Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 13:1–14:29, Gal 4:1–31, Prov 7:21–27
Today’s Theme: The Fullness of Time
In today’s reading we see that Jesus was born in the fullness of time, at God’s appointed time to redeem and adopt us as God’s sons. The theme of the fullness of time seeing prophecies fulfilled is also seen in the Old Testament reading and even in the call to keep striking the ground for a fuller victory.
In the fullness of time Jesus inaugurated a better, new, second covenant between God and man of which we are all the beneficiaries. Let’s pray that we live in light of this new freedom as God’s children and use our time as God has appointed to His glory.
2 Kings 13:1–14:29
Then Jehoahaz sought the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him, for he saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Syria oppressed them. (2 Kings 13:4, ESV)
His father was a godly leader with a zeal for God and his son at least knew to seek God.
Strike the ground
And he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground with them.” And he struck three times and stopped. (2 Kings 13:18, ESV)
I’ll never forget the message Pastor brought about this, we need to strike and strike and strike the ground, we need the zeal of the king’s grandfather Jehu.
The dust of the ground speaks of the flesh, so strike the flesh in faith.
God keeps covenant
But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and he turned toward them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, nor has he cast them from his presence until now. (2 Kings 13:23, ESV)
Thank God that He is a compassionate, covenant keeping God.
Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from Jehoahaz his father in war. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel. (2 Kings 13:25, ESV)
This is a direct fulfilment of the prophecy we read about earlier. Only the Bible contains actual prophecies that have actually been fulfilled.
A godly heritage
And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not like David his father. He did in all things as Joash his father had done. (2 Kings 14:3, ESV)
More hope for Judah, another godly king, leaving a godly heritage is so important.
The deception of pride
You have indeed struck down Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Be content with your glory, and stay at home, for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?” (2 Kings 14:10, ESV)
Beware when you stand lest you fall. Our stand in Christ should not give us false confidence in the flesh.
God saves Israel
But the Lord had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash. (2 Kings 14:27, ESV)
God sovereignly saves Israel (in a military sense) even with a king that was not righteous. We should remember this as we pray for the nation today.
The fullness of time
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, (Galatians 4:4, ESV)
As we approach Christmas we remember the miraculous birth of Christ, born through the virgin woman Mary as the incarnated Son of God and we remember that this was all a part of God’s predetermined plan of salvation.
The idea of appointed times is seen throughout Jesus’ ministry and the New Testament.
When Jesus came the stage was set and the conditions were just right to fulfil the specific prophecies, fulfil the law and the world was at that point so well connected by Rome that the spread of the gospel was expedited.
Adoption as sons
to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:5, ESV)
We have been adopted as God’s own sons, because Jesus came in the fullness of time and purchased our freedom. Hallelujah!
The inner witness
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6, ESV)
The inner witness of the Holy Spirit is so crucial to our joy and assurance in God.
Known by God
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? (Galatians 4:9, ESV)
This is key, does God know us? He does not know all of us intimately, because on the day of judgement He will say to many I do not know you.
This does not mean God does not know about us but the intimacy of the adoption relationship is something reserved only for the redeemed.
Stand for the truth
Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? (Galatians 4:16, ESV)
This happens so often but we must stand for the truth even when people turn against us because of it.
my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! (Galatians 4:19, ESV)
We should feel this anguish for those we are responsible for or discipling that Christ be formed in them.
Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. (Galatians 4:24, ESV)
Some say that we are wrong to call the New Testament new. Some argue that there is only one covenant but the Bible teaches that there are two major covenants and Jesus inaugurated the new covenant in His blood which was the fullness and fulfilment of the old one under the law.
Thank God today that Jesus has made a new covenant on better promises between God and man.
All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast (Proverbs 7:22, ESV)
A good picture of the bondage of sexual sin, it leads men away like dumb animals.
Defeated by lust
for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. (Proverbs 7:26, ESV)
Many men have been defeated by their own sexual lust.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Galatians 4