Spiritual Rants: July 27 “Jumping Jehosophat” Readings to read through the Bible in a year: 2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37 Romans 10:14-11:12 Psalm 21:1-13 Proverbs 20:4-6

Old Testament:  2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37

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2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37   Jumping Jehosophat

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

1 Kings 22:41-48                                                      2 Chron. 20:31-37

2 Chronicles 2 Chron. 19:1-20:30 is unique.

Jehosophat was amongst Judah’s greatest kings.  He brought the people back to God’s Word (see yesterday’s blog).  He had a flaw.  He allied with Ahab and later with Ahaziah (2 Chron. 20:35).   He attempted to bring gold back to Judah by working with Ahaziah but God sank the ship.  We’ve mentioned on more than one occasion the danger of having an unequal union (cf. 2 Cor. 6:14-18).

He also did not remove the idol worship on the high places (cf. 1 Kings 22:43, “He walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places”).

One of the most encouraging verses in Scripture comes in 2 Chron. 20:15,  “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”  Someone told me before I left for seminary (the first time) that we should live as though everything depended on us but trust God as if everything depended on Him.  Having failed so much throughout years in the ministry, I’m inclined to lean more toward the depending on God’s aspect of that saying.  However, as explained in the commentary on Romans 8, it is necessary always to have an ear out toward God and know the Scriptures as well as possible.  Jehosophat was successful when he listened to his prophets and had his priests teach the Word.  When God spoke, he jumped . . .  most of the time.

New Testament:  Romans 10:14-11:12

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Romans 10:14-11:12    Blue Bloods

Paul is trying to reason with his fellow Israelites.  He uses all of these Scriptures in this passage Isaiah  52:7; 53:1; Ps. 19:4; Deut. 32:21; Isa. 65:1; 1 Kings. 19:10, 14, 18; Isa. 29:10; Ps. 69:22, 23.  What he is trying to say is that God has a special place for the Jew.  God has used them as a witness to the world.  All the revelation we have comes from the Jew and that includes the New Testament as well.  There may have been one Gentile writer in the New Testament, Luke.  All of the rest were Jews.  The early church was made up of converted Jews until some Samaritans were saved in Acts 8 and Cornelius, the Gentile, was saved in Acts 10.  Paul says he would’ve exchanged his eternity in Heaven if all the Jews could be saved.  What he does say can be best understood by the chart below.  It indicates what I’ve shown in other blogs that there have been promises made to the Jews that have not been fulfilled.  They were unilateral promises meaning that there was nothing the Jews had to do for God to fulfill His part of the promises.  God always keeps His word (cf. Num. 23:19), therefore, if the promises have not been fulfilled, they will be fulfilled in the future.  We will see even more clearly in tomorrow’s blog, the place of the Gentiles in the salvation of the Jews.  Note in chapter 11, verse 11 that Paul says that the gospel has gone to the Gentiles in order to make the Jews “jealous.”

7-Dispensation Chart

 

The gist of Paul’s argument is that God has not forgotten the Jews (cf. 10:1).  Although many of the Jews and the nation as a whole has rejected Christ, there will come a future time when a remnant of the nation will accept Christ.  In the Millennial kingdom in the future when Christ reigns personally on earth (cf. Rev. 20:4).  Many Jews will come to Christ during this time and during the preceding time of trouble, brought specifically on the earth to get the attention of the Jews (cf. Jer. 30:7).  More on that in tomorrow’s blog.

What I think needs to be clarified at this point is that just as many Christians today are legalists, so many of the Jews in the Old Testament were legalists.  In fact, the Pharisees in the Gospels were the ultimate perversion of the Old Testament law.  Jesus tried to show in the Sermon on the Mount that God has always wanted a heart to heart relationship with people  Remember we’ve said that the theme of the Bible is that rebellion against God leads to death and a relationship with God leads to life.  It has always been possible to fake being a believer by having a great outer appearance.  But a relationship with the Lord is always an inner relationship.

Here is an illustration.  My blood sugar has been running high for several years or more.  A friend of mine gave me a  blood meter so I could check my blood glucose levels.  So every day when I wake up, for years now, I’ve been checking my blood glucose level.  Checking my level has a benefit.  It tells me what the effect of the ice cream sundae I had the night before has had on my body.  It does not help me control my blood sugar level directly or explain to me how to do it.

