Monday, March 24, 2014

Digging Ditches (SSS kings and Prophets Week 4)

Digging Ditches
2nd Kings 3 Jeffrey S. Lynn

Verses 1-3 The only good thing that God had to say about Jehoram was that he wasn't quite as evil as his father. Forget being good or righteous, the Bible says in Isaiah 64:6    "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

It is easy for us to look back at history with pointed fingers saying "I wouldn't do that, I'm better than that!" We read of king David's sins and believe ourselves to be more righteous that the man God called "a man after his own heart" 1st Samuel 13:14, we look at Abrahams failures and think that we are better than the man who was called the friend of God James 2 :23.

But how about we first look at James 1:22-24 and remember just who we are, sinners in the hand of God.

Verses 4-8 When trouble arose the king did not inquire of God for help, he looked to another king, another man just as himself to join his cause, Psalm 18:30    "As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."

King Jehoram inquired of a man who was "closer to God" than he was, but even the "better" king, who had previously joined forces with Jehorams father Ahab and suffered defeat, did not seek Gods opinion or blessing. Proverbs 14:12.

Never assume a task is small enough for you to handle without Gods help and guidance, remember Joshua's defeat at the little town of Ai in Joshua 7?

Verses 9-12 The wicked kings first response to the hardship that he had brought upon himself and those who followed him was to blame God. Galatians 6:7    "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

The man who was "closer to God" had a better response of let's go find Gods man and ask council of God. Sadly this is done only after great peril comes upon the host, just as we today put our lives in cruise control until the brakes go out and then we cry out to God, not for fear of God, or love of God, or faith in God, but for fear of death, fear of loss, fear of vain things. Had Jehoshaphat had a fear of God he would have inquired of the prophet before agreeing to help the wicked king.

If we today would fear God, it would not take three hours a week of sermons to keep us on the right track, or parents reminding you to read your bible, we would do these things because we know who God is, what He can do, and our place in His creation and we fear Him in a healthy, productive, respectful way.

Job 28:28    "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
Psalm 19:9    "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."
Psalm 34:11    "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD."
Psalm 111:10    "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."
Proverbs 1:7    "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 8:13    "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."

Proverbs 9:10    "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
Proverbs 10:27    "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened."
Proverbs 14:26-27    "In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27    The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."
Proverbs 15:16    "Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith."
Proverbs 16:6    "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil."
Proverbs 19:23    "The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil."
Proverbs 23:17    "Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long."

If Christians today will amount to anything for God we must start with respectful fear, and reverence of Him

Verse 13-15 This is not the response most modern day Christians would expect from their pastors, what have I to do with you, go to your false gods, go back to the bar, go back to the tv screen, go back to the social life go back to everything you put before god and leave me alone, if it wasn't for your colleague I would completely ignore you. Now bring me the choir. Under normal circumstances this king would probably have ordered Elisha killed for that, but he had no choice but look to God for help.

Verse 16 Again not the response the king probably wanted, they have been marching in the dessert for seven days and have no water, definitely weak, many probably delirious from heat stroke and dehydration, and God says, dig ditches.

We stray into sin and we expect there to be no consequences, after all were saved and we cannot loose our salvation. You cannot change the fact that you are your parents child, but you can have a falling out with them,   Job 35:13, Psalm 66:18, neither verse says we will be cast out, killed, or forgotten, just that we will not be heard, Revelation 3:19-20 God desires a relationship, but will not overlook sin, to repent is not simply to ask forgiveness, then turn around and sin again.
Repentance is a sorrow or grief of sin, a change of mind toward God.

When we harm a relationship with another imperfect sinful human, it takes work to restore that relationship to what it was before, thank God that even though He is perfect, Holy and Righteous He is willing to put away our sin. Hebrews 9:26. And to forget about it forever! Hebrews 8:12    "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

Verses 17-27 The ditches are dug, God miraculously sends water with no river or rain, the land fills with water, and the enemy in the light of a red sunrise sees the land covered with the water, since they were in a desert where no water was, they assumed that Israel and Judah had destroyed each other (they had fought many times before), the Moabites foolishly went out to collect the spoil and were easlily defeated by Jehoram and Jehoshaphat.

Even though they did not seek God, even though Jehoram was exceedingly wicked, God used the appearance of blood to give Israel and Judah victory. Even though we were fithy rags, sinners, God used the blood of His own Son to as 2nd Corinthians 5:18b says He "who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;"

What a God we serve to remove our sin, to redeem us to Himself even after we fail and fall, if you feel that you have failed God one to many times, never forget He is always there, ready to dust you off and give you the victory, you just may have to dig some ditches first.

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