On the Plains of Moab Blog
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October 21, 2013, 8:30 AM

Can We Talk?


My, what a day yesterday.  From Sunday School to Worship, very challenging.  To begin the day, we were discussing chapter seven of the Westminster Confession, "God's Covenant with Man."  I must say, I know what "covenant" is; but, when you are trying to teach it, it is tough.  To begin with, the two categories taught in this chapter, "The Covenant of Works" and "The Covenant of Grace" aren't even explicitly mentioned in the Bible.  They are inferred, more or less, much like the concept of the Trinity.  But, in both cases, these descriptive terms describe well what we know of God (Trinity) and how He operates with us (Covenant).  Solidly Reformed, Biblically based concepts.  Nevertheless, hard to teach!  I am afraid I wasn't of much help to my fearless class yesterday.  I need to bring my "A" game for them next week as we move on to chapter eight, "Christ the Mediator."

In the pulpit with King Amaziah.  One word:  Exhausting.  An extended portion of Scripture, the entire, long 25th chapter of 2 Chronicles.  On top of that, it is so easy to get sidetracked with the blood and guts of ancient warfare.  Especially the part where Amaziah captures the multitudes of the Edomite army and executes them in an extremely inhumane manner (2 Chron. 25:12).

Usually, when I am reading narratives such as this one from the pulpit, I want to stop and scream, "Please hang with me!  There is something we need to get here.  Don't tune out because you are turned off by the violence."  The Bible records the actions of sinful men (and women).  We are sinful.  We live in a fallen world.  The Bible doesn't sweet-filter life.  And just because something is recorded in the Bible, doesn't necessarily mean that God is advocating every single behavior reported!

The lives of the kings we are studying in this sermon series have much to teach us.  About Jesus and about ourselves.  As in yesterday, Amaziah's half-hearted-ness ended up in heart-ache not only for the king; but for his people as well.  The king's passion or lack of passion for God always had far reaching consequences.  This is why we make much of King Jesus.  Oh, what our King has done for us by His perfect obedience to His Father's will, keeping covenant perfectly on our behalf.  By contrast, King Jesus is so unlike the other sons of David, like Amaziah and Jehoshaphat and Solomon and even David himself.

I think the point that I wanted to make yesterday was that King Jesus has secured for us our eternal standing and blessing before God, through faith.  However, the principle played out in Amaziah's life still holds personally for us... and even corporately:  Half-hearted obedience still brings heart-ache to the child of God and the church of God. (This is true even as Jesus has done the "heavy lifting" for us.)

Still, I know that was a hard thing to get across yesterday.  You may not know this about preachers, but we usually know when we are not going to make full sail long before you may draw that conclusion!  That was yesterday for this preacher.  As I said, what a day yesterday!

Oh well, there's always next week.  Speaking of next week, we will be looking at the reign of Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 30:1-13; 26-27.  The title will be "The Homecoming."  Can you figure out why?


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