After Josiah's reign, Israel falls back into its sinful ways and worships the false gods of the nations surrounding them. The last three kings of the divided Judah lead the nation into idolatry and into captivity. Many Jews died during Nebuchadnezzar's three raids on the royal city. The temple was ground to dust, and the royal palaces were burned to the ground. The majority of those who lived through the attacks were taken to Babylon. Many would never see their homeland again. How does a nation go from observing the Passover under one king to complete captivity under several more kings? When we keep God at the point of our lives, He is able to protect us from those unseen forces that seek to wreak havoc upon our lives. When, however, we traipse around in our flesh thinking we know all the answers, those unseen forces have total freedom to deceive and destroy. Judah rejected God's protection and went their own way. They chose this path and God allowed them to experience the natural consequences of doing so. Have you enjoyed victory over a specific sin or sinful lifestyle? If so, returning to it is not an option, because you will always go farther than before and death will follow. It might be physical death or the death of a marriage or the death of something else in life, but sin always results in death. We must stay under God's protective hand and find strength and health and hope in Him. We are in a war, and our only hope is Jesus! Live for Him today and enjoy His hand of protection upon your life.

Help me, Lord, to stay away from that sin that has plagued my life for so many years. Help me to live in the shelter of Your protection as I walk closely and faithfully with You.