WEEK 47, Day 6, Saturday, 26 November 2022

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Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 26 November 2022:

2 Kings 15:2, 3 — His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.

Again, note that the Bible points to the parents when speaking of the character and competence of leaders. Note, that both the father and mother are mentioned. The foundation of a society is the home, and homes must be led by godly mothers and fathers, both are essential for the balanced character development of future leaders.

2 Kings 15:4 — Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places.

Azariah was a godly king, yet he let sin to continue in the land unchecked. We cannot stare at sin around us and hope it will go away. If we don’t confront sin, it will continue to destroy and only grow.

2 Kings 15:5 — And the Lord touched the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and he lived in a separate house.

In the entire chapter of 2 Kings 15, Azariah was the only king who “did what was right in the eyes of the LORD,” yet, God gave him leprosy with apparently no explanation. However, Azariah is also called Uzziah in 2 Chronicles 26, and 2 Chronicles 26 explains that, “when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.” Azariah arrogantly defied God’s rules for worship and took on upon himself a priestly role. Therefore, God gave him leprosy, essentially a slow death sentence. God takes His holiness very seriously, and God has a much higher standard for those who assume positions of leadership.

2 Kings 15:10, 13, 14 — Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him and struck him down…. he reigned one month in Samaria…. Menahem… struck down Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria and put him to death and reigned in his place.

A theme throughout the Bible is that God treats people the way they treat others.

2 Kings 15:12 — This was the promise of the Lord that he gave to Jehu, “Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” And so it came to pass.

God always keeps His promises. What promises can you find in the Bible that pertain to you?

2 Kings 15:15 — Now the rest of the deeds of Shallum, and the conspiracy that he made, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

The Bible cannot be fully understood without a diligent study of the whole Bible. 2 Kings 15:15 says, “behold” the rest of the story revealed in the rest of the Bible. Many Bible truths are obvious and easily understood. Many other truths are reserved for those who would diligently study all of God’s word. Of course, diligent Bible study is only part of the equation – proper application is also required. Consider the birth of Jesus – very few people understood the significance of His birth at the time, but the wise men of the east and Herod’s chief priests and scribes were able to accurately discern from God’s word that the Christ was born in Bethlehem. However, the wisemen sought Him to worship him, while the chief priests and scribes sought to kill him – opposite responses to the same truth. Diligently study God’s word to know Jesus more and more each day, to love Him more dearly, and to worship Him more genuinely. Study God’s word to demonstrate your love for God by loving others more sincerely and effectively.

2 Kings 15:20 — Menahem exacted the money from Israel, that is, from all the wealthy men, fifty shekels of silver from every man, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back and did not stay there in the land.

Taxation is often used to subjugate certain groups of people in order to keep others in power.

2 Kings 15 – God appreciates obedience to Him, not popularly acclaimed accomplishments or “good deeds” respected by people. A person can do many good things with the wrong motivation and wrong heart, receiving credit from people but not from God. Reputation is what others say about you. Character is what God says about you.

Psalm 136:1 – Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136 is a list recounting all the ways God demonstrated His love and faithfulness to His people. This gave them encouragement for the future. Do you have a list of all the things God has done in your life as a reminder to you of His love and faithfulness? Take the time today to make that list, share it with your family, and give thanks to God.

  • Psalm 75:1 — We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.
  • Isaiah 63:7 — I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord, the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that he has granted them according to his compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
  • Ephesians 5:20 — Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ….
  • Colossians 3:17 — And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  • Colossians 4:2 — Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
  • Psalm 69:30 — I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:8 — Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
  • Lamentations 3:23 — They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:34 — Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
  • 1 Corinthians 15:57 — But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 26:12 — “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”

Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied. If you think you have wisdom, you are in big trouble. Wisdom can only come from God, and God says His thoughts are infinitely removed from yours. Wisdom only comes through revelation, not through human reason. Revelation only comes through the Holy Spirit working through much prayer and God’s word. Do you want to know what you should do? You must pray, pour into God’s word, walk in obedience, and listen for that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 26:13 – The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!”

The fool always seems to have an excuse for what he doesn’t do or isn’t willing to stop doing.

Proverbs 26:17 – Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.

This proverb verse reminds me of an account of Jesus found in Luke 12: “Someone in the crowd said to him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’” (Luke 12:12-15) Getting involved in quarrels can cause us and others to become distracted from the heart of the matter, the need for reconciliation with God through Jesus. Don’t cheapen the message of the Gospel by getting wrapped up in needless worries of the world.

Proverbs 26:18-20 — Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!” For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.

The Bible holds you accountable for careless words and careless dealings which impact others’ lives in a negative way. How we influence other people’s lives is nothing to be taken lightly.

Proverbs 26:23 – Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.

Compare this verse with Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:25-27) You can say all the right things from the wrong heart and reap only woes. You may fool others, but you won’t fool God.

Proverbs 26:18-28 – Again, Jesus said that we will be held accountable for EVERY careless word that comes out of our mouths. Our words have power, either impacting others in a positive way or a negative way. Jesus said that He only spoke what the Father told Him to speak which is what we are called to do too. If our words are not the product of the Spirit, they are ungodly and wrong, sinful. If you aren’t speaking on behalf of Jesus, keep your mouth shut. If there is any agenda behinds your words, that agenda had better be the Great Commission, the Great Commandment, and the mission of reconciliation.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 26 November 2022: Make your list of how God has blessed you in your life, and share it with others today.

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