Introduction: Jotham was the tenth King of Judah. He learned how pride, covetousness, and idolatry destroyed the kings who preceded him. He instead turned to God and acted with faith-led obedience in most areas. Because of his faith-led obedience, God blessed both Jotham and the people. The people, however, continued to act corruptly. From Jotham’s blessings and God’s mercy and grace towards the people of Judah, God reveals seven lessons on what He offers His people. This includes His: (1) faithfulness, (2) fellowship, (3) light of redemption, (4) spiritual restoration, (5) protection and provision, (6) honor and respect, and (7) His testing.
First, even though the kings who preceded him embraced evil, God was faithful to honor His covenant with David by allowing Jotham to become the next King of Judah. God will also faithfully keep His promises to you. Second, God blessed Jotham with His fellowship because of his faith led to his obedience. Through faith in Christ, God also offers His fellowship. Yet, like Jotham, this fellowship requires your faith-led obedience. Third, during Jotham’s reign, the people ignored his reforms and continued to pursue darkness. Through other books, God reveals that He sent His prophets to be a light to the spiritually lost people who ignored Jotham’s reforms and took God’s blessings for granted. Through Jesus and His believers, God offers His light today to those who are spiritually lost. Fourth, Jotham succeeded in his spiritual restoration by beginning his reforms with the repair of the Temple walls. God also offers you spiritual restoration if you seek Him first. Fifth, because Jotham was faithful and obedient, God blessed him with protection from his enemies and the provision needed for his nation. When you are faithful and obedient, God also offers to provide for your needs. Sixth, also because he obeyed God, God blessed Jotham with respect. When you are faithful and obedient, God will also bless you with His honor and respect. Finally, through parallel accounts of Jotham’s reign in the book of Kings that are referenced in this chapter, the Bible records that God allowed an alliance between King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah from Northern Israel to invade Judah and reach the gates of Jerusalem before God turned them back. He did this to test the people and show them that they had not followed their king to place their trust in Him. Through this account, God reveals that He tests the hearts of His people to expose their evil and bring them to repentance.
God is faithful to His Covenant with David and allows Jotham to become King of Judah. Following Uzziah’s (Azariah’s) death, God allowed his son Jotham to became King of Judah. “1Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.” (1 Chr. 27:1; 2 Kgs. 15:33). Jotham reigned for 16 years, from 750-735 B.C. He was Judah’s tenth king after Israel split into two nations following Solomon’s death: “10 Now Solomon’s son was  Rehoboam,  Abijah was his son,  Asa his son,  Jehoshaphat his son,  11 Joram his son,  Ahaziah his son,  Joash his son,  12 Amaziah his son,  Azariah his son, [and]  Jotham his son, . . .” (1 Chr. 3:10-12).
