A Second Chance Squandered (June 28)

From Open Up Your Heart by Jeff Syverson

June 28

A Second Chance Squandered

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 140:9-13 | 2 Kings 13:1-14:29 | Acts 18:23-19:12 | Proverbs 18:2-3

Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Kings 13:1-14:29

Then Jehoahaz sought the LORD’s favor, and the LORD listened to him, for he saw how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel (2 Kings 13:4 NIV).

Jehoahaz’ seventeen year reign as King of Israel started much like the majority of his predecessors: he did evil in the eyes of the LORD. The people willingly followed his evil path and continued on in their idolatry. 

Jehoahaz’ wake up call came in the form of Hazael king of Aram and Ben-hadad his son. Hazael’s army attacked and dominated the Northern Kingdom. It was a season of severe oppression. In desperation, Jehoahaz sought the LORD and his favor. The LORD heard his prayer and provided a deliverer that would enable the nation to escape the clutches of oppression from Aram.

On the one hand, Jehoahaz’ story is a reminder that God delights in giving second chances. On the other hand, Jehoahaz’ story is a reminder that we often squander the chances we are given—we often fail to enter into the fullness of the blessing that could be ours.

Jehoahaz was right to repent and cry out to God, but he failed to follow through—as the text reminds us, “The Asherah pole remained standing in Samaria” (6). Likewise, the people of Israel returned to their homes in freedom, yet quickly drifted back into idolatry. They somehow found the snooze button on God’s alarm to wake them. 

Life is filled with opportunities to follow the LORD and experience his blessing. We are too easily distracted, we too often procrastinate, and miss out on the opportunities he gives. Even when confronted with a second chance and a fresh start, it is easy to drift away from our initial enthusiasm.

Learn the lesson of Jehoahaz: make the best of the opportunities God gives. When you fail, cry out to the God of second chances. Then don’t squander the opportunity that he gives—don’t miss out on the fullness of his blessing!

Heavenly Father, thank you for your patience with us. Thank you for second chances and new opportunities. Help us not to squander them. Help us to enter into the fullness of your blessing. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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