RMM Round Up December 9
2 Chronicles 9
The news about Solomon had spread far and wide. It seemed that this man was the one everyone had waited for. God had surely blessed him with wisdom, wealth, and honor. The Queen of Sheba heard about him due to the extensive trade routes throughout Arabia. So she deemed it worth the long travel to see if these things were true. And she became literally speechless at the sight of it.
In response, she gave lavish gifts to Solomon: 4.5 tons of gold with additional spices. But it is interesting to note how Solomon acts:
“And King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all that she desired, whatever she asked besides what she had brought to the king” (2 Chronicles 9:12a).
She left with more than she brought. The came to verify and to graciously give but she was gifted far more. This is an example of how Solomon was immensely blessing the nations with what God had given him by his promise. It should make us think back to the promise to Abraham:
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3).
This seems to be God’s plan: bless his anointed in order to glorify himself by overflowing the blessing to others.
The Bible has many more chapters and it is clear that Solomon was not the Messiah everyone had waited for. Solomon lost everything and became another curse to the nations rather than a blessing. But thanks be to God that Jesus has come.
And John 3:35 says, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.”
All things are given to Jesus and can never be taken away from him. He is infinitely more wealthy than Solomon. And we can see that just as the Queen of Sheba, the blessing received is far more than what has been given. In fact, not only are we given some gifts but, according toRomans 8:17, if we are in Christ then we are made co-heirs with Christ! God’s plan has come to fulfillment in greater measure by Christ, it has extended to us, and indeed to all the nations of the earth!
Assistant Pastor Evan Webster
In this powerfully pointed letter, Jude the half-brother of the Lord Jesus echoes the same warning of 2 Peter 2 – stand against false teachers:
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3 ESV)
Jude wanted to encourage them about their salvation but felt it necessary to sound the trumpet against the false teachers and their influence. This situation needed immediate attention. Jude warned them because he loved the flock. He underscores how much these true believers were cherished. Three times he uses the word beloved (verses 1, 17, 20). We read these reassuring words in the first two verses,
…To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. (Jude 1-2 ESV)
These much-loved believers were to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. The believers had a fight on their hands against the ungodly false teachers who had crept in among them. Why were they such a threat? These lived an immoral lifestyle. They perverted the grace of God. They denied Christ. They rejected authority. They grumbled. They were filled with pride. They were enemies of the grace of God. All of this would surely destroy their faith and the church if left unaddressed. In the battle for the truth, God instructed them to stay strong in their faith, pray in the power of the Spirit, abide in the love of God and keep looking upward for their redemption.
This God who loves us to the extent of the giving up of his own Son for us (Romans 5:8) has promised to keep us (verses 1, 24) and to bring us blameless before the throne of his glorious presence. How reassuring! The Lord preserves us, carefully watching over his own. He will keep and hold us fast. As you contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, stay in the love, grace and mercy of God. May it be multiplied to you in Christ for the glory of his name.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25 ESV)
Associate Pastor Jody Cross
In the first chapter of the book of Zephaniah, we see an opening statement, in which the prophet is identified as an ancestor of Hezekiah, and this prophecy comes under the reign of Josiah. If you remember your Old Testament kings well, you will remember that Josiah was one of the good guys.
Moreover, Josiah put away the mediums and the necromancers and the household gods and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the LORD. (2 Kings 23:24 ESV)
So, Josiah was turning out to be a good king and yet this prophecy is one of complete destruction. Here is what we see in this chapter:
1. Judgment on mankind in general.
2. Specific judgment on Judah and Jerusalem.
3. The nature of the Day of the Lord on God’s people.
4. The nature of the Day of the Lord on mankind in general.
The judgment that is spoken of is all encompassing. God undoes His creation and wipes it clean. There is imagery of the final judgment of mankind in this passage. The prophecy moves on to Judah and Jerusalem. While God judges all of mankind He pays special attention to the people who claim to be His own but who don’t obey His voice. As the passage moves on the finality of God’s final judgment is made clear. There will be no hope in wealth or might because God is almighty and His judgment is impossible to oppose. There will be no appeals on that day.
So, what can we learn from this passage? Let me suggest one thing:
1. Beware of syncretism.
Syncretism is the mixing of religions with the worship of God. This is an abomination to the Lord. Maybe your thinking to yourself, “I don’t worship God and Allah or Budha or Confuscious!” Well, that’s good. But do you serve the gods of this age? Wealth, convenience, laziness?
No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13 ESV)
It seems clear from the passage that in Zephaniah’s time this was rampant, and things really haven’t changed. In North America, we seem content to mix our worship of the one true God with the worship of our culture. Have you been tempted to water down the message of the gospel to maintain cultural relevance? Have you edited the hard parts of the Bible as you witness? I think to some extent or another we all have. I can look back and remember when I have avoided the hard truths. Here is the caution: Watering down the gospel is a damnable offense both to the hearer and for the speaker. Remember, we are God’s people, let’s love Him more than our comfort, and definitely more than the culture!
Associate Pastor Jonathan Welch
In the Old Testament, God set the Israelites apart as His chosen people. He brought them out of Egypt with many signs and wonders. He gave His commandments to them and taught them how they were to live in relationship with Himself. He delivered them from their enemies and brought them out of exile. He remained faithful to an unfaithful people.
In this passage, their unfaithfulness is on full display. The same people who claimed to know God intimately are found shouting for His crucifixion.
Neither Herod nor Pilate found any fault in Jesus. These two sinful Gentile rulers were able to see what those who were known as “God’s People” could not. But the crowd rejected Pilate’s sentence and demanded the death of the Son of God.
At Golgotha, our God in the flesh was mocked and nailed to a cross. In an ironic scene, a criminal hanging beside Jesus recognized him as Lord. The Son of God cried out and surrendered his spirit as the crowd beat their breasts in disgust. But the Roman soldier standing guard had eyes to see the righteousness of Christ.
Yet, not all of the Jews rejected their King. We’re told that a man named Joseph was grieved by what his people had done. He took the body of Jesus, and he gave him a proper burial. All is not lost. Once again in Israel’s history, God is preserving a remnant for Himself.
In this passage we see how far God’s people have fallen. But this isn’t merely an Israelite problem. It’s a sin problem. This world is desperately wicked and in need of a Saviour. Here we find our Saviour hanging on a rugged cross. And on that cross he paid the penalty for the sins of his people – Jews and Gentiles alike. He died so that,
whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 ESV)
In this passage, our faithlessness is on full display… But so too is the incredible faithfulness of God. He continues to draw the lost to Himself.
Assistant Pastor Levi denBok
Our heavenly Father, we come to you today in Christ in order to be blessed. There is no good for us outside. You are the Giver of every good and perfect gift, and we look to you. You have healed our addiction to false gods and worthless idols. You have fed us with the hidden manna and given us to drink from the Rock that is Jesus Christ and we are content. Grant that we may know you in this life and enjoy in the next for ever and ever, amen.
Pastor Paul Carter
N.B. RMM Roundup assumes the Bible reading guide also known as “The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan”. You can find a single page version of the 1 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_classic_single_letter.pdf and a version of the 2 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_carson_a4.pdf