Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Living Lessons from Dead King: Some of my “take aways”

As we wind down this study of the Kings of Judah it might be worthwhile for you to spend some time looking back over these chapters and writing down some of the things the Lord taught you and reminded you of through this study.  Here a few of mine from 2 Chronicles.

1.      10:8 - It is important not only to get lots of counsel but to follow wise counsel.  The best counsel may not come from my best friends.
2.      10.2 - “The Word of the Lord came…”  The quote popularized by the cell phone commercial, “Can you hear me now?” reminds me of all the times the Lord spoke to the kings through His prophets.  They ignored what He said to the detriment of both themselves and the nation.
3.      12:14 - Seeking the Lord doesn’t just happen.  I need to intentionally prepare my heart to seek the Lord, to look to Him for direction, to walk in his ways, etc.
4.      13:2 - “His mother’s name was…”  Mom’s can have a significant impact on their sons.  I thank God for my godly mom.  People’s moms are important to them and will be to me to if I am wise.
5.      14:2 - “…did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”  When it comes right down to it, what I think of my actions is of fleeting significance.  I should always have in my view the question, “What does God think about what I am doing and how I so it?”
6.      15:7 - “…your work shall be rewarded!  God in faithful and just in His time.
7.      15:17 - “…the heart of Asa was loyal all his days.”  My first reaction was to think, “Whoa, what about the next chapter?”  I think God looks at our lives as a whole.  I should have the same charitable attitude toward others and their shortcomings.
8.      16:9 - God is looking for those whose heart is shalem toward Him so he can show Himself strong on their behalf.  This is such an encouragement for me to have a right heart toward God and a “Pick me, pick me!” attitude instead of just gloom and doom about what happens when I mess up.
9.      16:12 - “…yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians.”  There is a difference between going to the doctor and seeking (trusting in and depending on) the doctor instead of God.  I need to seek the Lord when I go to the doctor.
10.   17:3 - “…ways of his father David” What kind of legacy am I leaving for by sons and daughters?
11.   18:1 - “…and by marriage he allied himself with Ahab.”  I am not sure that there was another single event that caused more grief in Judah for years to come.  I need to be careful about marriages and alliances.
12.   19:5-7 – “…for you do not judge for man but for the Lord…”The admonition to these judges is a good word for me to. 
13.   20:21 – “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.”  This is still a simple, but powerful thought to have on my mind when facing an adversary.
14.   21:6 - “And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel…”  Doing what is hip and what the popular culture dictates is not usually God’s way.  I need to have godly men as my role models.
15.   23:14 – “For the priest had said, ‘Do not kill her in the house of the Lord.’ ” A reverence for God and what belongs to Him is important even in the heat of the moment while doing something good.
16.   24:2 - We all need a Jehoiada and should seek to have that kind of influence in the lives of others.
17.   24:22 - “the king did not remember the kindness…”  I need to be grateful for those who have been good to me and respond in kind them and their children.
18.   25:8  “…God has the power to help…”
19.   26:16 - “But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed…”  This theme was repeated over and over and over in this study.  When things are going well, I need to be very careful to guard my heart and humble myself.
20.   27:2  Follow the good examples of others without repeating their mistakes and sins.
21.   28:22 - “Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful…”  I need to deliberately and intentionally seek the Lord in times of distress (especially when I don’t feel like it) because that is not my default response.
22.   29:24 - “for the Levites were more diligent in sanctifying themselves than the priests.”  I need to keep myself clean and ready to serve.  Shame on me if I don’t, because I will hold the church back and miss an opportunity to bless others.
23.   30:21 - “with great gladness” There is “joy in serving Jesus” and I should let myself be glad and enthusiastic.
24.   30:22 - “…making confession to the God of their fathers.”  Confessing of sins is a sign of spiritual health.
25.   32:24-26 - I need to show my gratitude to God for his blessings and be ready to humble myself when (not if.  There will be times when my heart is proud.) my heart is lifted up.
26.   33:12-13 - These are two rich verses.  They remind me that God can save great sinners.  They remind me of the importance of greatly humbling myself when I need to.  They remind me that God is a merciful God who is ready to receive my entreaty.
27.   34:3 - “While he was still young…” [15-16 years old]  We should get serious about God early in our lives.  I need to challenge young people to get serious about seeking God.
28.   34:3 - “began to seek” Seeking God is process we begin (not complete) when we are young and therefore should continue and intensify as we get older.
29.   34:27 - “…because your heart was tender…”  Watch out for that hard, callused heart that is dull of hearing and slow to respond to the Lord’s prompting.
30.   34:33 – “removed all the abominations” This task had to be repeated by good king after good king.  Those abominations are pesky and resilient things that must be dealt with again and again generation after generation.
31.   35:15 – “Also the gatekeepers…did not have to leave their position, because their brethren the Levites prepared portions for them.”  We need to take care of the needs of those who are busy serving so they will not be distracted or have to stop.
32.  36:12 – “…did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord.  Humbling myself before God is not some general platitude but has specific applications with specific people. Also, in this case Jeremiah’s message from the mouth of the Lord was thought to be unpatriotic.  Sometimes humbling myself before God will be unpopular and even make me despised.