God’s grace in allowing David’s heirs to continue to maintain the throne of Judah. The sins of Jotham’s father and grandfather should have disqualified the right of David’s heirs to maintain the throne. The reign of both kings ended in disaster. Jotham’s father Uzziah/Azariah was initially a reformer (2 Kgs. 14:3). Yet, he tolerated pagan worship by failing to remove the pagan high places (2 Kgs. 15:4). Because his heart was not fully devoted to God, God’s blessings of material success eventually caused him to think that he was responsible for Judah’s blessings. In his pride, he attempted to take total control by merging the separate roles of church and state. He did this by usurping the role of the priests in offerings at the Temple (2 Chr. 26:16-20). As result, God punished him with leprosy (2 Kgs. 15:5). He then lived in isolation until he died (Isa. 6:1). Jotham’s grandfather Amaziah also initially tried to serve God. Yet, he also slowly embraced evil. He allowed pagan worship to continue in Judah (2 Kgs. 14:1-4; 2 Chr. 25:1). After God provided Amaziah with a victory over Edom, Amaziah then compromised in his walk. Amaziah embraced the pagan Edomite gods after tolerating pagan worship in his own kingdom. For this, God’s prophet rebuked him (2 Chron. 25:14-16). Yet, he would not listen because he was filled with pride. He then became angry when mercenaries from Northern Israel raided Judah (2 Chr. 25:13) In his pride, he threatened Northern Israel with war unless it submitted to him. Even though Northern Israel had 10 tribes and more people, its wars with Syria had severely reduced its army (2 Kgs. 13:25). And Amaziah had assembled 300,000 soldiers against Edom (2 Chr. 25:5, 11-12). He trusted in his own strength and believed that he would prevail. God used the King of Northern Israel to counsel Amaziah against waging war against Northern Israel. Yet, Amaziah would not listen (2 Kgs. 14:8-11). Because Amaziah refused to back down from his prideful threats against Northern Israel, God allowed Northern Israel to defeat Judah and even loot the gold from His Temple (2 Kgs. 14:12-16). Amaziah was then made a prisoner (2 Chron. 25:23-25). He remained a prisoner in Samaria until the King of Northern Israel died (2 Kgs. 14:17). Amaziah was then allowed to return to Judah where he served out his final 15 years as king. Yet, his people hated him so much that they conspired together and killed him (2 Kgs. 14:17-22). The kings before Uzziah and Amaziah also embraced or tolerated idolatry in Judah.
God was faithful to Judah, even when its kings were unfaithful. In the Bible, the number ten is associated with the Ten Commandments, His standard of righteousness and His judgment of sin. Thankfully, this tenth King of Judah turned back to God, and God spared Judah from destruction. The fact that God did not destroy Judah after its prior kings embraced or tolerated evil shows that God is long suffering and quick to forgive. “The LORD is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; . . .” (Nu. 14:18). His forbearance also shows that He is faithful. During the reign of these kings, He did not destroy Judah because He was faithful to keep His Covenant with David (2 Kgs. 8:19). God promised David a kingship through his descendants that would never end: ‘“12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’ (2 Sam. 7:12-16). Even though most of Judah’s kings deserved death for their actions, God did not want to profane His holy name by terminating His promises to David: “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.” (Ezek. 20:9). “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.” (Is. 48:11). “Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, that He might make His power known.” (Ps. 106:8). You can also have faith that God will never profane His holy name by breaking any promise in the Bible to you. You can respond by being faithful to Him.
Jotham’s faith leads him to obey God. Jotham enjoyed God’s blessings and fellowship because he mostly did what was right in God’s eyes. “2a He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done; however he did not enter the temple of the Lord.” (2 Chr. 27:2a). A parent typically has great spiritual influence on a child. Uzziah’s initial attempt to follow God was a lesson that Jotham followed. Jotham also learned the lesson from the failures of both his father Uzziah and his grandfather Amaziah. He did not allow pride to destroy him as it had destroyed them. By not entering the Temple, the Bible does not imply that Jotham failed to worship God. He would have entered the outer courtyard to pray. But he never led the sacrifices. He also never entered the inner sanctum. Nor did he try to usurp the power of the priests. Because he was obedient in most areas and mostly likely sought out the blood of atonement, he enjoyed God’s blessings and His fellowship.
Seek God and you will find Him. Jotham followed the advice of Azariah, the sixth King of Judah, who was also a spiritual reformer. Azariah encouraged the Jews that “the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him;” (2 Chr. 15:2). Moses gave the same advice: “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Dt. 4:29). “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13). Jesus repeated this advice: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” If you are seeking spiritual renewal, it must begin with a diligent attempt to seek out God’s will through the Word and prayer.
