Today’s reading: 2 Chron 9:1–10:19, Titus 2:1–8, Ps 95:1–11
Today’s theme: Sound Teaching
Today’s theme focuses on the necessity of the sound teaching of the church, as passed down through the ages, and on the principle of the young men listening to older men and young women being taught by older women. All of this is underpinned by the teaching that God is King and we are a part of His Theocratic Kingdom in Christ.
2 Chronicles 9:1–10:19
The Theocratic Kingdom
Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on his throne as king for the LORD your God! Because your God loved Israel and would establish them forever, he has made you king over them, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” 2 Chronicles 9:8 (ESV)
The declaration from the Queen of Sheba (modern day Yemen), blessing God and His chosen king Solomon, shows us that seeing the way God had blessed Solomon went some way to opening the eyes of this gentile, Arabic Queen, to the greatness of the one true God.
Israel was what we call a Theocratic Kingdom, which means that God was the ultimate King and Ruler, creating the laws and directly involved in the government and running of the country.
The Queen recognises the order in this theocratic kingdom and gives the glory to the true King, God, declaring that Solomon sits as a vice regent on “God’s throne”.
Solomon is king for God because of God’s love for the people, this is a picture of the Kingdom of God and Jesus as our King.
The account of the Queen of Sheba is mentioned in the NT where Jesus said He is greater than Solomon, He is the greater king that Solomon pointed to, executing justice and righteousness. See Matthew 12:42 and Luke 11:31
Blessed by God
And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon to hear his wisdom, which God had put into his mind. 2 Chronicles 9:23 (ESV)
As we read the account of Solomon’s great wisdom and wealth, we must remember that both of these came as blessings from God.
It was God who put wisdom in the mind of Solomon, it was not derived from the philosophies of this world, which are at best foolish and at worst devilish . We should not seek the wisdom that the world applauds, instead we should seek the wisdom that God gives. James 3:13-18
It is God that gives us power to get wealth and then holds us accountable to be good stewards. Deuteronomy 8:18
Jesus uses Solomon as an example when speaking of us having our needs met by our loving Father, and warning us against the lie and trap of materialism. God’s goodness to Solomon was not an invitation to materialism. The goodness of God should lead us to repentance and reliance on God, with a joyful and grateful heart.
Jesus teaches this in Matthew 6:28–34 “And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Paul speaks to those of us blessed with riches in this world, in 1 Timothy 6:17–19 “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”
Submit to the elders
And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, 2 Chronicles 10:13 (ESV)
This stands as a warning to the young and inexperienced. The bible teaches that younger men should seek counsel from older men and younger women should seek counsel from older women.
The reason for this seems obvious, those who have lived longer have the knowledge and experience to guide the young.
The deception of youth is the belief that “we are the first ones with real knowledge”, “we know what to do”, “we are professional”, “the older ones don’t understand”, “we have a better way of doing things”, “this is the modern world so things have changed” etc.
These are all deceptions of the enemy, to keep the cycle of “learning the hard way” going, when God intends for us to break that cycle by the young humbling themselves under the guidance of those who are older and have gone on before.
This includes those who have gone on long before, there are over 2000 years of church history, many modern controversies and difficulties have already been dealt with so we should look back to those like Charles Spurgeon, The Reformers, The Puritans and so many more.
In today’s NT reading we will read about this submission, it is also recorded in 1 Peter 5:5, “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Titus 2:1 (ESV)
Our faith is not against teaching, teaching is at its core, the issue is what is taught.
We should avoid attitudes of Christian anti-intellectualism as God gave us minds to be interacted with. The devil did not create and does not control the mind, our minds belong to God.
However we are called to be renewed in our minds and this comes through the right teaching of the word of God, from God’s ministers.
We should have an appetite to sit under good teaching. If the church throws teaching away, we will lose our way and all kinds of heresies will find their way into the church, forming strongholds of arguments and beliefs in the minds of those who adhere to them.
We must submit to the doctrine of the church as defined by the historical, biblical, universal and orthodox church. We, as the most recent generation of the church, should not try to be novel or teach a new doctrine, we should maintain and teach the old and true story again and again.
Training for young women
and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:4–5 (ESV)
Again we see the bible calling for older women to train younger women in matters of the family and home, namely to love their husbands and children, to be pure and self controlled themselves, to work in the home and to be kind and submissive to their husbands.
This contradicts modern ideas of womanhood which encourage women to be liberated from the home, motherhood and marriage, teaching them instead to throw of purity and self control and become like men.
The true root of Feminism is found in Gnosticism and was started by Satan in the garden of Eden, when he sought to empower Eve to rebel against God’s order. The modern founders of feminism were homosexual women with an Anti-Christian agenda.
In a culture which is redefining what men and women are, we should hold even more firmly to the biblical models and definitions, and be a witness to the world of what it means to be fulfilled and flourishing in Christ.
Teaching for young men
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Titus 2:6 (ESV)
Young men need to be taught (against the culture) to have self control. The culture teaches young men to throw off social and sexual restraints, encouraging them to have multiple partners and waste their lives in drinking and partying.
This was not God’s intention for man, we are to be self controlled and our lives should bring glory to God, as we lovingly serve our wives and children.
God our King
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. Psalm 95:3 (ESV)
God is the true King, we bow down today and worship Him
Don’t harden your heart
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, Psalm 95:8 (ESV)
We should ensure that our hearts are not hardened to God’s word today, we must hear His word and submit to it in humble obedience.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Titus 2