II Kings 15-16
I don’t know about you, but I had to write down two columns with lists of names to keep up with the kings of Israel and Judah and their transitions. There were so many.
One thing, though, is clear. There were no good kings of Israel. Over and over, it’s certain that the kings “did evil in the sight of God.” It’s also clear that eventually the culture created by Israel and its rebellion caused the king of Judah to turn also.
And what caused them to be evil kings? Instead of remembering their history with God and heeding to the age-old traditions of His Word, they were influenced by the culture around them. They gave heed to the heathenish cultures and turned from the true God.
As we are reading this, I hope that all of us stop and think about what is happening in our world today. People are doing the same thing. They are allowing all of the humanistic and heathenish ideas to infiltrate the church and the lives of Christians. The standards are being lowered at an overwhelming rate.
There is a haughtiness which goes with this rebellion. People who are turning from God and who are holding to the societal whims consider themselves to be more sophisticated than those who are holding steadfast.
I’m sure that this was true in the days of these evil kings. Human nature has remained the same – even though traditions my change. So I’m sure that these kings who did evil just thought they were smarter than those who didn’t.
Another thing is also certain. As they turned away from God, the people were denying their covenant with Him. He had promised protection and provision as long as they remained faithful to Him. He gave them many years to repent, but the evil got worse and worse.
The kings of Israel had gone too far. Their land began to be peeled off by the Assyrians. While Pekah was king, the Assyrians captured all of the land of Naphtali and carried those people off into captivity. Judgment has begun.
So instead of taking notice, Ahaz gets pulled into the ploy also. As king of Judah, in order to please the king of Assyria, he gives him the treasures out of the temple. And beyond that, he goes to Damascus and admires an altar they use for their gods. He decides to redesign the temple in Jerusalem to be more “modern.” He copies the altar of the Damascun god.
What an abomination! After they had lived their years as chosen ones, the special seed of Abraham, God’s people, they decided that the rest of the world had something better to offer.
Sadly, the same abominations are happening today in the church of Jesus.
We come to the most famous verse in the Bible. John 3:16 has been printed on T-shirts and signs, painted on faces, and displayed on bumper stickers.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
This is the gospel in a nutshell. There are many other religions, but only one truth. All other religions have rules and regulations which are supposed to give you entrance into the blessings from that god, and entrance into heaven after death.
However, this one is different. Instead of rules and regulations, with Christianity we get a Savior who paid the price for our sins. Then He actually gives us a new life. He actually comes to live in our hearts by the power of His Holy Spirit.
This supernatural life allows us to talk to God and to listen to Him speak to us. His Word becomes alive like never before. He explains it from within our hearts.
The Greek word which is used for “life” is a different kind of word. It doesn’t mean just ordinary life, and it doesn’t mean just an everlasting life. This word is zoe and it means “God’s life.”
Zoe is described in Strong’s concordance as “the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through Him both to the hypostatic “logos” and to Christ in whom the “logos” put on human nature” (Strong’s 2222)
Do you get that? The absolute fulness of God’s life has been given to us when we get born again by receiving our Savior.
Absolutely amazing! If we can ever grasp the truth of this, we will never be the same.
I pray that you and I can delve more deeply into this truth and truly understand what our God has done for us. It’s huge!