Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for July 18, 2 Kings 18, 2 Chron 29-31, Psalm 48

Today's readings are 2 Kings 18, 2 Chron 29-31 and Psalm 48. Tomorrow's are Hosea 1-7.

We've been bouncing around a bit. Even with the Chronological Plan, it's hard to line things up in exact Chronological order due to how the books were written, some being prophetic, looking forward and some being historical, looking backward. 

What we've consistently seen, though, is the decline of Israel, first into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah). God never told them to divide, Still, they separate, due to some questionable decisions by the kings and leaders. Then we see the gradual slide away from God of both kingdoms. Israel is sliding at a more rapid rate but both are sliding away. 

God sends prophets to both warning them to return to him or be taken captive. As the prophecies unfold, it becomes clear that Assyria will be used by God to invade both kingdoms and carry the Jews away.  

Yet, when Assyria finally invades, Judah is spared. Why? We find out in these passages.

Judah has a new king, Hezekiah. He is a godly man. He has his faults but he does much to turn Judah back toward God. Idols are removed from the country, pagan altars torn down, the Temple restored and the priesthood re-established. Sacrifices are offered up again and the people fear God. 

As a result of Hezekiah's godly leadership, Jerusalem is spared when the Assyrians attack. This is another exhibition of God's inimitable grace and mercy. He give His precious children every chance to repent. Only when they stubbornly refuse to obey Him do they suffer worldly consequences.

This should be a warning and an encouragement to us. God has not only graciously given us His word to guide us in living for Him, HE has also sent His Spirit to dwell within us to help us in that effort. If we become conversant in His word, the Spirit will help us keep it. God is not out to exact vengeance for every stumble we make. His grace will cover them all. But repentant hearts and true sorrow over our stumbles are necessary in order to avoid His chastisement. Blatant rebellion and disregard for His word and the leading of His Spirit will not rob us of our salvation. But, it will make our walk on earth more difficult.  

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the comment about "Blatant rebellion and disregard for his word and the leading of his Spirit," while it won't "rob us of our salvation," we do need to be careful not so assume that we can take the grace of God for granted. Be careful lest you claim the name of Christ in word only.

    God's word is very clear in telling us that salvation brings a changed heart. If one continues in sin and assumes that God's grace will cover whatever he does, one must ask himself (or herself) whether or not he really does believe. The Lord tells us that he seeks a broken spirit and a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17).

    Throughout God's word he calls for a transformed heart. In the Old Testament he spoke of the sacrifices of Israel being far less important than the intent of their hearts. And the New Testament is littered with scripture encouraging/commanding a changed heart from the believer. Check out Matthew 3:8, Matthew 10:38-39, Romans 13:12-14 and 1 John 1:6-7. These are just a small representation of what Christ calls us to as believers.

    Our salvation was bought at a HUGE price; the life of the Son of God. It's not cheap grace, but it is free to all who believe. Do you believe?