Show your faith through obedience. Unlike his father, Jotham succeeded because he had the faith to obey in most areas as king. Obedience was a command that Moses gave frequently (Dt. 6:3-4; 9:1; 17:11-13; 20:3). Moses knew the purpose behind a particular law might not always appear clear to a believer. God requires obedience even if you do not understand. You should consider God’s Word to be like a treasure: “I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.” (Ps. 119:14). Jesus also said, if we love Him, we will keep His commandments: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6). His “disciples” were the “disciplined ones” in keeping His commandments. As bondservants or freed slaves, they were obedient out of love, not obligation. Whether you follow the law out of love is also a test for whether you really know God: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” (1 Jo. 2:3). “[W]hat matters is the keeping of the commandments of God.” (1 Cor. 7:19). Without obedience, your faith is dead (Jam. 2:14-26), and you cannot fully enjoy the blessings of God’s fellowship.
Show your faith through your actions. Throughout the Bible, God reminds His people that vows of obedience must be followed by action. e.g., “And the LORD said to me, ‘Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them.”’’ (Jer. 11:6). In case anyone believes that these are relics of the Old Testament, they are repeated even more often in the New Testament: “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Lk. 6:46). “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21). “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24-25). “[F]or it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.” (Ro. 2:13). “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (Jam. 1:22; see also, Rev. 14:12; 22:14). Like Jotham, are you acting upon God’s Word?
The people of Judah continue to act corruptly. Although Jotham turned to God and faithfully followed Him, the people sadly failed to follow his example: “2b But the people continued acting corruptly.” (2 Chr. 27:2b). The book of Kings sheds more detail regarding the nature of the people’s ongoing corruption. They refused to let go of their idolatry that they had practiced since the time of Solomon. Jotham’s sin was in enabling this idolatry by failing to rip down the pagan idols: “34 He did what was right in the sight of the Lord; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. 35 Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.” (2 Kgs. 15:34-35). Jotham most likely refused to rip down these idols because they loved darkness. They were spiritually divided between Yahweh and their idols. Because Jotham enabled the Jews to continue in their idolatry by refusing to rip down their pagan altars, he is not remembered as king like David, Hezekiah, or Josiah.
God sent His prophets to warn the people to turn from evil. Because the people loved darkness and Jotham failed to rip down their altars, God sent the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah: “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.” (Is. 1:1). “The word of the LORD which came to Hosea the son of Beeri, during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and during the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.” (Hos. 1:1). “The word of the LORD which came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.” (Micah 1:1). Because Jotham tolerated evil, the nation remained in spiritual decline: “Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. . . My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hos. 4:1,6). “We know further, from the extant utterances of the prophets of those days, that a deep-seated moral corruption was sapping the strength of the nation. (Comp. Micah 3:10-12; Hosea 4:1-2.)” (Ellicott’s commentary on 2 Chr. 27). “The early chapters of Isaiah depict forcibly the extent of this national apostasy, and the heinous offensiveness of it in the Divine sight.” (Pulpit commentary on 2 Chr. 27).
You are also Jesus’ light to the lost. God previously used the Levites and His prophets to represent His light. “I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you, and I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations,” (Is. 42:6). Jesus is the light of the world. “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”’ (Jo. 8:12). Today, every believer in Christ is part of His Holy priesthood. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Pet. 2:9). As part of the “royal priesthood” belonging to Jesus, you are meant to represent His light to the lost: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;” (Matt. 5:14). When others are lost in darkness or sin, will you show them the light of Jesus?
Jotham restores the Temple. While allowing the priests to direct the nation’s worship, Jotham funded the restoration of the Temple: “3 He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord, and he built extensively the wall of Ophel. (2 Chr. 27:3; 2 Kgs. 15:35). Jotham’s act of rebuilding the Temple gates meant that he was focused on worship and spiritual revival. When the Jews returned from captivity, the prophet Nehemiah led the rebuilding of this same wall as a symbol of spiritual renewal. “The temple servants living in Ophel made repairs as far as the front of the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower.” (Neh. 3:26). God then blessed Jotham because his priorities were mostly correct. As one commentator observes: “In particular, it seems that Jotham rebuilt the link between the temple and the palace. . . .His father Uzziah misunderstood the link between the royal house and the house God, demanding priestly authority (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Many kings before him wanted no link between the royal house and the house of God. Jotham understood that he was a king and not a priest, yet he wanted a good, open link between the palace and the temple.” (David Guzik on 2 Chr. 27).
