Archive for November, 2010

God is faithful even when you ‘hit rock bottom’.

November 29, 2010

In November, we began the journey of looking at the fact of how faithful God is in keeping His Word.  If one does not read intently, it may appear that God does not keep His Word, but that is not the case!  In verse 26 of 2 Kings 23 below, we see the response God had even after a king, Josiah, who did good in the eyes of the Lord.

26 Nevertheless, the LORD did not turn away from the heat of his fierce anger, which burned against Judah because of all that Manasseh had done to arouse his anger. 27 So the LORD said, “I will remove Judah also from my presence as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and this temple, about which I said, ‘My Name shall be there.’”

In our text for today,2 Kings 24:20b-25:26 , we join the folks at Today in the Word in reviewing repentance.  As we saw from the verse above, repentance does not necessarily prevent us from experiencing the consequences of sin.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10

Johnny Cash, the renowned American country singer with that distinctive voice, had a long and successful musical career. But not all of Cash’s life was characterized by joy. In the early 1960s Cash started drinking heavily and became addicted to drugs. As a result, his behavior became increasingly erratic, his performances suffered, and his marriage was being destroyed. By 1967, his life out of control, Cash crawled deep into Nickajack cave in Tennessee hoping to die. He had hit rock bottom.

Today’s reading is Judah’s version of hitting rock bottom, and it’s clear that the writer wants to emphasize the sadness and loss Judah experienced. First, there was the loss of land. Verse 11 reports that “Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people.” The land was now gone, and the people were forced to live in a foreign land. In many ways, 2 Kings 25 is summed up with these simple words: “So Judah went into captivity, away from her land” (v. 21). That promised land of milkand honey, that land of freedom from the slavery of Egypt, was now taken away.

Second, there was the loss of the city, Jerusalem. That fortified capital of Judah, God’s Zion, represented His protection and glory. The Psalms are full of the praises of Zion’s strength and beauty (see Ps. 2:6; 48:2), but now that city was destroyed. Its walls were broken through, torn down, and burned. The great city had been reduced to ruins.

Third, there was a loss of temple, the place of worship and of God’s presence. Not content simply to capture the city, the Babylonian king burned the temple to the ground. Later, his commander removed the articles from the temple, piece by piece. The bronze pillars, the bronze Sea, the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes—all were removed from the temple and taken to Babylon.

Why dwell on such loss and sadness? Perhaps because often the realization of our loss prompts us to return to God. Sadness can evoke our repentance (2 Cor. 7:10-11).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY

You may know someone who has hit rock bottom, and like the writer of today’s passage, you feel the sorrow and see the consequences of their sinful choices. You can pray that God will use the loss and sadness in order to bring about true repentance. Only when we first see our own misery can we long for redemption from it. Our God remains a God of compassion, forgiveness, mercy, and love.

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He did evil in the eyes of the LORD

November 28, 2010

Throughout many books in the Old Testament that tell of a kings reign, there is one phrase that has truly dominated the texts for the past month.  That phrase in in our text (2 Kings 21) today.  It is the reference that the leader did evil in the eyes of the Lord.  That specific phrase yields 57 scriptural verses in the NIV.  All, except one, are references in the Old Testament.  The one in the New Testament is a reference to an Old Testament text.  The point is that God never wanted to give the Israelites a king as He was their leader.  The people persisted and God gave them what they wanted.  Many of the leaders did evil in the eyes of the Lord which is contrasted to His leadership primarily in Christ as Lord. 

I believe this is the contrast that God is showing me.  I continue to read about all the kings of Israel who did evil in the eyes of the Lord.  What exactly does God consider evil in his eyes?  In every reference, it is man choosing to forego his reverence and worship of Jehovah as God alone.  The king either mixed his worship of God or completely abandoned Jehovah as God and the ways in which God had conveyed they needed to worship.

