Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 22:1–53, Mark 12:35–13:23, Prov 5:11–23
Today’s Theme: God’s Electing Love
Today we see the electing love of God in saving His chosen people. God’s electing love is a demonstration for us to follow in our own relationships, especially with our spouse.
We also see the providence of God at work in bringing prophecy to pass, and His great desire to save people from every nation, tribe and tongue before the end comes.
1 Kings 22:1–53
Do not be fooled by theatrics
But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?”(1 Kings 22:7, ESV)
He could see the theatrics and knew the prophets were false. This was a wicked king, how much more should we as God’s people, be discerning.
But Micaiah said, “As the Lord lives, what the Lord says to me, that I will speak.”(1 Kings 22:14, ESV)
This was a true man of integrity. As God’s people, we should be the same.
The councils of heaven
And the Lord said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’(1 Kings 22:22, ESV)
An amazing insight into the councils of heaven, and the nature of spirits. Dr Michael Heiser has a great book on this, called The Unseen Realm, released in 2015 by Lexham Press.
We need to pray that we are led by the Spirit of truth, not error.
A real man of God
And Micaiah said, “If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me. ” And he said, “Hear, all you peoples!”(1 Kings 22:28, ESV)
This was an example of a real man, bold and without compromise.
You cannot hide
And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes.” And the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.(1 Kings 22:30, ESV)
He knew he was in rebellion, hiding himself was not going to help. No one can hide from God, the consequence of sin or judgment. Our only hope and refuge is in Jesus.
But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.”(1 Kings 22:34, ESV)
This is the providence of God, even in judgement. The following is taken from the Westminster Confession of Faith concerning the providence of God:
“God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, (Heb. 1:3) direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, (Dan. 4:34–35, Ps. 135:6, Acts 17:25–26,28) from the greatest even to the least, (Matt. 10:29–31) by His most wise and holy providence, (Prov. 15:3, Ps. 104:24, Ps. 145:17) according to His infallible foreknowledge, (Acts 15:18, Ps. 94:8–11) and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, (Eph. 1:11) to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy. (Isa. 63:14, Eph. 3:10, Rom. 9:17, Gen. 45:7, Ps. 145:7)”
The sin of homosexuality
And from the land he exterminated the remnant of the male cult prostitutes who remained in the days of his father Asa.(1 Kings 22:46, ESV)
Jehoshaphat wiped homosexuality out of the land, but the spirit remained and now modern day Tel Aviv has become a centre for homosexual activism. We continue to pray for those in bondage to this sin and for those who are deceived by arguments that it is ok and not a sin before God.
He served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done.(1 Kings 22:53, ESV)
Our children will invariably follow our ways, we have a responsibility as men before God, to live right.
The eternal Son of God
David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.(Mark 12:37, ESV)
This proves the pre-existent eternal nature of Jesus as the Son of God.
Don’t be pretentious
who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”(Mark 12:40, ESV)
Lord, keep us from the selfish, lying and pretentious spirit. We are called to be genuine, kind and loving.
And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”(Mark 13:2, ESV)
Jesus’ prophecy about 70AD was accurate, the temple and Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans.
Do not be alarmed
And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet.(Mark 13:7, ESV)
Jesus warned us against alarmism over wars and news about wars, He taught us that these things will happen but that they are not a sign of the end. Wars are horrific, but wars have continued for the past 2000 years and none of them are signs of the end.
A true sign
And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.(Mark 13:10, ESV)
We must finish the mission, this gospel must be preached to every nation tribe and tongue, before the end comes.
This is a true sign which is in the hands of God, through the saving work of the Holy Spirit and the efforts of the true church, to preach the gospel in every corner of the earth.
You can keep up with the progress of the mission with the Joshua Project here
There are great books about this, like “Finish the Mission”, “Let the Nations be glad” and ” A Holy Ambition”, available for free here.
Called to endurance
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.(Mark 13:13, ESV)
We are called to perseverance and endurance in our walk as Christians.
God’s electing love
And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.(Mark 13:20, ESV)
This is global language, thank God for His electing love. Glory to His name.
False sings and wonders
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.(Mark 13:22, ESV)
We must beware of the alluring power of false signs and wonders. We need to exercise biblical and spiritual discernment.
I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.(Proverbs 5:13, ESV)
We must have a teachable attitude.
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well.(Proverbs 5:15, ESV)
This is a call to sexual purity. Men should have sex with their own wife alone, it is the only water we need, should want and that will satisfy you. The broken cisterns of pornography and unfaithfulness do not bring lasting satisfaction.
Don’t be unfaithful
Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets?(Proverbs 5:16, ESV)
Should a husband or wife run around town in sexual unfaithfulness?… No.
Rejoice in your wife
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth,(Proverbs 5:18, ESV)
Enjoy your marriage.
a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.(Proverbs 5:19, ESV)
Yes be drunk with love, enjoy the gift of intimacy and pleasure in the marriage relationship, created and ordained by God for His glory and our enjoyment.
Sin brings bondage
The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.(Proverbs 5:22, ESV)
Sin brings bondage, especially sexual sin.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Mark 13