Seek first the Kingdom of God. Jotham mostly succeeded as king because he first sought to restore the people’s relationship with God. God then provided for his other needs: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33). “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (Jo. 15:7). “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6). “Delight yourself in the LORD; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4). If you diligently seek Him, you will also find Him: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13). “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7-8). If you are in need of spiritual or physical renewal, begin by seeking Jesus and following His Word.
God blessed Jotham with strength, protection, and wealth. Because Jotham sought first to restore worship and walk in faith-led obedience, God blessed Jotham with strength, protection from his enemies, and wealth: “4 Moreover, he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and he built fortresses and towers on the wooded hills. 5 He fought also with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed over them so that the Ammonites gave him during that year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kors of wheat and ten thousand of barley. The Ammonites also paid him this amount in the second and in the third year.” (2 Chr. 27:4-5). Jotham rebuilt Judah’s infrastructure and defenses only after rebuilding the Temple. Because his priorities were correct, God blessed Judah with a strong civil infrastructure and victory after a war with the Ammonites. The tribute they received was more than three tons of silver and 10,000 donkey loads of wheat and barley.
An obedient nation will be blessed with protection. God promised to bless the Jews with protection from their enemies when they were obedient: “7 The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.” (Dt. 28:7; Lev. 26:7-8; Ex. 23:22; Nu 10:9, 35; Isa. 54:17; Gen. 22:17). The Jews’ victory over the Ammonites was the fulfillment of God’s promises. But the Jews’ failed to see God’s hand in their victories. Sadly, they later believed that they were responsible for their victories.
An obedient nation may also be blessed with prosperity. God rewarded Jotham for his obedience by providing for his needs. For the doers of God’s Word, God also promises His provision, which may or may not take a material form: “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Dt. 6:3). Just as He did for Judah, God can bless an obedient nation today with prosperity: “8 The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” (Dt. 28:8). This blessing, however, requires obedience. God also will not provide the blessing of prosperity if you are motivated by the wrong motives. The love of money is evil (1 Tim. 6:10). Greed is also evil (Ro. 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:10-11; 6:10; Eph. 5:5). Thus, God will not bless you or a nation with money if you or a nation seek to become rich. God also will not bless a nation when it lives in rebellion against Him.
Hosea condemned the people for putting their trust in their fortified cities. Judah’s strength and wealth was a blessing from God. Yet, the prophet Hosea later condemned the people for putting their trust in their walls and wealth for their protection. “For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; and Judah has multiplied fortified cities, but I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings.” (Hosea 8:14). The prophet Isaiah observed that God was their true strength and the source of their protection. “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (Is. 12:2).
Take refuge in Jesus and give Him the credit for His victories in your life. For those who are obedient and take refuge in Jesus, He promises to be a shield against the enemy’s fiery darts: “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Prov. 30:5(b); 2 Sam. 22:31). With God’s help, Jonathon killed 20 enemy soldiers (1 Sam. 14:14). Likewise, it was God’s blessing that allowed David to kill Goliath (1 Sam. 17:50-58). God also used Gideon’s small army of only 300 soldiers to kill 120,000 enemy Midianites (Jdgs. 7:16-22; 8:10). If you are under attack, seek refuge in Jesus. When He delivers you, don’t make the same mistake in taking credit for your victories. Instead, give Him the credit and remain dependent upon Him for your protection.
God blesses Jotham with honor. Because he sought first the Kingdom of God, God also blessed Jotham with honor in all that he did. “6 So Jotham became mighty because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God.” (2 Chr. 27:6). He was “mighty” not because of his accomplishments. Instead, he was mighty because he ordered all his thoughts, actions, and deeds to serve God with faith-led obedience.
