2 Chronicles 28:1-15 (Part 1) – All Souls Are of Great Value to God…All Souls

Posted: October 13, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles
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2 Chronicles 28:1-15 (Part 1 of 2)

Ahaz Begins His Reign in Judah

Opening Illustration/Comments

The evil kings of Judah and Israel had their practices held up for scrutiny in the pages of the historical books of the Old Testament. One of the most detestable practices of these evil kings were their imitation of the rituals of the pagan cultures around them. All of these cultures worshiped false gods and many of these cultures practiced rituals of human sacrifices. More often than not, these ritual human sacrifices were the sacrifices of infants and children. Many of the kings of the divided kingdoms adopted the pagan beliefs of these cultures including the ritual sacrifice of infants and children. The Bible does not include these references to say that they are OK because they are in print in the Bible. No, no, no. Quite the opposite. In the context of writing about these evil kings and the evils of the people of Israel and Judah, they are being examined and held up to God’s people as what not to do. It is clear that the purpose of the historical books was to condemn the kings and the people of Israel and Judah for straying from God. It serves as a reminder of the many reasons for the quick downfall of the once proud and mighty Israelite nation. For us in the 21st century, the Old Testament is as valuable to us as the New Testament. The Old Testament is a mirror to us. We see ourselves in the pages of the Old Testament. All of the wickedness and sins committed by the people of Israel and Judah and their kings is a vivid reflection of just who we are right now in history. History often repeats itself and we are repeating the history of Israel and Judah.

One of the things that is clear in the Old Testament is that God is staunchly against the sacrifice of any human life and particularly of children. It is clear from the Old Testament that God declares to us that life begins in the womb. Psalm 139:13-16 states the following:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed, and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them”

How could it be any more clear that God considers life in the womb of great value since it is He who gives life and it is He who knows each one of us from the instant of conception. We can talk about the science of conception and we can all agree on the science of it (as reasonable Christians). However, the one difference between the non-believer and the believer is that the scientists can tell what happens when a sperm and an egg are united and the pregnancy process begins. However, they cannot tell you why the penetration of a sperm into an egg creates human life. They cannot explain the why. They can explain the what and reasonable Christians can and should agree with them on that. However, it is God that gives us the why of conception. It is God that gives life as of that moment. Even when we are a clump of cells multiplying rapidly and we do not have the ability of even mechanical cognition yet, it is life. God gives life and it is valuable to Him even inside the mother’s womb.

When speaking to the prophet Jeremiah and giving him encouragement as to why he must be a prophet, the Lord says this in Jeremiah 1:5,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations”

God hammers home here that He knows us before we take form of what we know as a baby in the womb. God knows us from the instant of conception. There is no distinction by God between a clump of cells that will grow into a baby and a fully formed baby in the womb. He knows us from the spark of conception. He gives us a soul at that moment and every soul is valuable to the Lord.

So valuable is life to the Lord that He chose to break into human history in the same manner as any human child. God through the gestation and birth of Jesus Christ into this side of eternity validates that every step of the process is important to Him and that Jesus was no less God when He was in Mary’s womb developing from a fertilized egg into a fully formed baby and who was birthed in the normal way for Mary. Was God in the flesh any less God when Jesus was a clump of fertilized cells multiplying rapidly? Was God in the flesh anything less than God when we was forming into a baby to be birthed. That Jesus went through the pregnancy and birth process validates that whole process as being worthy. Luke 2:6-7 validates the value of human gestation in the womb. The Lord Jesus Christ began his incarnation as an embryo, growing into a fetus, infant, child, teenager, and adult:

 “While they were there, the time came for the baby to born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.”

Thus if God knows us even before we are mere cells multiplying and giving off electrical charges but not having the ability to form even the most mechanical thought impulses, it means that He recognizes a soul has been created at the moment of conception. It is human life. It is life. Even God coming to earth in the flesh was done purposefully in a way that gives a validation to the sanctity of what is beginning to form in a mother’s womb at the moment of conception. Thus, if it is life. It is worthy of the protections offered by God to all human life in His Commandments.

To believe otherwise is to ignore the evidence of Scripture (and I just used three evidences here; there are many more). To believe otherwise is to turn from God. To believe otherwise is to adopt the pagan practices of ancient nations. To believe otherwise is to see an embryo as personal property in the same vein as African Americans were seen in America prior to the legalized ending of slavery. In that view, when you view a child or even an embryo as property (which you must do to rationalize abortion), it can then be aborted without a care just as slaves could be killed without retribution because they were seen as no better than any other property that can be disposed of if you no longer desire to continue possessing it. To view life in this manner is no better than Ahaz throwing his own flesh in blood into the fire.

