Posts Tagged ‘Disobedience’

23
Oct

II Chronicles 20

Posted by: admin    in II Chronicles

You might be quick to judge and criticize Jehoshaphat for his inconsistency, for in this portion you see him acting with great faith and utter dependence upon Me in the face of a great crisis.  And you see that his faith is based upon his turning to Me and seeking My Word, for he confesses that he and his people do not know what to do in the face of the threat of the great army that is coming against them.  Nevertheless he declares “Our eyes are upon You.”  And you see how his faith influences all of the people and how it is rewarded with an amazing victory.  But are you not amazed that after all of this and after the rebuke of My servant the prophet for his aligning himself with wicked Ahab that he once again enters into a venture with his wicked son Ahaziah?  You see how that as I judged his alliance with Ahab with disaster and defeat, I also judged his alliance with Ahaziah.  But I want you to notice a great difference in the conduct of Jehoshaphat, for as in the face of the threat of the army coming against him he turned to Me, sought My help, humbled himself before Me, received and obeyed My Word, yet in the case of his alliance with Ahab he disregarded My Word even though he requested it.  And in the case of his alliance with Ahaziah, he did not even seek My Word or enquire of Me.  Now I challenged you not to be so quick and ready to criticize Jehoshaphat, for have you not with more revelation, with greater manifestation of My grace, even with the witness of My Spirit within you on occasion have been as inconsistent as Jehoshaphat?  Have you not in times of distress sought Me, received My Word, humbled yourself before Me, obeyed what I have said, and received the blessing?  Have you not at other times chosen your own way even though My Word has declared that you are not to lean upon your own understanding but to trust Me with all your heart and acknowledge Me in all your ways?  And have you not in such times of disregarding My Word not experienced even the full measure of the consequences of that disobedience only because My mercy is greater than all of your sin?  But recall that My Word declares that these things were written for your instruction so that you may be warned and corrected from going your own way.  And you see clearly that your potential for doing this is no less than that of Jehoshaphat.  So let his life and My dealings with him be both a warning for you to avoid your own way and an encouragement for you ever to seek My way.  Just as surely as you see the consequences of both choices in the life of Jehoshaphat, so shall you be warned and kept more and more from the inconsistency represented in him, and also encouraged towards the faith, submission, and obedience also represented in him.   

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You can see from this portion that nothing bad is declared about King Asa.

And you would judge if you only had this record that his reign was exactly as is summed up here, that his heart was loyal to Me all his days. But there is one small indication in these words that all was not as perfect as it should have been, for it declares that he did not remove the high places. Now you know from the other records of Asa’s reign that in the end his heart actually did turn away from Me, and he sought to follow his own devices and rejected My word of rebuke, and My prophet by whom I sent that word There are ways in which the heart of even the best of men can be compromised. And as I have spoken to you before, they can be so subtle that at first they are not even noticed or judged for what they really are; and that is unfaithfulness and imperfect obedience. And so there is no commentary here upon Asa’s act of taking from My House what was dedicated to Me and using it as a bribe to secure the support of the King of Assyria.

But you know that what was originally recorded as an act of omission in failing to remove the high places, was not a mere oversight, but that which it indicated about King Asa was soon manifested in his seeking the support of the King of Assyria. And in that act, he not only failed to enquire of Me, but he took what was dedicated to Me and used it for his own purposes.

And then having set his heart upon resorting to his own devices, he rejected and became angry at My rebuke. You may wonder how it could be said of him that his heart was loyal to Me all of his days. And you have asked if this was not contradicted by what he did at the end of his days.

I would explain to you that the intention of those who declared his loyalty in this portion was to emphasize that he did not turn to the worship of idols as did his grandfather, his grandmother and his father before him.

In that way he remained loyal. But as you can see, this does not mean that his heart remained truly faithful and obedient. And I would have you understand from this, that a leader or a prominent person can be recognized as remaining loyal to Me because his stated beliefs are correct and most of his deeds are commendable. And yet there can be compromise in his heart, ever so subtle compromise with the ways of the world. And so determined and set can his heart become in those ways, that in the end he will refuse to hear My rebuke and to receive My correction. And as you know, for Asa this meant that once he had taken the course of a compromised heart, it never really turned back to Me, so that even in the extremity of his illness he sought the physicians rather than seeking Me. Guard your hearts against compromise! Do not leave anything comparable to the high places in your lives, for in doing so they will subtly lead into greater compromise and away from true dependence upon Me. Observe carefully those in places of leadership and influence who may seem to be correct and who have performed acts that seem to be loyal to Me, but note carefully if there are areas of subtle compromise in their lives, and pray that they may receive My rebuke and My correction, so that they will not, as Asa, harden their hearts, and the way of compromise will for them develop into the way of overt disobedience. These are the lessons with which I would leave you from the life of King Asa.

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21
Mar

Bible Devotions From Leviticus 10

Posted by: admin    in Leviticus

In this portion you read of a severe judgment, several warnings and several rebukes. You see that the judgment upon the sons of Aaron was clearly that they had acted in total disregard of My command concerning the proper way to carry out their priestly duties. Some today when considering this action, conclude that I am a severe and wrathful God. But they do not consider when they make such a judgment, what it means when it declares that I will show Myself holy among those who approach Me, and that I will be honored in the sight of all the people. For if I had left to man the manner in which sacrifice and worship is to be carried out, I assure you that it would in no way represent My holiness and encourage reverent fear among the people. And since the potential of the human heart is to stray and to have it’s own way, there would soon have been complete abandonment of My commands. And the carrying out of duties that were intended to manifest My holiness and to inculcate honor among My people, would in no wise achieve these goals. In fact they would end up dishonoring Me. And thus the judgment was severe because the consequences of rebellion, or disregard of My commands was also a severe matter. You may wonder why Aaron and his sons were forbidden to show the outward signs of mourning among the people. It was because their position as priests, as those who faithfully carried out their duties according to My commands, were far more important and consequential than their personal feelings about the death of their sons and brothers. Consider this as an example to follow as you serve Me. For though you may be affected in your feelings about My judgment and their consequences, it is most important for you to recognize that how you represent Me before My people is of greater importance than your feelings. And the threat of judgment by death for disobedience to these and other commands was not based, as some suppose, upon My wrath, but instead truly upon My love and My wisdom for what is best for My people and for what pertains truly to life. This in no wise can be minimized. And you must understand that the manner in which sacrifice was made and the provisions of certain portions for the priests were all, I say were all consequent to the manifestation of My holiness and of My honor among the people. And that is why through Moses I gave strong warnings and rebukes to Aaron and his sons. And when you take to heart the significance of what is involved in obedience to My commands, even though you may not understand all of the specific reasons behind them, you must understand that nothing that is commanded, no matter how seemingly incomprehensible the command may be, is relatively insignificant and to be taken casually. For though I may not quickly judge such acts, as I did with Nadab and Abihu, be assured that the same attitude of heart that was shown in their rebellion is an attitude that I will judge among My servants today. And be assured also that if warnings and rebukes are disregarded, that ultimate judgment will come upon My disobedient servants. While I have been giving you words of encouragement and indeed I want you to be encouraged, also because I love you and want to bless you, I call attention as well to these words of warning and of rebuke and of judgment, so that you may understand that you are only truly blessed when you obey Me, when you sanctify Me in your hearts and before the people.

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