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The Scriptorium

Covenant Conscious

Judah's heart beat with God's at first.

The Heart of God: The Decline of Judah (1)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on 2 Chronicles 12-17, 20.
Paralleling the events in Israel is the story of Judah, the southern kingdom. The two tribes that primarily comprised this nation started fairly well. Unlike Israel, Judah knew periods of revival. However, her destiny was to be as tragic as that of Israel, and for the same reason: disobedience to God and His covenant.

For reflection
1.  How do you see in these early kings of Judah that they were mindful of God’s covenant and trying to lead the nation accordingly? How does this contrast with what we saw on the part of the kings of Israel?

2.  Nevertheless, warning signs suggest that Judah is headed for trouble. Small compromises are in evidence that will lead to big problems down the road. Explain. What role do the prophets play during this early period?

3.  What appears to have been the work of the prophets in Israel during this time, as we see that work embodied in Elijah? What does it say about God and His heart for His people, that He continued sending these messengers to a rebellious nation?

4.  How did Judah’s faithfulness play out with respect to the surrounding nations?

5.  An effort was made on the part of the kings, not only to rule from within God’s covenant, but to make sure the people understood their place within that covenant as well. How do you see this? What does this suggest about the duty of leaders in leading God’s people for revival and renewal?

We are encouraged by these early kings, especially Asa, Abijah, and Jehoshaphat. Aided by faithful prophets, they seem determined to follow the Lord and rule within the covenant framework He has declared. How would describe the relationship between these leaders, the prophets and people, and the Spirit of God? Is this the same kind of relationship as we see beginning in Acts 2?

Closing Prayer
The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

Psalm 24

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documents provides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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