RMM RoundUp December 16
2 Chronicles 18
As we can see in chapter 17, Jehoshaphat was blessed by God because he walked in the ways of David. But sadly, we begin reading here that he made a marriage alliance with Ahab, the king of Israel. In 1 Kings 21, it is evident that an alliance with Ahab is not the wises move for one who desires to seek God. Other than to steering clear of the marrying of idolatrous women, Ahab gives us a few other warnings? In this chapter we notice that Ahab surrounds himself with 400 prophets who tickle his ears with affirmation. We also see that he tries to avoid the Word of God by clever maneuvers.
When Jehoshaphat sought to know whether war with Syria was God’s will, Ahab brought in his many prophets. But when Jehoshaphat asked for a true prophet that would speak the Word of God, Ahab told him he knew one but hated him because he did not speak favorably toward Ahab. That should be a huge red flag. When someone only listens to those who blow sunshine at them and rejects the Word of the Lord because it rubs the wrong way, steer clear from walking along in this path of destruction. You want to urgently seek and listen to the person like Micaiah who says, “As the Lord lives, what my God says, that I will speak”.
When Ahab went into battle, he knew the prophecy of God against him so he disguises himself so he can be lost in the crowd and therefore avoid perishing. Interestingly, a “random” arrow finds its way into the chink in his armor. God fulfills what he promises and no device or scheme of man can thwart him. It would be better to be like Jehoshaphat who, seeing he was in trouble, cried out to God. Upon hearing the cry of his servant, God helped and delivered him. When you see you’re outside of God’s will the wise person immediately makes a plea for mercy and repents.
These things are for our instruction and warning. So based on this text, ask yourself these questions: Do I have a pastor or close friend who unashamedly proclaims the Word of God even if it offends me? How do I react when the Word of God is pitted against my ego or my plans? Am I currently disobeying God and trying to evade the consequences that he is dealing in order to draw me to repentance?
Assistant Pastor Evan Webster
This chapter is an interlude of encouragement in the midst of the wrath of God that is unleashed upon the earth. It is a warning of impending suffering, the assurance of protection and the promise of ultimate victory.
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. (Revelation 7:1 ESV)
The Bible warns us that unprecedented devastation is coming upon the earth. However for a season, these winds of judgment are held back while God seals believers for the day of their vindication (see Ezekiel 9:4,6, Ephesians 1:13). Believers are not exempt from suffering, but by God’s care are brought safely through it. Verse 4 mentions the 144,000 who are sealed. There has been much speculation about whom this number refers to. This is most likely a symbolic number representing a complete number of God’s elect people. These are the great multitude of believers who have come out of the tribulation during the entire age from Jesus’ ascension to his return.
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with branches in their hands. (Revelation 7:9 ESV)
Success of God’s mission is sure! The Great Commission will be completed (Matthew 24:14). God will gather his Bride from the four corners of the earth. They are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus. They hold palm branches, symbolic of conquest after conflict (see John 12:12-16).
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:15-17 ESV)
John sees all that is happening in reference to God’s throne (see verses 9,10,11,15,17). This assures us that God is sovereign over all. Before his throne we will worship. We will serve the King of kings and we will know complete wholeness in the loving care of our Shepherd. Gone will be all our fears and tears, pains and sorrows (Revelation 21:4). We will have complete joy and satisfaction in the presence of the Lord (Revelation 21:6)!
For now we take up our cross daily, live for Christ and spread the gospel for the glory of God. For now we have his abiding presence and the promise of sustaining grace in whatever storms might be ahead.
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 7:12 ESV)
Associate Pastor Jody Cross
The name Zechariah means, “Yahweh has remembered.” , and that, in essence, is what this book is about. Zechariah was tasked with calling for spiritual renewal from the returned exiles. In the third chapter, we read an interesting story about the high priest Joshua. We find ourselves in a courtroom scene. In this scene, Satan is accusing Joshua of not being fit for his role as high priest. Many Christians find it odd that Satan would be anywhere near the throne of God, but it is interesting to note that the book of Revelation calls accusing Satan’s job.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. (Revelation 12:10 ESV)
Luckily for Joshua, Satan is overruled in his accusations by God’s intercessor for His people. This doesn’t mean that Joshua is innocent. By the condition of his clothing, we see that he is anything but innocent. Yet God gives him new clothing, and again we see an echo of this in Revelation.
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5 ESV)
Joshua is restored and cleared of wrongdoing, but all of this comes with a familiar warning. Verse 7 tells us this:
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. (Zechariah 3:7 ESV)
Notice the order of things:
1. Joshua accused.
2. Joshua forgiven by God, and given new, clean clothing.
3. Joshua commanded to follow God’s commands.
4. IF Joshua follows God’s commands blessing will follow.
The blessing is what should really excite us. Joshua is told that the “Branch” is coming and that in a single day God will remove the iniquity of the land. Isaiah talks of this Branch:
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. (Isaiah 11:1-5 ESV)
Jesus was coming!!! For us, He has come, and we are awaiting His second coming! What an appropriate passage for us as we approach the Christmas season! Our salvation has come, and if we persevere, we will be given new white garments. Our sins will be washed away and we will spend eternity with our saviour! Christ is our advocate against the accuser! To Him be the glory forever and ever!
Associate Pastor Jonathan Welch
This chapter tells us a lot about Jesus. Not only was Jesus’ teaching the people, but He also performed many signs that revealed who He was. As a result of His healing ministry, many people soon began to follow Jesus to see what else He might do. Noticing this large crowd of followers, Jesus instructed His disciples to feed them. This was followed by the miracle where Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, blessed, broke and distributed it to the crowd. These five loaves and two fish not only fed the entire crowd, but there were even left overs.
This miracle revealed that Jesus was no ordinary man. Those who were in the crowd and witnessed this sign realized that Jesus was the Prophet who was to come into the world. The Bible doesn’t say that Jesus healed all or even fed all He met, but He showed that He had the power to do it.
It is recorded later in John 20:30, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.”
After witnessing the miracle of Jesus’ feeding the 5,000, the crowds wanted to make Him their king. John writes:
“When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world.” (John 6:14 ESV)
Jesus, however, had other plans. He never intended to be an earthly king and quickly withdrew from the crowds. Old Testament prophecy indicated that Jesus’ would not take up an earthly throne. Jesus was a descendent of Jeconiah (Matthew 1:11,12) and Jeremiah said that none of the descendants of Jeconiah would sit on the throne of David.
Is this man Coniah a despised, broken pot, a vessel no one cares for? Why are he and his children hurled and cast into a land that they do not know? O land, land, land, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD: “Write this man down as childless, a man who shall not succeed in his days, for none of his offspring shall succeed in sitting on the throne of David and ruling again in Judah. (Jeremiah 22:28-30 ESV)
The true purpose of Jesus coming to earth is revealed in verses 22-59. Jesus explains that his primary reason was to bring salvation to the people. He wanted to draw people to God and to give them everlasting life. Jesus’ used the illustration of life giving bread to indicate that He is the one in whom true life is found.
John 6 ends with many of Jesus’ followers rejecting Him. Even some of the disciples left him. Others stayed because there was no one else like Him. It was Simon Peter who said, “to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (v. 68). Peter recognized that Jesus offered something that no one else ever could, eternal life. We see Peter make a similar statement in the book of Acts when he says:
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12ESV)
Associate Pastor Bill Fyvie