This is akin to what we do.  We put our trust in our gifts, abilities, people or other gods altogether.  This is how we do evil in the eyes of the Lord.  There were always consequences.  Those leaders and the people who followed always had negative consequences that were destructive yet corrective in nature.  Look at our present situations, many  people attach their spiritual estate to a particular leader.  When that leader shows that he is just a man, many of those followers are crushed or continue in their blind but improperly placed faith.  The Lord God, Jehovah, is the only God.  He says so in Isaiah 45:5, “5 I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God”  There you have it.  God said it, but that isn’t enough for many of us.

God is clearly telling us that it is evil to rely on anyone or anything else other than him.  Where will you place your confidence, your trust, your faith?  Will it solely be in God alone?  Will you rest assured in the hope of a friend or a winning lottery ticket or worse yet some false god whom we have been told is a dead-end.  Don’t do evil in the eyes of the Lord.  He is watching, and He will correct us for our misplaced faith.

Faith: S.A.D. times about God, about Man

November 24, 2010

In examples of faith, there are always truths about God to be learned as well as truths about man.  Moments of faith are driven by S.A.D. times.  S.A.D. times are times of suffering and difficulty.  When has any of us not experienced one, if not both, of these?  I dare say that if you are at least 7 you can recall multiple incidents of suffering and difficulty. 

From that, we know the question is not if we will have suffering and difficulty, but when will we experience those.  In the post On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?, we see, in S.A.D times, that man has a part to play and God has a part to play in revealing the character of each.  From God, we see that God hears the prayers of people who know Him.  We see that God sees the tears, that is the emotion, of people who know Him.  Not only do we see that God sees and hears, we see God acting on behalf of people who know Him. 

In today’s text, 2 Kings 20, Hezekiah was ill, and it was pronounced that he would die by the prophet Isaiah.  When told that S.A.D. news, Hezekiah’s response to the S.A.D. news serves as a perfect example for us.  Look at verses 2 and 4.  “Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.”  Hezekiah took action as shown in the verbs turned, prayed and wept.  It was the correct action because God, Jehovah, was the focus of the dependency.  Because Hezekiah honored God, God honored him as seen in verse 5.  “‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.”  Now this does not mean that God will always respond in the manner we wish, but it means that for those who humble themselves in seek God in earnest prayer, God will hear you, see you and respond to you in a manner that serves His purposes and glorifies Him (v6).  In this case, man was blessed when he depended on the Lord (v1-11).

Likewise, God will hear you, see you and respond to you when you are not dependent upon Him but another or yourself (v 12-21).  However, it will lead to your discipline when we rely and depend on one other the Jehovah.  As in verses 1-11, Hezekiah was an example to us.  He is also an example in verses 12-21, but it is an example of what not to do.  After all that God had done, the stunning victory over the Assyrians God demonstrated, Hezekiah was afraid of the king of Babylon and gave in to seeking support from him rather than the Lord God.  Look at how God pronounced the discipline and consequences of failing to trust in Him.  “16Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. 18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

Depending of the object of our Faith in S.A.D times, we will either experience blessings and peace or chastisement and insecurity.  The choice is ours.  We can’t decide the specific result, but we can decide the kind of outcome we experience.  We must rely and depend in Christ as Lord (R.A.D.I.C.A.L.).   We must live a R.A.D.I.C.A.L. life in order to experience the fulness of God.   Right now there is a S.A.D. element in your life, decide how you will respond.  The object of your faith will determine your destiny not what you speak, declare or claim.

On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?

November 23, 2010

In chapter 18 of 2 Kings, this was the question posed by Sennacherib king of Assyria.  For Hezekiah and the people of Judah, the threat of being defeated and dominated were apparently imminent.  The Assyrians had conquered many nations and more recently Samaria where the majority of the tribes of Jacob lived.  It appeared that people were going to be captured.  What do we do when hardships press against us?  How do we respond when the chips are down and the odds state that we can’t experience victory. 

