Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday, June 20: 2 Kings 15:1-4, 2 Chronicles 26:1-15, 2 Kings 15:5, 2 Chronicles 26:16-21 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 15:1-4, 2 Chronicles 26:1-15, 2 Kings 15:5, 2Chronicles 26:16-21

Scripture:  2 Chronicles verse 16 But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

Observation: When we are weak, He is strong

Application: We've heard it, and likely experienced it, that it is when we are under the most trying of times that we become the most closest to and dependent on God. How many times have you been listening to someone's testimony and they recount this moment of utter despair that caused them to run towards God because they knew they had no other option. In times of trouble we can feel closest to God because we become fully and completely aware that we cannot do it on our own strength. God uses those times to draw us closer to Him and also to be an example to others to draw them close to Him too. 

On the flip side, when God chooses to bless us and give us more than we could hope for sometimes the reaction that we have is of self-centered-ness as  we begin to believe that we are the source of our own fulfillment. We begin to believe that we don't need God's help--or anyone's help--because things are going so well. This is what happened to King Uzziah. He came believe that all his power and might was of his own making and that God's rules and standards did not apply to him. Uzziah began to make his own rules and defy the commands set by God. Disobedience and disregard for those trying to help you understand and repent has disastrous consequences. They may not be as immediate as King Uzziah faced when he immediately became a leper but there are always consequences for disobedience. When Uzziah was separated from his community and lived alone the rest of his days, I'm sure he had lots of time to ponder his bad decisions which led him to that point. 

 God gives us free choice. We have the freedom and the ability to choose to make decisions that honour God and we have the ability to choose to make decisions to choose to act in a way that dishonours God. Our obedience should not depend on whether we are in a time of chaos in our lives and fully dependent on God to get us through a tough time or whether we are doing "well" on our own. The reality is that we are always dependent on God because our lives can radically change in a second just a Uzziah's did. The bible doesn't explicitly tell us whether Uzziah repented only that he was excluded from the house of the Lord. I wonder if Uzziah leaned on God to be strong when he was weak and whether the time of trials that followed after his time of earthly power caused hime to finally submit to God as he lived out his final days.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You always give us exactly what we need. May we be reminded that every gift is is from you. Gifts of prosperity and strength are from you and gifts of trials and chaos may also be a gift that causes us to lean on you fully. May we see and appreciate all your gifts and may they cause us to recognize that you are strong when we are weak and that You have our eternal future in mind when allowing things to happen according to your purpose. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage:

3 comments:

Nathan Reimer said...

2 Chronicles 26:16-18
But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 17 But Azariah the priest went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor, 18 and they withstood King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary, for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.”

Even though he was king, King Uzziah thought he could do what wasn't his job. He stepped over his boundary, and paid for it. A good reminder to us to listen to what God wants, even when we think we know better.

Conrad said...

This reading was a good reminder that everything we have and receive is from God and God alone. When we are weak, God is strong. Even when we feel strong, God is still stronger.

Tammy Reimer said...

So true Pamela!

2 Chronicles 26:5b And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.

You'd think he would have continued to follow God when his success was tied so closely to his obedience. But, it's easy to see that from the outside looking in. As Pamela said in her post, we are so quick to give ourselves the credit when things go well, to become self-reliant and proud, and to take God's gifts and guidance for granted, or worse yet to begin to ignore and discount them. Great reminder for us to continually give glory and honour to God for every single good thing in our lives.