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October 2018

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II Chronicles 26:1-28:27

Here we have another king, Uzziah, who sought the Lord only as long as the High Priest, Zechariah, lived. God gave this man success as long as he sought the Lord,

5 Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. And as long as the king sought the LORD, God gave him success (26:5 NLT).

Success, real success comes from the Lord when we follow after God. The first time I remember hearing this concept were in the words God spoke to Joshua before he lead Israel into the Promise Land.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Jos 1:8 AMP)

Success does not mean prosperity the way we usually think of it; in fact one can be prosperous in man’s eye and not have “good” success. The use of the adjective “good” before the word success implies one’s success can be bad. Today I read in the paper that a very wealthy man, who others said taught them how to love and loved his family, Arthur Zankel, jumped out of the ninth floor window of his apartment building. He was indeed prosperous: but was he successful in God’s economy.

It seems that godly success had a inherent trap for us, illegal conversion. We take what belongs to God, done under the power of God and covert it to success accomplished by me, myself and I, the unholy trinity. Studying the rise and downfall of Israel’s and Judah’ kings should be a warning and example for us in what NOT to do when we are blessed with success done God’s way.

Romans 13:1-14

Rom 13:1-2 NET. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God's appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. (2) So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment

Hmmm, so we ARE supposed to obey our governing bodies, even when they are not Christian. Paul wrote this as a citizen of the Roman Empire, a not so very nice government. So what was that thing about not paying taxes because …

There are a lot of us Christians who think we are above the law of the land. We justify our breaking of the laws. We even justify not obeying rules and regulations of the local church body we attend. “Yes, I know we are asked not to leave before the Pastor dismisses us and especially when the alter call has gone out and we are praying for those who have accepted Jesus Christ, but I have an emergency.” Then latter you find that emergency is being the first on line to get the tape or CD of the message Pastor just spoke on about obedience. If we cannot obey and honor the laws of the land, our church and our jobs given be the people we can see; do we really think we are going to obey God whom we cannot?

Joh 14:15 NET. "If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”
Who is speaking? Jesus.

Psalm 23:1-6
I know this Psalm is read at funerals; however, I’ve always been uncomfortable when it is read over a deceased body or when death is talked about, but that is my thing. I look at the transition from verses two and three, which state, “He maketh me…; He leadeth …; He restoreth …,” then in verse four, “Yea, though I walk…” Shepherds lead and sheep follow, but sometimes they walk off and follow something else. Yet the Good Shepherd goes and looks for the lost sheep (John 10:11). That looking for the lost sheep and finding them is where I see verse four coming in.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
(Psa 23:4 KJVR)

If Jesus is light and life, then death is not with Him. If I have taken it upon myself to walk after a hireling, someone who doesn’t love the sheep, then I will find myself in the Valley of the Shadow of death. A shadow has no substance; it is not the real thing. A shadow is, (1. darkened shape of something in light: a darkened shape on a surface that falls behind somebody or something blocking the light-- Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2005). I’ve never been bitten by a shadow of a dog but I’ve been bitten by the real thing.

The rod and staff of a shepherd is used to fend off wild animals, or people, and to pull the animal out of crevices, holes and bramble bushes the wandering sheep might find themselves in.

As stated in the beginning this is my problem and something I’ve thought about over the years.


Proverbs 20:11

Hmmm, there is this way of thinking that ALL children are born sin free. They not born bad, they become bad by their environments and the people surrounding them. This eleventh verse makes no mention of the parents or the neighborhood. Life is all about choices and even a child can choose to do good or do evil no matter the neighborhood or their parentage. And if even children are known by their acts, then what follows, as Mike has stated, we adults are definitely know by our acts, not our words or intentions.

When we excuse our behavior using our intentions as justification and we turn and judge others by their acts/behavior we are being hypocritical based on yesterdays readings. Yikes!

Romans 13:1-14

Model citizen

I have more trouble with Peter's urging to be a model employee. Constantly have to bite my tongue at the workplace. In the United States, it is not so hard to submit to the government. I may not like some of the policies or laws, but that is not my call.

Government is better than anarchy. It is important to note here Paul is talking about good governments. "Good" in the sense that they do not harass the citizenry and do evil against the people. If a government is evil, and is persecuting Christians, then one has to decide whether they will live and demean Christ, or stand up for one's belief and possible be tortured and die.
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13:4b "...But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer."

This may be unpopular, but the Bible clearly indicates that the sword is one for cutting - killing. Government (society) is set up by God to provide punishment for those who do wrong, and for those who spill blood in a cold blooded pre-meditated fashion - that would be with the death penalty. It also would apply to a case for war, if the cause was "just" and the wrongdoers (country, faction) are clearly identifiable.