In today’s text, 2 Kings 19, the answer to the question of Sennacherib and those above is answered by the Almighty God.  As always, God is the star.  Despite that, God has a great supporting cast headed by Isaiah and Hezekiah.  As is all of the Word of God, these two chapters (18&19) are great.  The crescendo brought me to tears this morning leading me to shout to the LORD.  When Hezekiah, the king of Judah and leader of God’s people, received the news that Jerusalem would be attached.  He was concerned about the threats of a king who had dominated all he had faced.  While I am sure that fear was present for Hezekiah, God used him to demonstrate how we should respond in difficulty, hardship and/or harm. 

First, Hezekiah tore his clothes.  In the old testament, this phrase appears many times.  It simply means that the person is stricken with despair and or grief.  Next, Hezekiah did the most important thing. He went into the temple which signifies that he went into the presence of the Lord.  Thirdly, Hezekiah appealed to God, His character and His promise.  God, as He always does when a person’s faith is in Him, came to the rescue.  Sennacherib did not realize that God’s name and glory are of paramount importance to Him.  Since Hezekiah sought the Lord for help, he identified himself and his kingdom with God.  God did not disappoint.  God did what He had told Hezekiah He would do,  protected the city, the city of his choosing, saved the people and more importantly defended His name, character, and glory.  (v. 34:”I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’”)

Now, listen to what God did in verses 35-36: “35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.”

Remember, this whole month is supposed to be reflective of how faithful God is in keeping His Word.  God kept His Word for them, and He keeps His Word for those who trust solely in Him.   Trust in Christ and answer the question ‘on whom are you depending’ with a resounding in Jehovah, the Lord God.

By the way, Hezekiah means “Jehovah is my strength” or “the might of Jehovah”.  Wow, God is soooo cool.

More Spiritual Adultery

November 20, 2010

In the post I have committed Adultery, the point that we all have been unfaithful to the Lord was the ultimate point.  In our text today, 2 Kings 17:24-41, we see the consequences of adultery that the people of God experience.  To remind you of what God said the consequences would be, let’s review verses 22 & 23.  “The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 23 until the LORD removed them from his presence, as he had warned through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.”

Now that the people of God have been taken out of God’s presence, invaded, defeated and deported by the Assyrians, here is what God says are the subsequent consequences as if that was not enough.  Because the king of Assyria had moved these people into Samaria to resettle the towns where the Israelites has been deported, He filled the land with a new people who did not know him.  While disciplining the nation of Israel, God provided another avenue for the people of Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim to know Him.  He sent lions to Samaria.  They attached the people until the King of Assyria was notified.  He commanded that a priest from the capture Israelites be brought back to the land to show them how to worship God. “They worshiped the LORD, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.” v33.

Those people like the Israelites and us know the truth; yet, we continue to worship God in the manner in which we deem suitable.  That is why the phrase “in the eyes of the Lord” is so prevalent in the books of Kings.  It’s about worshiping God in the manner He sets forth.  Even today, we want to worship God and other things.   God intends to be worshiped alone.  He does not want a relationship with us where we are pursuing other things to give ourselves.  Again, this is the adultery that God hates.  He wants all of us not just one or two days a week.  We all would be appalled at a woman or man who had two or more families hiding it from the other spouse.  Despite our disdain for that, we think it is okay to do God that way.  God has said “Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods.” v38   We worship God plus our jobs, cars, prestige, etc.  It’s not right.  What do we want to pass on to our kids and family.  Serve the Lord God only.

I Have Committed Adultery

November 19, 2010

Adultery is defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man or woman and a partner other than the legal spouse.  Each man and woman who marry under the auspices of the Almighty God commit themselves to a singular love relationship where their union is supposed to represent the relationship man is to have with Jehovah.  The man and the woman are to become one with one another, not others.  When a man or a woman have sexual relations with one whom they are not wed, a violation of that oneness occurs.  It is a declarative act that I am not solely yours anymore.  I have given a part of me to someone else.  In Matthew 5:27-29, let’s see what Jesus had to say about the matter.  ”  27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  That’s simple enough, so whether it is the act or the look, the sin has been committed.

