2 Kings 24
Focus Verse: Including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive. (4)
Judah was being judged because of the sins of Manasseh. Even though Manasseh had died and was now long gone from the land of the living, the blood of the many godly people he had killed still cried out to God from the ground. And now God answered their cry. He could forgive, but He was not willing to let the cruel deaths of His innocent people go unpunished.
2 Kings 25
Focus Verse: There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land. (21)
A city under siege. A famine that lasted for years. Soldiers separated and scattered. A king captured and shackled. All his sons killed. The temple set on fire. The royal palace set on fire. All the houses set on fire. Every important building burned down. The poor people left behind. An entire kingdom destroyed. The book of 2 Kings ends in the worst possible way.
Focus Verse: The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. (2)
I learned in one of my classes this past week that Timothy was only 18 years old when he joined Paul and Silas on their missionary journeys. But notice what the first verses of this chapter say about him: First, Timothy is called “a disciple” and second, the believers “spoke well of him”. When we think of the disciples (and certainly when we see how most movies, paintings, and TV shows portray them), we think of bearded, 40-something year old men who decided to follow Jesus the Christ for the rest of their lives because maybe they didn’t have anything better to do. But that wasn’t the case. Jesus was only 30 when He really began His ministry and even though the Bible doesn’t say, most of the disciples were probably teenagers or in their early 20s. Read more about that here.
The point is one is never too young to make the all-important decision to become a follower of Christ. The other believers didn’t speak well of Timothy because he had a good name; they spoke well of him because they saw him do well. Paul (the guy who refused to take Mark with him on a mission trip), definitely wouldn’t have wanted to take Timothy if he was an immature kid. Paul wanted to take Timothy because he saw faithful godliness in him; he knew that Timothy was truly devoted to the work of God.