An obedient nation will be exalted over other nations. If a country is obedient to God, He promises to exalt that country above other nations. “1 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God:” (Dt. 28:1-2). With obedience to His Commandments, “He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken.” (Dt. 26:19). When David was obedient to God, God also blessed his entire kingdom by exalting it above the nations: “And David realized that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted, for the sake of His people Israel.” (1 Chr. 14:2). As a result of the obedience that came from his faith, God also turned Abraham’s descendants into a great nation: “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing.” (Gen. 12:2). If the nation and its leaders turn to God, God will also bless the nation with great honor.
An obedient nation will be blessed with respect. God also promised to bless an obedient nation with fear or respect from its enemies: “10 So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.” (Dt. 28:10). When God was protecting His people, we see many examples of where other nations feared them. For example, Pharaoh feared God’s wrath when he almost took Abraham’s wife Sarah as his wife (Gen. 12:17-20). As another example, as the Jews prepared to invade the Promised Land, Rahab told Joshua’s two spies that the Canaanites feared the Jews and their God because God defeated Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea and the armies of two different Amorite kings in Jordan (Josh. 2:10-11). After defeating the Amorites, the Jews traveled back to the plains of Moab where they stayed until God gave the word for Joshua to take them into the Promised Land (Nu. 22:1). There, the Moabites feared the Jews (Nu. 22:3-4). Their fear caused the Moabite King Balak to hire the sorcerer Balaam in an unsuccessful attempt to cast a spell on Israel (Nu. 22:7). The kings of Canaan again feared the Jews and their God when they invaded. The Canaanites “heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel.” (Josh. 5:1; Ex. 15:15-16). God does not promise that the world will like you (Matt. 10:22). Yet, when you are faithful, He will bless you with respect.
God blessed Jotham with the honor, even in death. Because he was faithful and obedient, Jotham reigned with success during his 16-year-reign, and he received the honor of being buried in David’s tomb: “7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, even all his wars and his acts, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. 8 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. 9 And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Ahaz his son became king in his place.” (2 Chr. 27:7-9; 2 Kgs. 15:36-38). In contrast, Uzziah died in isolation with the stigma of leprosy (2 Chr. 26:23). Jotham is also honored as being listed in Jesus’ genealogy: “Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.” (Matt. 1:9). Jotham also received the honor of having his son Ahaz succeed him. But this was also an act of God’s grace because Ahaz would turn from God and embrace the idolatry of Northern Israel (2 Chr. 28:1-2).
God tested His people to show them where their hearts remained dark. Through the book of Kings and the prophet Isaiah, we learn that God allowed King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah from Northern Israel to form an alliance against Judah and invade as far as Jerusalem. “37 In those days the Lord began to send Rezin king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah.” (2 Kgs. 15:37). Yet, out of mercy and grace, God did not let them prevail: “Now it came about in the days of Ahaz, the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not conquer it.” (Is. 7:1). God wanted to discipline His people to bring them back. He did not want any of them to be placed into bondage. But because they loved darkness, they refused to repent.
God will also test you to show you where your heart is evil. God cannot tempt you (Jam. 1:13-14). Yet, He will test you to show you where your heart is evil: “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, . . .” (Dt. 8:2; Jer. 17:10. 20:12; Ps. 11:5). His testing is done out of love (Heb. 12:6). When you are tested, you frequently find that your heart is wicked. At that point, He wants you to repent (Jer. 17:9). When He has shown you evil in your heart through times of testing, have you repented of your sins?
Stay pure and obey Jesus, or Satan will turn your heart against Jesus. Your spiritual renewal will not likely last unless you remove influences that cause you to sin. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnerships have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. . ..” (2 Cor. 6:15-18). Have you taken steps to separate yourself from evil influences and to guard your heart? If not, you may backslide into sin like the people of Judah.