Similarly, spiritual adultery is the transference of our faith, trust, reliance, dependency in/on God to another whether animate or inanimate.  In our text (2 Kings 17:1-23) today, this is what God is expressing.  Famed commentator Matthew Henry wrote “This was the sin that did most easily beset them [Israel/Judah]; this was, of all sins, most provoking to God: it was the spiritual adultery that broke the marriage-covenant, and was the inlet of all other wickedness. Hence it is again and again mentioned here as the sin that ruined them. (1.) They feared other gods (v. 7), that is, worshipped them and paid their homage to them, as if they feared their displeasure.”

God abhors, despises, loathes, and resents spiritual adultery above everything else as it is a rejection of Him.  It is man’s declarative act that God is not enough, that God is not sufficient, that God is not capable of keeping them nor His Word.  There is no greater offense to God than to assassinate His character or His person.  That is the essence of who God is.  He will not tolerate it.  He did not with Israel and Judah sending them into servitude to other nations to show them how wrong they were.  You will see in the old testament a reference to the sin of Jeroboam.  This is the king of Israel (northern kingdom) that I posted about several days ago in the Rise and Fall of Kings.  Through the prophet, God told him that He would make him king and that he would be secure in his reign; yet, Jeroboam feared that the people would not continue to follow him as king if they went to Jerusalem (southern kingdom) to worship.  He felt the people would revert to Rehoboam who was the king of Judah in the southern kingdom.  Because he did not trust what God had told him (God’s Word), he crafted two golden calves and led the people into idolatrous worship in two cities in the northern kingdom.  This began the wayward road for all of God’s people to turn to other gods resulting in God’s chastisement of them.  As I stated, God did not tolerate adultery with his people then nor will He do so with us. 

If you have not surrendered your life to Christ, Christ does not consider you His bride.  Because you refuse to initially trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, you are destined to doom unless you surrender.  For those of us who have surrendered, we must make sure that our hearts are not lured away by another false god such as success, happiness, money, jobs, wealth, fame or the like.  God will discipline us harshly.  If you (men & women), have committed spiritual adultery, humble yourself and repent of your sins.  He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins cleansing us from all unrighteousness.  Then we will be acceptable in His sight. 

Jeremiah 3 gives us an image of this truth.  He did it for them; he will do it for us.  Listen to God in verses 12 & 13:

“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD,
   ‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’ declares the LORD,
   ‘I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt—
   you have rebelled against the LORD your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods
   under every spreading tree,
   and have not obeyed me,’”
            declares the LORD.

The King’s Cry for Help

November 18, 2010

In the post, The Rise and Fall of Kings, we saw kings embroiled in challenge and controversy.  The fate of the king and people depended on how that king related to God.  For those who surrendered their lives in deference to the Lord God, those were the kings whose reign was extended.  For those who did not yield to the LORD, their reigns were truncated because of their indifference.  The king, Azariah, and his son, Jotham, were kings who did right in the eyes of the Lord, so their reigns were governed by the Lord God.

In today’s text, 2 Kings 16, we see Azariah’s grandson and Jotham’s son, Ahaz reign as king.  As with his father and grandfather, Ahaz encountered difficulties during his reign.  Listen to his cry for help found in verse seven. “I am your servant and vassal (son). Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” On the surface, that is the most impassioned and appropriate request for help until you read who the object of his faith and cry appealed.  Ahaz’s cry for help was to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria not to the Lord God. 

Ahaz said the right thing.  He had an appropriate cry for help, but he looked to the wrong person to help him.  God will use people to help us, but God has demanded that our affection and trust be solely dependent upon Him.  Ahaz thought his salvation was found in another man.  Never!  Our salvation is only and always in the LORD.  Ahaz incorrectly transferred his allegiance.  He told that king that “I am your servant and son”.  For those who supposedly have surrendered their lives to God, He is our Heavenly Father.  Just imagine you asking a stranger, in fact one who were adversaries to your family, to save you in the presence of your mother or father.  If you have kids, imagine your child going to a stranger asking that person to save them exclaiming I am your servant and child.  The indignation you would feel would be immense.

