“Sow What?” – One Year Bible Reading – August 4

Old Testament:  2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23

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2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23    Sow What?

Here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:

2 Kings 23:21-27                              2 Chron. 35:1-19

2 Kings 23:28-30a                                   2 Chron. 35:20-27

2 Kings 23:30b-34                                        2 Chron. 36:1-4

2 Kings 23: 35 – 24: 7                                    2 Chron. 36:5-8

2 Kings 24:1-17                                    2 Chron. 36:9-10

2 Kings 24:18-20                                     2 Chron. 36:11-21  (Jer. 52:1-3)

Ezra 1:1-4                                                2 Chron. 36:22-23  

I have written on Josiah, Amon and Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah previously here:

Blinded By The Light

Trip Counciled

Finding Nebo

I’ve written on all this before but here are the high points.  Josiah had found the book of the law and started to enforce and teach it.  It began the last revival in the OT history of Judah.  It was downhill after this.  But he did re-institute the Passover feast.  Passover speaks of Jesus.  It was Passover that was fulfilled when Jesus was crucified.  The sacrifice of His blood is what saves us.

People who hold to my position of dispensationalism are criticized because in our view of the end of the church age, things get worse spiritually.  Who would doubt that our time is very much like the time of the Laodiceans in Revelation 3:14-22?   But if there was a time of revival at the end of the era of OT Judah before they were all taken into captivity, why could there not be revival at the end of this age?   There could be and we should look for it.  McGee points out that all the revivals in Judah centered around the Word.  If there is to be a revival in this age, it will also be center on the Word.  But, you may say, my church teaches the Word.  Does it? Does it teach about Romans 11 as we studied in a recent blog?  Does it teach about true spirituality like in the blogs on Romans 5-7?   Does it teach “toleration”?  Really?  Where is that in Scripture (see 1 Cor. 11:19, “do not judge,” Matt. 7:1 is followed by “do not throw pearls before swine,” v. 6)?

Notice also in this passage that Israel was punished for a specific reason when they were taken into captivity.  2Chr. 36: 21 says the purpose of the captivity was, “to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept sabbath until seventy years were complete.”  Israel had been in the Promised Land for 490 years but hadn’t observed the Sabbath years as prescribed in Lev. 25:1-7, then the penalty would be 70 years of exile so the land could enjoy its rest, one year for every seventh year missed in 490 (490 ÷ 7 = 70, cf. Lev. 26:34-35).

What was the word of Jeremiah?  In Jer. 52:2-3, Jeremiah said, “He [Zedekiah] did evil in the sight of the LORD like all that Jehoiakim had done.  For through the anger of the LORD this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence.”  But then (Jer. 29:10), “ . . . When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.”  They did return and we’ll learn that part of the story when we get to Nehemiah.

In the meantime, we see from Kings that Zedekiah who fled in the face of Nebuchadnezzar’s army.  He was captured, his children killed in front of him, and his eyes gouged out so that was the last thing he saw.

What do we learn from all of this?  God is not mocked.  We reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7).

New Testament:  1 Cor. 1:1-17

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1 Cor. 1:1-17   A Good Position

The church at Corinth makes me think maybe we don’t live in the worst time of the church in history . . .   maybe!  It was very bad in Corinth.  They combined brothels and religion in that town.  Whatever happened in Corinth stayed in Corinth . . . not!  And a lot of what happened in the town leaked over into the church as we shall see.  Yet, the believers were called “saints” there (v. 2).  They were so messed up that they become a good teaching model for all of us as Paul writes them to straighten out so many problems.

They were not lacking any spiritual gifts (v. 7a) though they had problems with the use of some of them.  They were looking for Jesus to return even in the first century (v. 7b).  Paul told them God would keep them to the end (v. 8).

The main reason Paul was writing was because there was a problem with the unity of the body there.  They were fighting about all kinds of things even though they were saints, and sanctified, and had all the spiritual gifts.  They were picking sides and there were several sides!  Some thought they were on Paul’s team, some of Chloe’s, some on Peter’s (Cephas), some Apollos, and the most spiritual were just Christians (of Christ).

Paul was glad he hadn’t hardly baptized any of them so they couldn’t use that as a badge of honor.   When Paul said he hadn’t come to baptize, he didn’t mean it wasn’t important or that no one should be baptized, he meant the most important thing was for people to trust Christ.

A note on “sanctified” in verse 2.  Paul is not saying that the Corinthians were actually holy.  Most of them were far from it.  After all they had a huge unity problem they wouldn’t have if they were in reality “sanctified” or made holy.  Paul is saying that the Corinthians were holy in God’s eyes.  God saw them as holy.  This is called “positional sanctification.”  This takes place at the point in time a believer is saved (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30; 1 Cor. 6:11)

I was astonished after I was saved years and years ago that there was even a topic called sanctification in the Bible.  It was exciting.  God views believers as holy even as they work out our salvation, called technically “practical sanctification” (cf. Phil. 2:12, 13; 1 Thess. 5:23).  There is also a future sanctification or “perfect sanctification.”  It takes place when we get our new bodies in Heaven and live in a perfect environment where there is no sin (1 Tim. 4:16; James 1:21; 1 John 3:2).

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