In a Pickle? Seek God’s Advice.

2 Chron 17-19  When in Doubt, seek God’s Advice.

Asa may not have been the perfect king, but it seems he did one thing right; he raised a godly son Jehoshaphat, who took his place. Each of us is responsible for following God or not but our parents have much to do with our path. Asa’s son cleansed the land and brought about many godly reforms. We aren’t told about his heart but we “know” him by his fruit. [Matt 12]

However, Jehoshaphat had one glaring fault: he allied with King Ahab, who was a narcissist to the core.  When Ahab wanted to fight a war, he urged Jehoshaphat to go to war with him. To his credit, Jehoshaphat wanted advice from a prophet before he went. Ahab, the ever-present fool, called in his false prophets who would agree with him whether right or wrong. Jehoshaphat was discerning enough to ask for a godly prophet to give his advice, which turned out to be accurate to the last jot and tittle while the false prophets’ words fell to the ground. Ahab was killed in battle even after disguising himself. Galatians 6 reminds us God will not be made a fool. 

Jehoshaphat, to his credit, called for godly advice before he set out. We should do the same. “But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.” [James 1:5]

0

Be Discerning

1Kings 13 & Gal 1 & Acts 17 (Be A Berean)

After Paul left Galatia, grievous wolves had entered and taken captive their hearts. Paul said to them, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting…” The author of 1Kings has recorded the story of the disobedient unnamed prophet sent to the wicked king Jeroboam. Before we judge this prophet harshly, we need to stop and see ourselves in this tale.

The prophet had stood tall and strong in the face of Jeroboam to warn him! God had sent a sign by Jeroboam’s shriveled hand and the broken altar. He had refused Jeroboam’s gracious gift of a meal and rest. YET—on his way home, he stopped to rest. God had said not to eat or drink or return the same way, but not about resting. An old man approached him, saying he too was a prophet with an angelic message. Was the old man a true prophet? This is when we let our guard down! We wonder why the prophet did not ask God for confirmation. But…why do we not ask God when we hear someone say, God has told me to tell you this or that? Beware of contradicting messages; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. God is not a man that changes his mind. If we want to know, pray and ask for discernment. Be forewarned; the adversary can use even what seems like righteous words.  

Stay alert! Be on your guard. Check the source; be like the Bereans in Acts 17. Check to see if it is true.

0

‘Sad Tales are Teachable Moments’

2Samuel 13 a sordid tale

2Samuel 13

Some stories in God’s word are so painful to read that we want to skip them, but God has left them in there as a teaching tool for each of us. This chapter falls into the x-rated material, but we want to focus on what we can learn from the sordid tale of the rape of Tamar. One is that as much as Tamar loved her brothers, she was not discerning. Truth point: often, when we love someone strongly, we are blind to their faults. Secondly, when someone says no, they mean no. A third lesson is what Dr. Constable noted: 

“More Christians have probably memorized 1 John 1:9, which says: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” than Romans 6:12-13. “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

 First John 1:9 deals with how to handle sin after we have committed it; it is corrective theology. Romans 6:12-13 deals with how to handle sin before we commit it; it is preventive theology. We need to pay more attention to Romans 6:12-13. 

One of the purposes of 2 Samuel 13 is to help the reader prevent this type of sin rather than help us recover from it having fallen. It is a strong warning against letting our passions lead us because of the consequences that will follow.”

0

Have you been “hoodwinked?”

Galatians 3 believe2a

Galatians 3 “Hoodwinked means veiling the truth”

How often do we, like the Galatians, fall under the spell of smooth teaching of others when we fail to be a Berean to search the scriptures to see if what is taught is true? The Galatians had been, as we say today, “hoodwinked” by unscrupulous teachers. To get them back on track,  Paul asks 4 basic questions. We might ask these of ourselves as well.

(1) How did you receive the Holy Spirit? Was it by keeping the Law? If so we might as well disregard Eph 2 ‘it is by faith you are saved, not of works lest any man should boast.’ The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us so that we might be sealed until the day of redemption; so that we might be indwelt by His presence teaching and illuminating us with truth; (2) How is God sanctifying you? Is it by works? If so then we have to disregard the example of Abraham who was counted as righteous not by works but by faith alone. Luther wrote regarding Abraham: “I believe what you say God.”  (3)How do you explain your suffering; was it for nothing? Or is it to glorify God?  (4) How do you explain the miracles amongst you? Do you give credit to man or God for these?

Paul ends with this truth: God justifies so that we might walk by faith alone. Is this you?

 

0