This is the position that Ahaz put himself and the people he led in with God. The people of Judah went from having a harmonious relationship with God enjoying peace with Him to a relationship filled with discontented and indignation.  The people we choose to follow will have a significant impact on our lives.  We need to hitch our trailer to the Lord.  He never will lead you in the wrong direction.  He will never run out of gas.  He will never be unable to help you.  In your cry for help, make sure your faith is in the one and only God, Jehovah.  Cry to the Lord for your help today.

The Rise and Fall of Kings

November 17, 2010

2 Kings 15 is our text for the post today.  The action in this chapter is fast paced.  In the midst of all of the action, we see God still being faithful to the promise He made to Abram which transferred David.  I warn you I am risking being too verbose, but I want to fill you in on some important details.  God has always wanted to be the king of our lives.  He created Adam and wanted Adam’s allegiance, but Adam chose Eve and the serpents way over God.  Leading to the spiritual death of man.  Man, because of sin, had become separated from God.  God shed the blood of animals to cover their shame symbolic of the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, that would cover the shame of our sin restoring us back to God.

In this passage, we have not made it to Christ yet, but God is showing His faithfulness.  Remember God wanted to be King of our hearts, but we did not want Him and still don’t.  God allowed the Israelites to have kings of which Saul was the first then David.  David was a great king – a man after God’s own heart but a poor leader in comparison to Christ.  David’s son Solomon assumed the throne after David’s death.  Solomon is credited as being the wisest man alive as God was faithful in answering his prayer in 1Kings 3. God always keeps His word, but man does not.  Man does not keep God’s Word nor his own word.  When we don’t keep God’s Word, we will experience harm.

2 Kings 15 is in the middle of God fulfilling what God told Solomon in 1 Kings 11.  Here’s what God said, “So the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.”  The subordinate was Jeroboam.  God tore the nation of Israel apart.  In the north, Jeroboam, his descendants and others would serve as kings in the north (Samaria) over 10 and half tribes.  In the south (Jerusalem), in accordance with the promise God made to Abram and David, David would continue to have a ruler on the throne in the southern kingdom which was the tribe of Judah and a half tribe of Benjamin.   God said that “I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.”

The distinction in the length of time that people ruled whether in the north or in the south was how well they followed the laws and decrees of God.  In chapter 15, God demonstrates this.  At the beginning of the chapter(v3) you have Azariah, a southern king, who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord (not perfect though).  At the end of the chapter (v34), you have Jotham who did right in the eyes of the Lord just as his father Azariah.  In the middle, you have the rise and fall of kings who did not do right in the eyes of the Lord. 

Count the number of kings who get killed for their position.  It is solely because they refuse to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.  God contrasts the life of those who do right with those who do wrong.  Those who do right had stability while those who did not do right did not have stability.  I did not say an easy and pain-free life but stability. 

God has, from the beginning until this very moment, always wanted to be king of our hearts, but we did not want Him.  Who is the king of your heart?  Will that king rise and fall?  If God is the king of your heart, He can never be dethroned by some other man who desires to set up his kingdom in your heart.  The kingdom is in the hearts and minds of man.  If you follow one, including yourself, who does evil in the eyes of the Lord, you will rise and fall never to rise again.  Those who do what is right in the eyes of the Lord will experience stability.  Will you let Christ reign as the last and effectual king of your life?

A Strong Start Leads to a Last Place Finish

November 16, 2010

Wow, let’s go back to August 1985.  I entered the football dormitory of a college filled with excitement to continuing playing football after high school.  Since nine, I had not experienced anything but success in football.  Needless to say, I expected to do well on this next stage.  The first test for testosterone-filled young men was the conditioning test.  The task was to complete three separate laps around the track within 65 seconds each.  I felt confident.  Afterall, I spent part of my summer training with an NFL player from the area where I went to high school. 