It is that idea of life beginning at conception and thus being of great value to God – from conception –  that I thought of this morning when reading this passage, 2 Chronicles 28:1-15. Let us read through it this morning, together, with that idea in mind:

Scripture Passage

28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord, as his ancestor David had done. 2 Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel. He cast metal images for the worship of Baal. 3 He offered sacrifices in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, even sacrificing his own sons in the fire.[a] In this way, he followed the detestable practices of the pagan nations the Lord had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree.

5 Because of all this, the Lord his God allowed the king of Aram to defeat Ahaz and to exile large numbers of his people to Damascus. The armies of the king of Israel also defeated Ahaz and inflicted many casualties on his army. 6 In a single day Pekah son of Remaliah, Israel’s king, killed 120,000 of Judah’s troops, all of them experienced warriors, because they had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 7 Then Zicri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son; Azrikam, the king’s palace commander; and Elkanah, the king’s second-in-command. 8 The armies of Israel captured 200,000 women and children from Judah and seized tremendous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria.

9 But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there in Samaria when the army of Israel returned home. He went out to meet them and said, “The Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and let you defeat them. But you have gone too far, killing them without mercy, and all heaven is disturbed. 10 And now you are planning to make slaves of these people from Judah and Jerusalem. What about your own sins against the Lord your God? 11 Listen to me and return these prisoners you have taken, for they are your own relatives. Watch out, because now the Lord’s fierce anger has been turned against you!”

12 Then some of the leaders of Israel[b]—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—agreed with this and confronted the men returning from battle. 13 “You must not bring the prisoners here!” they declared. “We cannot afford to add to our sins and guilt. Our guilt is already great, and the Lord’s fierce anger is already turned against Israel.”

14 So the warriors released the prisoners and handed over the plunder in the sight of the leaders and all the people. 15 Then the four men just mentioned by name came forward and distributed clothes from the plunder to the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothing and sandals to wear, gave them enough food and drink, and dressed their wounds with olive oil. They put those who were weak on donkeys and took all the prisoners back to their own people in Jericho, the city of palms. Then they returned to Samaria.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that we must consider what scripture is saying to us here. Here, the Old Testament is pointing us to evils of the kings of Israel and Judah and telling us that these evils were responsible for the downfall of their nation. One of those evils was the pagan practice of child sacrifice. It is being held up before us as an evil and for us to reject it instead of embracing it as our ancient ancestors did. Imagine the monstrous evil of a religion that offers young children as sacrifices. God allowed Judah to be overrun by its enemies due to the evil practices of the king and the people of Judah. It is clear here from the text that God is holding up this evil and saying that this is not my way! He is saying go the opposite way to come into my way. All life is valuable to God. There is no one that is property of another. All human life has value even children, babies, and fetuses.

Life Application

I think the thing that we need to takeaway this morning is that life is not property to do with as we please when it no longer suits our needs. Life is not property that can be destroyed because it belongs to me. God is clear that a soul is valuable to Him. He is clear that we are knitted together by Him – meaning that He gives value even to the unborn child that is in only the formative stages of gestation before a fully formed baby starts to appear in the womb. Life begins at conception and all of it through birth is protected as human life in God’s eyes. To view it otherwise is to view a child in the womb as no better than a slave – they were seen solely as property to be dealt with in any way the owner desired. That is not God’s desire for humanity. None of us, including fetuses, are property. We are souls of great value from the moment we are conceived to the moment we die.

But what if you have had an abortion and you had this view of the unborn child being your property to dispose of as you wish? Does this exclude you from God’s grace? Of course not, but first you must repent and admit that what you did was, in fact, the taking of a life that was important to God. We must get real that we have done something wrong before we can seek forgiveness from God. We must see as He sees before we can seek forgiveness. But once we do that, we can be forgiven. Just look at the Apostle Paul. Prior to his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus Road, he was a murderer of Christians for no other reason than they were Christians. He murdered them because they did not believe the way he believed. But if he can repent and come to the Lord and then be used mightily for the Lord as Paul was, so can you be forgiven and be of great value to God’s kingdom. You could, who knows, become a passionate advocate for women who have been through abortions and lead them to reconciliation with what they have done and reconciliation with a God that loves them. Even those who have had abortions are still of great value as a soul worth saving by God. He loves all souls and wishes to be reconciled to each one.

Amen and Amen.

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