Today’s reading: 2 Chron 11:1–13:22, Titus 2:9–15, Ps 96:1–13
Today’s theme: Grace trains us
There are a lot of good lessons today, centred around serving the King in His kingdom, by His grace, in purity. One of the most powerful and practical lessons is that the genuine grace of God does not open the door to sin (thus abusing that grace), but trains us to live holy lives in our union with Christ. God’s grace trains us, causing us to grow in the Lord.
2 Chronicles 11:1–13:22
‘Thus says the LORD, You shall not go up or fight against your relatives. Return every man to his home, for this thing is from me.’ ” So they listened to the word of the LORD and returned and did not go against Jeroboam. 2 Chronicles 11:4 (ESV)
God is sovereign. The splitting of the kingdom was not the work of the devil, it was God’s own discipline and plan which He brought to pass for His own purposes.
This teaches us that even things, which on the surface seem negative, may be something God has brought to pass or allowed for His purposes. We must keep a full picture of God, He is not just a God who blesses, He brings judgement too. See Romans 8:28
And those who had set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came after them from all the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers. 2 Chronicles 11:16 (ESV)
In the area of apologetics some will challenge the scripture in Revelation 7:4-8 for example, which speaks about 144,000 Jewish believers 12,000 form every tribe. The contention is that 10 of the tribes were lost in the Assyrian exile of the northern kingdom.
This scripture show that God actually preserved all Israel in the land of Judah, with those faithful to God fleeing the northern lands.
We must be like those who fled the north, we should not stand with compromise. This also helps us to understand why the reformation was so necessary.
Paul reminds us of God’s promise for setting ourselves aside to stand with the Lord, in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
We should stand for and defend the true faith which has been once for all handed down to the saints as mentioned in Jude 3.
May God be your end
When the rule of Rehoboam was established and he was strong, he abandoned the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. 2 Chronicles 12:1 (ESV)
This is a wicked trait of the human heart, we can often abandon God after we have received our desired end. This is why He must be our end. God should be our aim and treasure.
Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:8 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”
Again in Philippians 3:12 we read “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
Abandoned by God
Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the LORD, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’ ” 2 Chronicles 12:5 (ESV)
Jesus echoes this characteristic of God, which flies in the face of modern images of God, as a beneficent father who only dispenses blessings.
Jesus, in His call for us to be loyal and faithful to our King and the kingdom, said in Matthew 10:33 “but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
and in Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
The pull of sin
And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD. 2 Chronicles 12:14 (ESV)
Like the pull of gravity, if we do not set our hearts to serve the Lord, we will inevitably do evil, it is our nature as fallen creatures.
We are reminded to keep our hearts focused on Jesus and on serving Him, in Hebrews 12:2 “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.”
Why fight God?
Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with their battle trumpets to sound the call to battle against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.” 2 Chronicles 13:12 (ESV)
This is true, it is foolish to fight God, no one can win no matter how much they try. It is like a boxer versus an ant, there is no contest. This is why it is foolish to resist God or to rebel against Him, He is God and we are not. He is the King, we should submit to Him and end the offence of rebellion.
Gamaliel echoes this truth in Acts 5:39-40 “but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God! So they took his advice…”
The battle shout
Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 2 Chronicles 13:15 (ESV)
We can take confidence from this, we can cry out to God today, to see His deliverance in the middle of the battles we face.
Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 2:9 “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.”
The Christian manifesto
not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour. Titus 2:10 (ESV)
This scripture (from verse 9 – 10) is a call for all of us who are employed, to be submissive to our superiors. We should not be argumentative and should be honest. This behaviour is like the dressing for our teaching and belief.
Correct beliefs without correct living is worthless and shameful.
This is the Christian manifesto for the workplace and we must adhere to it, to be good witnesses, and for the glory of God’s church and in turn God’s own glory.
Grace trains us
training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, Titus 2:12 (ESV)
God’s grace does not teach us that we can live however we want because we made a confession, no.
Here we learn that God’s grace and goodness which has appeared for all people through the good news, trains us to turn away from ungodly behaviour and evil passions driven by our heart and culture, to instead live self controlled, honest and godly lives in whatever age we are living in.
God’s grace means we can live in holiness as God requires, no matter our surroundings.
There is no excuse for Christians to live in compromise or sin , those who have truly been saved by grace will have a new nature that desires to live for God.
Jesus is God
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, Titus 2:13 (ESV)
The scripture clearly teaches that Jesus is God.
Redeemed to be pure
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:14 (ESV)
Jesus’ substitutionary atonement for the church on the cross, was not made to give us a licence to sin but to set us free from the tyranny of sin.
Jesus’ intention is that we be pure, a pure people who stand and live for the King and His kingdom, as we read in the OT today.
The gospel of the kingdom
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” Psalm 96:10 (ESV)
We are called to declare this truth, the good news of the kingdom, that God is King and He reigns.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Titus 2