God does not want vengence taken by individuals, but society is set up by God to administer justice here on earth. We are (and it is very difficult at times) to forgive the wrongdoer (against us), but it is clear that after forgiving, there is nothing wrong with wanting justice done by a legal system.

All things come from God. If we are under a good government, there should be no problem with submission. Anything less would not be a good representative of God and the Christian faith. As Ramona said, if we cannot submit to clear identifiable authority here on earth, how is it that we will be able to submit to a God who is Spirit.

Romans 13:1-14
[Continued]

"..and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

The Law can be fulfilled if we love one another as ourselves and love God - for if you love with "agape" (self-sacrificing love), you will not want to commit any of the sins under the Law.

Problem is: in the "flesh" we do not exhibit agape love. We are all about pride, and advancing our oun cause.

As a non-believer, even hen we do good acts, it most of the time can be traced back to them making us feel good about ourselves.

As a believer we will not be a hypocrite. Our spirits have been renewed, we have offered our body to the Lord to be His servant, and we want to have agape love. We desire to do what is right and just.

Daily we humbly submit to God, and clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. We should be inseparable, abiding in Him, and He in us. With this attitude we are fed the grace and assistance of the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, and we will progress to the point where we more and more love (agape) like God. Where we will sin less and less, because we love and do not desire to sin.

For a believer, we cannot progress in this love on our own, we MUST submit to the Father, and our Lord, and let Him do the changes necessary for us to obey these passages.

2 Chronicles 26-28:27

26 VERSES 16-23

1. Uzziah got a little to big for his own good. He was a king and not a priest and thus he could not go into the temple and offer incense to the Lord, only the priest could. But, because of his big head, he thought he could approach God any way he wanted. And because of that God struck him with leprosy and he was banished from the city and had to co-reign with his son Jotham. Many today try and do what Uzziah did, approach God any way they want. But there is only one High Priest, only one bridge builder between God and man, and that is Jesus Christ. You can't approach God through any other means. You see, you have a case of spiritual leprosy outside of Christ, and thus, like Uzziah, you will be banished from the kingdom, the kingdom of God. The only cure for this disease is found in Jesus Christ, as His blood cleanses us from all our sins.

II CHRONICLES 27

VERSES 1-2

1. Jotham was also a good king except he did not enter the temple of the Lord. Now why in the world was he so reluctant to enter the house of worship? Most likely he saw what happened to his father Uzziah, and because of that he did not want to have anything to do with the temple. The problem was that Uzziah's leprosy was due to his disobedience to God and so Jotham's fears were unsubstantiated. Now it could be that his refusal to enter the place of worship may have set the stage for his son Ahaz to plunge the nation into a spiritual nose dive in which they will never fully recover from. They, like the Northern Kingdom of Israel, were moving closer and closer to God's judgment and their captivity. Right now the Northern Kingdom of Israel is less than 30 years from their captivity by the Assyrians.

II CHRONICLES 28

VERSES 1-4

1. When God associates a king with the kings of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, it was a rebuke. You see, the Northern Kingdom of Israel had no good kings, they all were evil, some worse than others. And so God is saying that Ahaz was just as wicked as they were. He was not at all like David, the standard for all kings to be judged by. And as we have said before, David was not perfect, but he never lead the nation into idolatry. Ahaz, on the other hand, goes crazy and sets up all these places of worship, offering sacrifice to all these pagan gods, and even offering his own children in the fire as a sacrifice to them.

VERSES 14-15

1. It was a common practice to humiliate your captives, and many times they took them away naked. But now they are given clothes and food, and the weak are even given donkeys to ride on so they can make their way home. They did the right thing in releasing their captives.

VERSES 16-21

1. Ahaz and the Southern Kingdom of Judah are being attacked from every side. And you would think that this would at least get his attention and cause Ahaz to look up, but the kings heart is so hard and he refuses to listen to the warnings, to see why this is happening. He shuts his eyes to the truth.

VERSE 22

1. As the pressure from God increases, Ahaz hardens his heart even more and he refuses to look up. And many do the same today as God is trying to get their attention, they do everything they can to look the other way and not acknowledge Him.

VERSE 23

1. How many times have you heard people say to you "It really doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you believe in something." God is telling us through this example of Ahaz that sincerity in something does not save you, for it was the downfall of Ahaz. And Ahaz was very sincere in his walk with these other gods, just as many people are today.

VERSE 24

1. Because the king wasn't hearing from the true and living God, he was going to make sure that no one else would hear, so he shuts up the house of God, blocks it off so no one could enter. He tried to stomp God out, but let me tell you something, that will never happen.

https://www.ccmanitowoc.org/Library/Guglielmo-Joe/Studies/TH/14-2CH/TH1065.HTM

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