Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 14 July 19:
2 Chronicles 26:16 – “But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction.”
2 Chronicles 25 and 26 tell two stories about two kings, Amaziah and Uzziah, who both honored God at the beginning of their reigns (at least in their actions), who were blessed greatly by God accordingly, who subsequently turned from God in their pride, and who ultimately suffered terrible, humiliating deaths under God’s wrath. In both cases, their worship was self-centered rather than God-centered, a means to an end, a way to get what they wanted rather than to honor and serve God in accordance with His will, and a way to increase their glory and power rather than to give God the glory and to acknowledge and depend upon His power. There is a saying, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” However, power didn’t corrupt these kings but rather exposed and magnified what was already in their hearts from the beginning – “And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.” (2 Chronicles 25:2) A half-hearted approach to worship and obedience, doesn’t honor God as God by definition. Both great crisis and great success are used by God to expose fear and pride (two sides of the same coin). God then openly and freely invites the half-hearted to humble repentance and reconciliation with Him, never rejecting those with humble and contrite hearts. Both Amaziah and Uzziah were given by God clear opportunities to repent, but they both rejected these opportunities. The results were inevitable. There is an important lesson for us in these stories.
– Psalm 81:7, 8, 10, 11-16 — In distress you called, and I delivered you… I tested you…. Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me! Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So, I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels. Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes. Those who hate the Lord would cringe toward him, and their fate would last forever. But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 14 July 19: Humbly repent where you know you are not honoring God wholeheartedly, and walk by His grace increasingly closer to Him.