Likewise, the law showed the Jews when they had gotten outside of God’s moral parameters.  It did not tell them whether they had a good relationship with God or how to have one.  Many Christians may go to church, play on the church softball team, be involved in leadership or teaching Sunday School and have a horrible relationship with the Lord.  But they look really good.  The outer appearance does not always truly reflect what is going on inside a person.  The blood sugar level might be good and they might be eating nothing but junk!

Paul is telling the Jews that they inherited a lot of great information about God and they even had a great morality level tester, the law.  But many have gotten by on their looks but innerwardly they are still rotten.  The only way to have a good relationship with God is by faith.  He makes clear that works have nothing to do with our establishing a relationship with God (Eph. 2:8-9).  As we have seen in Romans 8, works will naturally follow our faith as we live in the Spirit.

Paul is trying to show the Jews that although everything has begun with them, God is bringing the Gentiles into the fold (He is “grafting” them in, see tomorrow’s blog).  He is trying to show the Jews that the way to have a relationship with God has always been by faith.  God is reaching out to the Gentiles with the same means of salvation that He has used through the centuries: faith.

 


Psalm 21:1-13    Give That Man A Crown   A Royal Psalm Of David


Proverbs 20:4-6    Naive Believers

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It amazes me that people are begging in our town to get money on street corners.  A lot of Christians fall for the scam.  I did give a dollar to one of the beggars one time.  He was

being very honest.  His sign said that he wouldn’t lie.  He wanted beer money.

They don’t need to work because they are just begging but in the old days if people didn’t plow, people wouldn’t be able to eat (v. 4, 2 Thess. 3:10).

A diligent person can make a procedure to produce something.  A person can make his own scheme or persuade someone else to cough up their own plan (v. 5).

A lot of people say they’re faithful.  But can you really find someone that is faithful?

 

Choose Life: Scripture:  2 Chronicles 20:15    NASB    “I’d Rather Do It Myself”

“ . . . he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”    2 Chronicles 20:15

Do you ever make fun of commercials that are on TV?  I used to when I was a kid.  OK, sometimes I still do.

There used to be a commercial for a headache remedy.   It showed a poor, elderly lady who was apparently living with her daughter (Aspirin commercial).  As I recall, the daughter was cooking something and the mother recommended adding some salt.  The daughter, who for some reason, had already reached the end of her emotional quotient for the day, screamed at her, “Mother, please!  I’d rather do it myself.”  It was kind of corny but I guess the company got its message across.  The daughter felt bad and the answer was to take an aspirin.

I think it illustrates the human dilemma.  We’d always rather try to obtain spiritual credibility for ourselves.  We want to do things and prove to God that we are worthy.  Grace is not what we seek.  What we seek is our own validation (see blog, How Do You Validate Your Life?).  As a result, we miss God’s blessing.

Jehoshaphat was one of the best kings that Judah ever had.  He often obeyed God though he wasn’t perfect.  Today’s Scripture is one of the most encouraging in the Bible. It describes a command to Jehoshaphat that he actually obeyed and as a result, he was blessed.  Jehoshaphat had prayed for protection from Judah’s enemies (2 Chron. 20:5-12).  God’s answer was that Jehoshaphat should do nothing (v. 17).  That may be the hardest thing that God ever tells us.  Like I said, we have a propensity to prove ourselves worthy before God.  But God wants to glorify Himself.  In this instance, He certainly did.  He had Judah’s enemies destroy each other until there was nothing left of them but dead bodies left on the field (vv. 23-24).  Cool, huh?

Is there a problem you are facing today?  Have enemies come against you?

The answer is to do whatever God tells you (cf. John 2:5), even if that is nothing!

 

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

 

Fun Application: 

Jesus tells us that apart from Him, we can do nothing (cf. John 15:5).  Jesus didn’t mean literally that we can not do anything.  We certainly have the faculties to do a lot of things.  But that often means we have the ability to mess things up.  Only by relying on God and “waiting on Him” (cf. Ps. 27:14), can we glorify God.  That could mean bathing in the Jordan seven times (cf. 2 Kings 5:1, 10, see blog Nay-man) or it could mean doing nothing as in the case of Jehoshaphat.

We must, by faith, encourage ourselves that He that is with us is greater than any of our enemies (cf. 1 John 4:4; 2 Kings 6:17 and blog, Com-pan-ee!!).

What is your headache today?  Can you trust God to help you?

What is He asking you to do?

Something?

Nothing?

 

 

The purpose of the “Choose Life” is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   Jumping Jehoshaphat

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