Kingdom; his reign spanned 640–609 b.c. He became king at the age of eight, after more than half a century of moral and spiritual decline under his father (Amon) and grandfather (Manasseh), two of the most evil kings in Judah. Josiah’s reign lasted for 31 years. (2 Chronicles 26:5)
Josiah’s reform consisted of two main components: First, it was get- ting rid, as much as possible, of anything and everything that smacked of idolatry. That is, he worked to remove the evil practices that had arisen in the nation.
But that was only the first step. An absence of evil or wrong practices doesn’t automatically mean that good will follow. Second, after hearing the Book of the Law read to him, the king made a covenant before the Lord “to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book” (2 Chron. 34:31)
Everything that God had warned them would happen to them is exactly what happened. However much they didn’t want to believe the warnings, they certainly did believe them after they all came to pass. Who hasn’t, even on a personal level, experienced something similar? We’re warned by the Lord not to do something or else this will hap- pen, but we do it anyway and, sure enough, what we were told would happen happens.
In the closing years of Judah’s apostasy the exhor- tations of the prophets were seemingly of but little avail; and as the armies of the Chaldeans came for the third and last time to besiege Jerusalem, hope fled from every heart. Jeremiah predicted utter ruin; and it was because of his insistence on surrender that he had finally been thrown into prison. But God left not to hopeless despair the faithful remnant who were still in the city. Even while Jeremiah was kept under close surveil- lance by those who scorned his messages, there came to him fresh revela- tions concerning Heaven’s willingness to forgive and to save, which have been an unfailing source of comfort to the church of God from that day to this.” — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 466.
Ending God never Fails
Through Jeremiah in Jerusalem, through Daniel in the court of Babylon, through Ezekiel on the banks of the Chebar, the Lord in mercy made clear His eternal purpose and gave assurance of His willingness to fulfill to His chosen people the promises recorded in the writings of Moses. That which He had said He would do for those who should prove true to Him, He would surely bring to pass. ‘The word of God . . . liveth and abideth forever.’ 1 Peter 1:23.” — Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 464.