Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Tuesday, September 6th
Today's reading from the Chronological OT/NT Reading Plan is 2 Chronicles 24-26, 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Consistency. Endurance. Loyalty.
Those are words that came to mind as I read out OT passage.
And none of these kings had it.
For the most part, they were good kings. But not always. There was always a "but".
For Joash it was when the priest Jehoiada died and King Joash had never learned how to make wise decisions. And things went downhill fast - he even went so far as to order the murder of Jehoiada's son Zechariah when the priest confronted the king about his sin. It's here we see the stark contrast between Joash's reaction and King David's reaction. David was a man after God's own heart, and when confronted by his sin, he repented and humbled himself. Joash did not. He lashed out in anger and it cost him a battle and his life.
Amaziah was another good king. His issue wasn't that he hadn't learned to make wise decisions, or that he was simply imitating someone else's faith. No, his problem seemed to be that he did what was right on the outside, but inside often resented having to do it. Though he obeyed God and sent troops home, he complained about the money it cost him. And later, he was so impressed by the accomplishments of the Edomites that he went so far as to worship their idols! Definitely no enduring loyalty here either.
Uzziah had a different problem entirely. All the success he had been given by God turned into pride as he began to view these blessings as his own accomplishments. This pride took a disastrous turn when he took on the role of a priest, as though God's laws did not apply to him. He reigned for 52 years, but ended up being struck with leprosy and isolated until his death.
Spurts of obedience to God are not enough. Evidence of our salvation is marked by continuous faithful production of fruit. Yes, we will stumble at times, but it's what we do after that that shows what our faith is really made of. If we continue on in our sin until it becomes a lifestyle of sin, this becomes evidence that our faith is not real. But if we remain humble to accept rebuke like King David did, if we remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit working in our lives and revealing our sin, then our relationship with God will be restored and our faith is real.
"he who stands firm to the end will be saved" Mark 13:13b
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7
If we want to be able to say those words at the end of our lives, we must never allow ourselves to become complacent, we must stay entrenched in the Truth of God's Word, we must listen and respond to the Spirit's nudges and we must keep our hearts humble, allowing God to continue His work of perfecting our faith.
Tomorrow's passage: Isaiah 1-2, 2 Corinthians 11:16-33