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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

May 20, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: II Chronicles 35-36


II Chronicles 35:21

But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me that he destroy thee not.


When anyone says that God commanded them to do a thing it is worth at least a cursory investigation whether their statement is true or false. Sometimes, God sends warnings, instructions, and advice from the strangest of places. The statement from Pharaoh-Necho, king of Egypt, to Josiah is one of those times. This heathen king said to Josiah that God told him to make haste against his great enemy Assyria. Pharaoh came to Carchemish by the Euphrates River to fight with the Assyrian’s not with Judah. He warned the king of Judah, come not against me, for I’m not coming against you.


But Josiah didn’t listen, or if he did, he didn’t pray about it, ask any of God’s prophets about it, or take any time considering it. He just disguised himself, took the battle to Pharaoh and was shot with arrows that caused his death. He must have thought that Necho was tricking him, lying to him, or otherwise trying to trap him, he never thought, “Is this truly of God?” 


Evidently it was of God. Whether the Lord actually spoke to Pharaoh or not is of no consequence. But the words the Pharaoh made were sound words, words of truth, and words that if believed would have spared Josiah’s life. From hosting the greatest Passover celebration since the days of Samuel to dying from wounds received in a battle he did not need to fight, Josiah’s last days were a rollercoaster of events. From high to low, he experienced the widest range of the human condition.


Sometimes God communicates to us in the strangest of ways. Balaam’s donkey spoke to him. The fish with money in its mouth communicated to Peter God’s ability to provide. Jesus calming the tempestuous storm on the sea spoke to the disciples of His power over the natural elements of the world. The fourth man in the fiery furnace spoke to Nebuchadnezzar of God’s protection and presence with his men of faith. In Psalm 8:2 it is recorded, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies... An angel spoke to Daniel, John, Cornelius, and others. On and on we could go. Suffice it to say, God has a message for individuals, and He will go to extremes to get it to them.


Years ago, a long-time missionary to Mexico told me a story about some New Testaments that his church gave out for a big day. Many years later, about twenty as I recall, he was in an older lady’s home who wanted to be saved. For some reason he had no Bible, no tract, nothing to show her the Gospel. Then, from out of nowhere, her dog came into the house carrying one of those New Testaments that had been distributed years earlier. It was old, weathered, dirty, and had dog slobber on it. But he used that Bible to lead her to the Lord.


God moves in mysterious ways. The next time someone says that God told them this or that, spend some time in prayer, in the Bible, even getting advice from a godly Christian. It may just save your life. It would have in Josiah’s day.


Dr. William T. Howe

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