Monday, October 29, 2012

Political Choices: 2 Chron: 17 -20

“Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord?” was not so much a question as it was God’s rebuke to Jehosephat, the King of Judah “who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord”. (1 Kings 22:43)

Jehosephat’s “heart was devoted to the ways of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 17:6) and he did so much that was right in Judah. He sent teachers of the Law to numerous towns so that people’s hearts would turn back to God.  As Judah became stronger in her relationship with God,  the “fear of the Lord fell on the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so they didn’t make war with Jehosephat.” (2 Chronicles 17:10)

Though Jehosephat personally loved the Lord, it appears that he regarded his physical, racial relationship to Israel as more important than the spiritual divide between  Israel and Judah.  Because Ahab was a fellow Hebrew, a son of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jehosephat aligned Judah and Israel politically by countenancing his son’s marriage to Ahab’s daughter. Through this marriage, Jehosephat’s son, Jehoram, made Jezebel’s daughter into the future queen of Judah.

Jehosephat who zealously brought Torah knowledge and teaching throughout Judah because he thought it was important for Judah, lowered the bar for Israel.  Isarel had rejected Jehovah, the God of Israel, and worship Baal and numerous other pagan deities.  Spiritually, Israel was no longer related to Judah.  Yet, Jehosephat chose to align himself politically with a people who unabashedly defied the God of Israel.  Jehosephat took his eyes off of his relationship with God and instead focused on his racial relationship to Israel.

When Jehosephat took his eyes off of what God called important, he saw only the physical relationship.  That Israel defied God and His statutes and commandments, did not bother Jehosephat.  At a banquet, Jehosephat told Ahab “ I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” (2 Chronicles 18:3)

Though God told the kings the outcome of this war, Jehosephat stood by Ahab.  After Ahab was killed and the battle was lost, God spoke to Jehosephat through Jehu the seer. “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this the wrath of the Lord is upon you.” (2 Chronicles 19: 2)

Though Jehosephat loved the Lord and served Him, he was being judged for aligning himself with people who defied God. 

This brings me to consider the 2012 election in the United States.  The Democratic Party champions abortion, gay rights, and same sex marriage.  This part of the platform explicitly defies God’s Law. (Exodus 20:13; Genesis 2:20 – 24; Leviticus 18:22)
The Republican Party platform does not formally embrace these positions.

Given the formal Party statements, I feel that it behooves believers to politically align themselves with the political party that acknowledges and embraces God’s Law.  While most of the time responsibility for honoring God’s Law is the individual’s response to God, abortion and marriage became national federal law issues.  As such, each believer really should align himself with God in the political arena because God really does care how we vote.
Again Jehu’s admonition: “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate God?”
In spite of how good a King Jehosephat was, God’s wrath was upon him because he sided
politically against God. 

If, as a nation we side with God on these national issues, perhaps we can avert God’s wrath upon the United States.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2 King's 10, 11, 12 : God's Promise to King David of the tribe of Judah

Genesis 49: 10   The scepter will not depart from Judah

2 Samuel 7: 11b – 16
The Lord declares to you that the Lord Himself will establish a house for you: When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He is the one who will build a house for my Name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be his father and he will be my son.  When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men. But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.  Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.

Speaking to King David through the prophet Nathan,   God promised King David that his house and his kingdom would be established forever.  When King David died, His son Solomon succeeded him as King of Israel.    Later, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam succeeded him.  During Rehoboam’s  reign Israel was divided into two: the Northern Kingdom, Israel, and into Judah.  King David’s descendants, to this point in 2 Kings 11, were Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehosephat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Joash. 

The Northern Kingdom, however,  had numerous rulers with no lasting dynasty.  God’s promise of continuity was only to King David of the tribe of Judah.

Although King David's direct line was on the throne, as God promised, Satan attempted to make God into a liar.  There is a bloody coup in 2 Kings 11.  Ahaziah’s mother, Queen Athaliah, who was also the daughter of Israel’s King Ahab and Jezebel, seized the throne of Judah after Ahaziah was assassinated by Jehu. Spawned by Jezebel, Athaliah was Ba-al’s true believer.  As such, there was nothing about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that she loved. No doubt, she was greatly angered by God’s promise to establish David’s line and God's vow to curse her father’s line. After her son and his cousins were murdered by Jehu, the newly anointed King of Israel, her fury against God probably intensified.  Athaliah, who gave her life to Baal worship, had witnessed God’s prophecy against her parents come true.  Seething in her hatred of God, she  resolved to thwart God – to make God’s promise to King David null and void, even though it meant murdering her own grandchildren.  In fact, she ordered all of her male grandchildren to be murdered.

But, God’s Word does not return to Him empty. 

Fortunately, Ahaziah’s sister, Jehosheba, managed to hide her brother’s infant son, Joash, with his nurse in the temple.  Miraculously, no-one missed him when his brothers were being slaughtered.

Never suspecting that any of her grandsons survived the massacre, Athaliah ruled over Judah for seven years.  She probably believed that she, in Ba-al's strength, had won this round against God.  Nevertheless, God cannot be mocked.  When Joash was seven, he was presented to Judah, as heir to the throne by the priest Jehoiada.  As soon as he was anointed King of Judah in the temple, the temple guards executed Athaliah.

God honored His promise to King David then as even now He continues to honor His Word to Israel.

Even Balaam, who was hired to mightily curse Israel, could not do so.  In Numbers 23: 19  it is written:

“God is not a man, that He should lie; nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.  Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? 

God’s promises, the oaths which He swore to Abraham, to Moses, to King David concerning the people Israel, the land of Israel, and the purpose of Israel all continue to stand firm and to be true for the One who made these oaths does not change His mind. 

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