Summary: Kings of Judah, Pt. 9 (Final)
The greatest chess player of all time is arguably Gary Kasparov. He was the world’s youngest-ever champion at the age of 22 and was the undisputed king for the last two decades. The enigmatic and charismatic Russian Jew was known for holding his own against IBM supercomputers that could process up to 3 million chess moves per second.
Kasparov, however, shocked the world in 2005 when he announced his retirement at the young age of 41. Why retire at the prime of his life? He said part of the reason was because he saw no real goals left to accomplish in his professional chess career.
Bushinsky, one of the IBM supercomputer programmers who met with Kasparov for a month, expalined, “Kasparov’s resignation ‘was in the cards.’ Like Michael Jordan, he achieved all his goals.”
How does one improve when there are no mountains to conquer and giants to battle? How about when you have been there and done that at a very young age?
Two of the eight good southern kings – Joash and Amaziah were so disgraced before God and in the Scriptures that they never made it to Jesus’ genealogy, even while bad kings were listed there. Joash killed the prophet Zechariah, his own cousin and the son of his uncle, good prophet and high priest Jehoiada (2 Chron 24:20-22). Amaziah (2 Chron 25:14-15) gave credit to idols after God gave him an unexpected victory over Edom. Three were above average but short of excellence, including Asa – due his bitterness, Uzziah – his pride and Hezekiah – his naiveté, all ended badly. The three godliest kings out of the eight good kings of Judah all begin with a J – Jehoshaphat, Jotham and Josiah. Out of these three, Josiah’s story is the brightest.
Josiah, the last good king of Judah, was one of the most righteous and most helpful kings who ever lived. God spared him from seeing the exile that would begin in the immediate generation (2 Chron 36:4).
What make a person truly great in God’s eyes? Is it turning to Him when you get into trouble? Is it helping people when they ask? The answer might surprise you, as it surprised me!
Your Attitude, Not Age, Counts in God’ Eyes
34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left. 3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles, carved idols and cast images. 4 Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles, the idols and the images. These he broke to pieces and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6 In the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins around them, 7 he tore down the altars and the Asherah poles and crushed the idols to powder and cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem. (2 Chron 34:1-7)