We were off on the first of three laps.  I started in the pack, but moved to the front.  I finished first.   A veteran, as they called them, told me slow down young pup.  Inwardly, my ego was amuck. Thinking to myself, I got this mess and everybody out here.  This is just how it went with my new high school four years earlier.   After a brief rest, we were off for the second of the three laps.  This time, I finished third.  Respectable and enough to assert myself.  Again, after a brief rest, we were off for our final lap and time for me to put my stamp on my place on the team.  And I did.  It was a statement of epic proportions.  Everyone one would notice me after this final lap.  When I concluded that final lap, I was at the center of attention.  I finished first on the first lap and dead last on the final lap.  I was the center of attention but for wrong reasons.  In track terms, the bear had jumped on me in the third curve.  I was dog-tired.  The arrogance that thrusted me to the front and that spurned the advice of a veteran had led to my demise.  I finished last in classic style.  I crossed the line hurling all of the contents that were contained in my stomach.  The coach stated loudly, “somebody called Earl”.  Ironically, that is my middle name. 

What’s the point?  Just because you start strong does  not mean you will finish first.  This issue is how you run the race.  I ran the race in pride and arrogance.  I finished in disgrace.  All these years later, some people still remember that day.  It’s all funny now, but for me it was the beginning of a series of humbling experience where God broke down all of the idols and false confidences I had.  He did that, fortunately for me, to build me up in Him.  Shortly after that and other humbling experiences, God taught me James 4:6 “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

That is one of the lessons in our text today, 2 Kings 14. Amaziah King of Judah suffered a similar defeat except on a greater level.  He was leading men into battle who died.  He represented the favored tribe of Israel where the greatest King would come and where the great King David had reigned.  Amaziah had experienced great victories defeating huge armies.  It was through the Lord God, but Amaziah began thinking it was because of his great leadership.  He challenged Israel’s northern king.  That king told him “Glory in your victory, but stay at home! Why ask for trouble and cause your own downfall and that of Judah also?”  Despite that, Amaziah did not listen.  He challenged him and his army suffered a great defeat.  This eventually led to his demise as king and death as conspirators killed him.

Likewise, Jesus has conveyed to us that He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).  God has and is showing us how to avoid finishing  in last place and experiencing a humiliating end.  1 John 5:11-12 tells us “11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”  John 3:36 tells us “36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” 

If you want to be humiliated and finish last, continue on the path of leading your own life.  It will end in bitter disappointment and utter shame; however, if you want to experience peace now and exhilaration in the end, follow and trust in Christ.  With Christ, you can not only start strong but finish well.   What will you do?

Zeal for the LORD isn’t enough.

November 12, 2010

While we have been exploring the book of 2 Kings to see examples of how God keeps His promises, I do not want to overlook the greatest promise that God made to man.  In Genesis 3, God promised that He would provide one who “will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”  In Genesis 12, God further defined the promise in chapter 3.  He said to Abram “I will bless those who bless you,  and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth 
will be blessed through you.” 

God intended for man to have fellowship with Him, to be one with Him, but sin entered the scene and wrecked man’s chances of experiencing complete oneness with God.  God, back in Genesis, began laying out and executing His plan to bring man back into complete fellowship with Him.  In today’s text, 2 Kings 10, we see God continuing to show that He is faithful and keeps His Word. Other than God, Jehu is the main character in this text.  While God is demonstrating His faithfulness, He also contrasts man’s, through Jehu, unfaithfulness. 

As zealous as Jehu was in executing those who did not serve the LORD God as dedicated followers of Ahab, we see that even in that zeal that Jehu’s efforts (works) did not bring about the oneness with God in its entirety.  Verse 31 says, “Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.”  God had told them not to make any idols to worship; yet, the worship of a golden calf is what Jehu did not give up.

What you not given up to serve God solely?  It is only through Jesus Christ that any man or woman will be one with God.  It is only through Christ that peace with God is obtained.  In Christ, we cease in being enemies of God because of our sin.  Will you give up your zealous efforts to earn salvation?  Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” While you must be zealous for God, it is not that provision that will enable you to be one with God.  It is only Christ!