Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 17:1-18:34
2 Chronicles 17:1-18:34 A Wise Guy, Again
Here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:
1 Kings 22:1-40 2 Chronicles 18:1-34
2 Chronicles 17:1-19 is unique.
I’ve written on Jehosophat and Micaiah already here:
Jehosophat was another of the five best kings but, like Asa, he also had a flaw.
Jehosophat pleased Yahweh so much that all the surrounding nations were afraid of him. They even sent him presents! (v. 5).
A good friend of mine and mentor died several years ago. He was a pastor who always tried to get people interested in revival. I told him I would try to carry on the tradition. I had no idea how to provoke a revival. Of course, revivals have to begin with God. I would have thought prayer was the key to revival but the Scripture seems to indicate that a revival of teaching the Word brings about revival. We saw that with Asa yesterday and today we see it with Jehosophat (v. 9). The response to this blog and my interaction with other Christians indicates to me that I am right in thinking we are living in the age of Laodicea. I do not hardly find anyone who is interested in learning God’s Word. In fact, they avoid it like the plague. We have a Sunday morning meeting and even serve food and no one shows any inclination of wanting to learn. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I should develop a sense of humor or something.
Speaking of sarcasm, I’ve already covered the story of Micaiah, my favorite prophet, in a previous blog. Jehosophat though stirring revival in the kingdom, made a big mistake. He tried to move a relationship along with the northern kingdom by compromise. He first made an alliance with one of the worst kings ever, Ahab. He had his son marry Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter (2 Chron. 18:1, cf. 21:6; 22:2b).
I’ve explained the story here already: Raise Your Hand If You’re Sure
Suffice it to say, that Jehosophat did not prosper as a result of his alliance with the evil king Ahab. As I’ve mentioned so many times, Paul warns us not to be unequally yoked (2Cor. 6: 14-18). Jehosophat should have kept his distance from Ahab.
New Testament: Romans 9:25-10:13
Romans 9:25-10:13 Pitching With A High ERA
Let me set something straight from yesterday’s blog. Just because God chooses does not mean that we do NOT choose! Plenty of verses indicate that we must use our own will to choose Christ. I once attended a church that believed that God chose some to Heaven and some to Hell. What a horrendous God that would be! I didn’t go back after I heard that one of the teenagers was telling one of her friends that she might not be one of the chosen. How awful! That comes from pride. I know there are many verses that indicate God chooses us but there are also many that say we ourselves must choose . . .
Acts 16:31, “They said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, [even] to those who believe in His name.”
John 5:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
Rom. 10:9, ” . . . believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved . . .”
Rom. 10:13, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Rev. 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
In the reading today, Paul is trying to explain the place of Israel in God’s plan. I find that dispensationalist theology solves many problems in Scripture. I believe Paul was a dispensationalist. The term comes from the word for stewardship and is used in the King James translation. The newer translations often use the term “stewardship.” It simply means that God has related to mankind in different ways in different eras. For example, was there a difference between the way God deals with man from the time of Moses till today? Most definitely. In fact, we even divide our Bibles into Old and New Testaments! And there are other differences, for example, before and after the Fall . . . before and after the Flood? Without going into a long discussion of the different dispensations and eras, you can apply this concept to chapters 9-11 of Romans and it will really help in understanding what Paul was saying about Israel. Here is a visual of the dispensations.
Click on the image to enlarge it.
We will cover all this more tomorrow with chapter 11 but we should say something about verses 9, 10 of Romans 10. These are really good verses on how to be saved but are misunderstood. In fact, the fella that led me to the Lord wanted me to say out loud that “Jesus is Lord” because of these verses. I knew something had happened to me and I didn’t want to do what he said. But he persisted so I finally did it so I could go back to my room and sleep since it was about 2 a.m. by that point.
Verses 9 and 10 are what is known in literary circles as a “chiasmus.” The word, chiasmus, is from the Greek word for cross.
Here is the explanation, “Chiasmus represented as a ‘X’ structure. When read left to right, top to bottom, the first topic (A) is reiterated as the last, and the middle concept (B) appears twice in succession.”
So here’s how it works, the first phrase in v. 9a, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord” is reiterated in the last phrase in v. 10b, “and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” But the heart of the matter (no pun intended) is the middle section, 9b and 10a, “and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” and “for with the heart a person believes, [o]resulting in righteousness.”
The middle part is what we are responsible for to be saved, we must trust in Christ. We must “believe” (9b) and “believe” (10a). Yeah, I just wrote the same thing twice because Paul did. He was emphasizing that we need to believe in Christ. In case you missed it, he says the same thing in v. 11 quoting Is. 28: 16, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” Then for really dense people, he says in verse 13 quoting Joel 2: 32, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
So why the confusing stuff about confessing with our mouths? The reason is that when we are saved and have trusted Christ, the only way anyone else would know it is when we tell them. So we must “confess with [our] mouth[s]” (v. 9a) and “with [our] mouth[s] confess him (v.10b). This does not mean that we have to actually go and tell someone that we have trusted Christ before we are saved. That would contradict over Scripture.
The main point of the passage is that Jews are saved the same way as Gentiles and that has been the way through all time eras (dispensations). There is no change in how anyone is saved from Abraham or Moses or any time in the Old Testament till any time in the New Testament. That was Paul’s reason to quote Isaiah and Joel. Salvation is and always has been through faith. The difference is the expression of the faith. In the Old Testament, the Jews kept the Mosaic law, in the New Testament believers expressed their faith by trusting in Christ. And then they should tell others about their faith! (see tomorrow’s blog on Rom. 10:14-15).