A Corrupt Culture

Read: 2 Chronicles 27:1-9

And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD according to all that his father Uzziah had done . . . (v. 2)

On the surface Jotham, the second of the kings that reigned during Isaiah’s prophetic ministry, was a model king of Judah. Judah was a theocracy in which the worship of God and the government were closely intertwined. Jotham did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He continued the public works his father had started, was successful militarily, and avoided the foolish blunders of his father.

But there is a disturbing line in this brief summary of Jotham’s reign. “The people continued their corrupt practices” (v. 2). It often happens, both in nations and organizations, that great public accomplishments mask realities of injustice, decadence and sin that permeate the culture and daily lives of its people. At times, we place too much emphasis on the importance of an individual leader, and not enough on the responsibility of all people in a community. When sin is not addressed, good deeds can be wiped out as soon as the leader changes. It is a warning to all leaders including the church.

No doubt Isaiah who was in the early years of his ministry perceived these realities as he sought to discern God’s message for the people. In our reflections on Isaiah we will see parallels to our day. May we also perceive how God wants us to live in this world and address such issues. —Gordon Van Wylen

As you pray, ask God to help you see how to live as his witness in your community.

About the Author

Gordon Van Wylen

Gordon Van Wylen served as the Dean of the Engineering School at the University of Michigan, and was the President Emeritus of Hope College. Dr. Van Wylen died in 2020.