Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27
2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27 A Haze Falls On Judah
Here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:
2 Kings 14:21-22 2 Chron. 26:1-2
2 Kings 15:1-3; 4-7; 32-8 2 Chron. 26:3-5; 16-23
2 Kings 15:32-38 2 Chron. 27:1-9
2 Kings 16:1-5 2 Chron. 28:1-7
2 Kings 16:6-20 2 Chron. 28:16-27
2 Chronicles 26:6-15 and 28:8-15 are unique.
I have written on kings Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz here:
I’ve written about Uzziah, Jotham and Ahaz.
Uzziah (aka Azariah) started out well but as it says in Proverbs (16: 18), pride goes before a fall. He had done so well that he became full of himself and decided he could do the work of a priest. He tried to burn incense in the Temple though it was prohibited by Mosiac law. Eighty priests tried to warn him not to do it (v. 17) but he insisted. Yahweh struck him with leprosy and he had to be quarantined. His son Jotham took over while his father was still alive when his father was removed from civilization (v. 21-23).
Jotham became king when he was only twenty-five years old. He did well and even defeated the Ammonites to the point where they paid him tribute money. He reigned for sixteen years, died, and his son Ahaz took over.
Ahaz was only twenty years old when he became king. He also reigned for sixteen years but he acted like he was a king from the northern kingdom. He worshipped Baal and even sacrificed his sons by burning them to death like a pagan. Because of this, Yahweh handed him over to the king of Aram and of the northern kingdom. Israel, the northern kingdom, took 200,000 women and children as captives to be slaves. They were warned by a prophet to return all the people they had taken to Judah. Several of the elders of Israel ensured that the captives were taken care of and returned.
Ahaz did not learn his lesson but made an alliance with Assyria, fearful that he’d again be overrun by Israel or perhaps the Edomites or Philistines. It turned out that despite his bribes, the Assyrians did not help him. He shut up the Temple and encouraged pagan worship. He was succeeded by his son, Hezekiah.
New Testament: Romans 13:1-14
Romans 13:1-14 Owe No!
Chapters 1-8 were pure theology. The next three chapters, 9-11, were about the place of Israel in God’s new plan and how the Gentiles were grafted into the tree of the believing through the ages. The final chapters of Romans are about the practical out-workings of the theology Paul has expounded.
Chapter thirteen tells us to submit to the government. It tells us that the government has God-given power to protect its citizens and to wage war (v.4, “bear the sword”). We are to pay taxes and respect those God has allowed to be in places of authority (v. 6).
Paul tells us not to continue in debt except to pay the debt of love to others. The phrase is literally, “do not keep owing anyone anything” (cf. Matt. 5:42 where allowance of debt is implied). We are always to consider that we owe everyone agape love, that is, self-sacrificial love. To love is to fulfill the law. The entire second half of the ten commandments are devoted to adultery, murder, stealing, and coveting, all sins committed against our fellow man. The first half of the ten commandments in relation to God are worked out in society and fellowship. That is why Jesus was able to sum up the law in two parts, love God and love our neighbors (Matt. 22:37-40).
Verse 11 is a warning to awake from our sin. This verse is not in the pew Bibles of most churches today. Oh, wait . . . must churches don’t have pew Bibles anymore. “For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed” does not contradict verses like John 5:24 and 1 John 5:13 that give us assurance that we are already saved if we have believed. It refers to the third stage, as it were, of our salvation when the Lord returns and we receive our new bodies (cf. Rom. 8:23; Heb. 9:28; 1 Pet. 1:5; James 5:8).
Paul exhorts us in verse 12 to live as if we are of the day (1 Thess. 5:4-11; Eph. 5:8, 14) and put on our armor or light (Eph. 6:10-17). The people around them might engage in “carousing and drunkenness,” “promiscuity and sensuality,” “strife and jealousy” but they were to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” to fight bodily cravings and lusts (“passions” discussed in Rom. 7:5 and here: Not My Problem). To put on Jesus is to put on the new self (cf. Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). Believers put on Jesus when they are saved (Gal. 3:27). It is the same as walking in the Spirit as we studied in Romans 8 (v. 4, cf. Gal. 5:16, 25). (See also blog on Romans 8: Get The ‘Led” Out).
Psalm 23:1-6 Cradle To Grave Provision A Psalm Of Trust by David
Proverbs 20:11 The Highest Award
Who is the most impressive young person in high school? Isn’t it the child that is most moral? Isn’t it the one who is most loving and most upright? That person gets the highest award.
(Yeah, I got Class Clown.)
Choose Life: Scripture: Romans 13:1 NASB “Righty-O, Gov’nor”
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1
Remember when Jesus was asked if Jews should pay taxes? He invited those who were provoking him to produce a coin. Then he in inquired whose image was on the coin. They told Him Caesar’s picture was on the ducat. He then told them they ought to just give it back to its owner (cf. Matt. 22:17-21). The legalistic religionists were trying to trap Him by pitting Him against the authorities. But he frustrated their attempt. Scripture is clear that we are supposed to submit to our governments. The exception would be if the government orders us to violate one of God’s decrees. In that case, it is better for us to serve God rather than to submit to mere men (cf. Acts 5:29).
I was reminded recently by an old classmate of Ps. 146:3, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man in whom there is no salvation.” This includes even Christian running for office. They are also “princes . . . in whom there is no salvation.” The world will not be perfect until the Messiah returns and sets up his thousand year kingdom (cf. Rev. 20:4-6). Only then will there be a perfect rule in government. Until then, there will be wars and rumors of wars until the end (cf. Matt. 24:6; Mark 13:6; also see blog Addendum To The End).
The main reason we should submit to the government is because they protect us. Government officials are actually called “ministers” in Scripture (cf. Rom. 13:4, 6 KJV). They are ministers or “God’s servants” (NIV, et. al.) whose job it is to protect citizens from harm (Rom. 13:4). For their service we pay taxes (cf. Rom. 13:6). God has given the government “a license to kill” those who threaten them by waging war. They are permitted to “bear the sword” or AK-47s or drones or missiles as the case may be.
Since the United States is a republic and republics are representative democracies, it is a Christian’s responsibility to vote. Voting responsibly requires being informed. So Christians ought to do their homework before voting.
Some Christians might be called by God to serve in government. Christians are called, first, to serve Christ and secondly, to serve other Christians (cf. Gal. 6:10). Lastly, we are to help all others.
So if you are trusting your political leaders to rescue you, you need to stop. Give the government its due but only completely trust in Christ (cf. John 14:1). He is the only One who ultimately can protect you and save you eternally. Are you trusting only in Christ?
If you are, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
If you feel really compelled to back a certain candidate, it is certainly within the scope of being a Christian to help out in an election campaign. My wife and I manned telephones in an election that we thought was particularly important for the nation. We felt like we were serving the Lord by what we were doing.
You might want to try it sometime. You probably will find it a very rewarding experience. And who knows? You might even make a difference for Christ.
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: Owe No!