The book of 2 Chronicles documents the historical records from Adam to the royal line after the exile. It also documents the life of King David and the important details that took place during his reign.
The source of bitterness
Unmet expectations lead to resentment and unchecked resentment breeds bitterness. When bitterness takes root in your life, it grows into an ugly monster wreaking havoc in every area of your life.
Bitterness is contagious
The worst effect of bitterness is strained relationships. When one person suffers in a family or community, the people around that person also suffer as a consequence. When one generation acts out of bitterness, the next generation also acts out of the same bitterness, because to them it seems normal. When someone treats us badly, we may be tempted to respond in the same way to others. Sometimes, victims of bullying become bullies. This response becomes a habit and if left unchecked, it can pass on from person to person and generation to generation.
2 Kings describes the sequence of events that took place after Ahab’s death. Jehu proceeds to destroy Ahab’s entire family and becomes the king of Israel.
Meanwhile, Elijah is taken up to heaven and Elisha succeeds him. Elisha does many miracles. Notable among them are the widow’s oil, bringing back the Shunammite woman’s son to life and healing Naaman, an Aramean soldier.
Some time later, King Ben-Hadad of Aram laid seige to Samaria and there was a bitter famine in the land. The Lord brought deliverance to the Israelites through four lepers who found an Aramean camp with supplies.
The accounts of the kings of both Israel and Judah are documented in this book. While most of the kings were not loyal to God, some kings like Hezekiah, Joash and Josiah were faithful. During King Hezekiah’s reign, the fall of Jerusalem was predicted.
When we receive a promise from God, it can seem like a stark contrast to our reality. Abraham was promised a child when he was well into his old age. David was anointed king too early and while the reigning king was still alive. The Israelites were promised an inheritance while they were slaves in another country. This is how God demonstrates His power – by turning an impossible situation around to good.
When we receive a promise from God in our own lives, we expect it to be beneficial to us. It does benefit us in the long run, but it isn’t necessarily comfortable or easy and it also involves a significant waiting period. Abraham had to wait several years for him to receive his promise, as did David and the Israelites. During this waiting period, God changes us in order to grow us and, through such situations, our faith is built.
Waiting can make us feel anxious, confused and fearful. We may begin to doubt the promise we received, or we may resign to our circumstances. Both are equally dangerous.
What do you do when you are doubtful?
God created us with an identity and this is our identity-
An addiction is something that keeps a person enslaved. We can be addicted to more than one thing at a time, but the good news is, it is possible to overcome our addictions. Whether an addiction is to a physical object or activity or mental (toxic thinking), it manifests from the mind and therefore should be handled by changing our thinking.
Acknowledge your temptations, addictions and sins to yourself and to God. You cannot change something if you don’t admit you have a problem. Also, examine if there is a deeper reason why you are giving in to certain temptations and address the root cause.
Solomon writes a warning against adultery in the book of Proverbs, which can be applied to other temptations too. Temptation makes you believe a lie, to lure you in and attack you later.
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.
Proverbs 5:3-4 NIV
Solomon says to flee from temptation and completely avoid the path of evil. Do not even let yourself be tempted. Temptation starts small, but hides the consequences.
Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house,
Proverbs 5:8 NIV
Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?
Proverbs 6:27-28 NIV
However, if you still find yourself in such a situation, choose to do the right thing. Even if you sin, God will not abandon you. He is gracious and will help you through it like a loving father.
The book of 1 Kings tells the story of David’s last years as king. He anoints Solomon to succeed him and gives him instructions and advice. When Solomon becomes king, he proceeds to carry out everything David charged him to do, including building the temple of the Lord. He also builds other palaces and buildings. The Lord appears to Solomon and grants him wisdom. The kingdom under Solomon’s rule was peaceful and became known throughout the world for Solomon’s wise ruling and it’s splendor.
However, Solomon does not remain faithful to the Lord. Because of this, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two kingdoms after Solomon’s death — the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. The account of the kings of these two kingdoms is recorded in this book. Prominent among them is King Ahab and his wicked Queen Jezebel, who led the kingdom astray by Baal worship.
You have probably heard this saying, ‘Life is a journey’. Our spiritual life is also a journey. Jesus talks about our spiritual life in the Parable of the Sower.
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23 NIV