Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3: 2 Kings 22:3 – 23:30; Psalm 1; Proverbs 18:11-12; Acts 21:37-22:16



Overview

            2 Kings: In Josiah’s 18th year he ordered the priest to pay workers to repair the house of the Lord. During the repairs, they found the book of the Law and read it. They took it to Josiah and read it to Josiah. He tore his robes and asked his officials to inquire of the Lord for him. They went to the prophetess Huldah. She told them that the Lord was going to bring all the disasters upon Jerusalem and Judah described in the book because of their sins. It would not occur in Josiah’s time because he had a penitent and humble heart.
            Josiah then had the book of the Law read to the leaders of Judah. They made a covenant with the Lord to follow him. They then cleaned out all the idols from the temple and the surrounding areas. He defiled the places of worship for the foreign gods. Josiah went to Bethel and defiled the altars there as predicted by the prophet who spoke to Jeroboam son of Nebat. He also reestablished the Passover.
            Josiah tried to fight the king of Egypt when he was heading to Assyria. Josiah was killed and his son, Jehoahaz took over.
            Psalm: We are blessed when we stay away from all sorts of evil people. We should be delighting in God’s word and meditating on it. Then we will prosper just like a tree beside a stream. The opposite is true of the wicked and they will not prosper but disappear. They will be condemned in the judgment and not be included with the righteous. The Lord looks after the righteous but not the wicked.
            Proverbs: A rich man thinks that his wealth will be his security. A man is proud before his downfall and then he is humbled.
            Acts: As Paul was about to be taken away from the crowd, he asked the commander if he could speak to the crowd. The commander was surprised that Paul could speak Greek because he thought Paul was an Egyptian leader of a league of assassins.
            Paul then spoke to the crowd in Hebrew and they all quieted down and listened. He told them that he was a Jew from Tarsus raised in Jerusalem and taught by Gamaliel. He persecuted the Way and was going to Damascus to incarcerate believers. Jesus appeared to him on the road in a blinding light. Jesus told him to go into the city and he would be told what to do.
            In Damascus, Ananias came and told him to receive his sight and that God had chosen him to see and hear the Righteous One and be a witness to everyone of what he had seen and heard. He was told to be baptized and wash away his sins calling on his name.

What Stood Out

            2 Kings: “Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him” (2 Kings 23:25).
            Psalm: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps 1:2).
            Proverbs: “Before destruction a man's heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor” (Prov 18:12).
            Acts: “And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’” (Acts 22:10).

Insight

            2 Kings: After two terrible kings of Judah, Josiah was another refreshing king. While he did right in the eyes of the Lord, it looks like it took 18 years before Josiah realized how far off his father and grandfather had been. When he had the temple cleaned and they found the book of the Law, he was convicted and made great changes in Judah. The Lord had regard for him because of his penitent and humble heart. It is important to note that the Lord had this regard for him before he instituted the reforms in Judah. It is the same with us. We first repent when the word of God is revealed to us and the Holy Spirit renews our spirit. Then we live a life pleasing to the Lord. We don’t get saved because we’ve made reforms in our lives.
            It’s hard to imagine how the book of the Law was hidden and the word was unknown until the temple was cleaned. However, that is what happens in our lives. There are Bibles within the reach of almost all of us. We ignore it, or worse, reject it. After a couple of generations of this, it is only by a miracle of God that we find the “book of the Law” and are convicted of our sin. Praise God that his word will never go away.
            Psalm: When we know the Lord, we will want to study, memorize, and meditate on the Bible. We will not be able to get enough of it. It will keep us from wandering into the ways of the wicked and we will be assured of our eternal life when we turn to Jesus as Lord and Savior. The wicked have no such promises. They can only look forward to a disastrous decision rendered against them at the judgment.
            Proverbs: We all trust in something. Some trust in their wealth and some trust in the Lord. When a person is trusting in something other than the Lord, he is proud. When that temporal thing fails him and causes his downfall, he will be humbled. It is better to humble yourself before the Lord and let him lift you up (1 Peter 5:6).
            Acts: When the Lord Jesus appeared to Paul, his response was immediate. He wanted to know what the Lord wanted him to do. Strangely, the Lord only told him to go into town and then he would be told what to do. It wasn’t until Ananias came to him that he was told that he was to be a witness to everyone. Jesus could have given Paul complete instructions when he first knocked Paul to the ground. Instead, he chose another person to further instruct Paul.
            Jesus could come to every person in the world in a bright light, or thunder and lightning. He could convince them all to believe in him in an instant. But he doesn’t do that. Instead he sends us to tell others about him. Strange, isn’t it, that the Creator of the world, who is omnipotent, and omniscient chooses to use ordinary human beings to bring the good news of the gospel and salvation to other ordinary human beings. If we were as willing as Paul to do what the Lord wants, the world would hear about Jesus a lot faster.

Application

            I need to study the Bible to know and understand God’s will for me. When I do, one of the things that I find is that I must humble myself before him. I can’t put my eternal trust in anything other than him. I also must tell others about Jesus and how to be saved in his name.

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