Today’s reading: 2 Chron 19:1–20:37, Titus 3:12–15, Ps 101:1–8
Today’s theme: Hate sin and compromise
Our lesson today is that we should hate sin and compromise. This means we do not walk in agreement with those who have set themselves against the Lord and should run away from all sinful compromise.
2 Chronicles 19:1–20:37
Do not love the wicked!
But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the LORD. 2 Chronicles 19:2 (ESV)
Jehoshaphat was not just compromising with a sinner but with an apostate (one who knows the truth and turns away from it). One who had made it his mission to attack God’s people. Paul tells us to turn away for these sorts of people in 2 Thessalonians 3:14, 2 Timothy 3:5 and Titus 3:10 (from yesterday’s reading).
We are called to draw a very clear line of demarcation. We should not walk in compromise or throw in our lot with those who are clearly opposed to the Lord.
It goes against conventional wisdom but to truly love we have to truly hate. If I love my wife, I should hate the thought of being unfaithful. If we love God and His ways we will hate sin and those who set themselves against the Lord.
We should not love the wicked or those who are enemies of God. However we are commanded to love those who have made themselves our personal enemy. Matthew 5:44.
Spurred on by correction
Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem. And he went out again among the people, from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers. 2 Chronicles 19:4 (ESV)
The king’s heart was set on the Lord. His response was not one of pride or anger when Jehu spoke to him. Instead we see that he set about bringing the people back to the Lord.
We need to ask ourselves, what will we do when corrected, will it spur us on in the work of the kingdom or cause us to draw back?
Hebrews 10:39 encourages us “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”
And Jesus reminds us that pruning is just so we can grow in John 15:2 “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
The power of attorney
and said to the judges, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the LORD. He is with you in giving judgment. 2 Chronicles 19:6 (ESV)
We are also called to minister on God’s behalf. We have received the power of attorney which is “the authority to act for another person in specified legal or financial matters.” We speak and act as God’s ambassadors and government ministers for His kingdom.
Jesus gave us authority to work on His behalf in the world in Luke 10:19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Also see John 20:23 and Matthew 28:18-20.
Paul points to this same idea of us ministering on God’s behalf in 2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Also see Ephesians 6:20 and Galatians 4:14.
Acknowledge fear, turn to God for help
Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 2 Chronicles 20:3 (ESV)
Again Jehoshaphat’s response when faced with a fearful situation is not to be swallowed up by the fear but to acknowledge it and turn to trust in God.
He saw that his dad ended up in pride, not seeking God for help. He learnt the lesson that he should not harm himself in pride but humbly ask God for help.
When we are afraid, we should not ignore the fear, we should acknowledge it and then turn to God with it and ask for help.
We are reminded in 1 Peter 5:7 “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Sovereign, The God King
and said, “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. 2 Chronicles 20:6 (ESV)
This verse reminds us of one of the bible’s overarching themes, that God is sovereign over the universe, over every government and no one can withstand Him. He is the king ruling by divine decree, when He speaks a thing it comes to pass, no one can resist Him. God is The God King, The Sovereign Ruler over all. This truth should fill us with awe and faith.
Keep your eyes on Jesus
O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12 (ESV)
God does not require that we know what to do, just that we keep our eyes on Him and trust Him.
Hebrews 12:2 reads “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the LORD will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17 (ESV).
We fight by standing firm and seeing God work. We need to make up our minds to stand for the truth, just making a stand for the truth means we are at war with the enemy.
We need to stand firm holding to our faith no matter what the world says. We should not compromise or shift around, we need to stand.
Paul rallies us to stand in Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
We stand. God fights. We win!
Building through compromise will not last
Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have joined with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made.” And the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish. 2 Chronicles 20:37 (ESV)
We should not seek to build God’s kingdom through compromise with sinners and those opposed to God and the bible. Whatever is accomplished will ultimately be destroyed.
As we read earlier (verse 20) we are established and successful if we trust the Lord and believe the prophets and leaders He has appointed over us. We do not need to scheme and work things out in our own way, we need to trust God!
Paul reminds us that we must be careful how we build because all we have done will be appraised and rewarded and anything done in compromise is like building with wood, hay or stubble. None of these will survive the testing by fire as we read in 1 Corinthians 3:12–15 “…If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
Called to practical good works
And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful. Titus 3:14 (ESV)
We are called to practical good works. We should actively serve one another and not assume that “someone else” will do it.
Good works here speak of “visible acts of service that emerge from genuine faith”. Paul was calling for the believers to help the ministers he was sending to them. This gave them a practical way to work out all he had taught them in the letter.
We all have duties to fulfil in and as the body of Christ. We noted earlier in today’s reading that the work we do is on the Lord’s behalf.
We were given the Spirit to empower and enable us to work on God’s behalf and serve one another.
I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; Psalm 101:2 (ESV)
This is the very essence of integrity, doing right when no one is looking
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. Psalm 101:3 (ESV)
The western world is so saturated with media that we need to be very careful about what we allow to come before our eyes.
There are the obvious things we should not allow to come before our eyes like the sexually immoral and pornographic media that floods the airwaves.
The more subtle thing is just general sin, displayed and spoken about as normal through media. This can slowly change our minds and bring us to a place of compromise like king Jehoshaphat with Ahab.
As we read today we should not love the sin and ways of the world or those that push / promote it. We should hate sin and the wicked because we love the Lord.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Titus 3