Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Lent

  • A Lenten Prayer +

    Ash Wednesday - March 9, 2011 A Lenten Prayer The Lenten season begins. It is a time to be with you, Read More
  • First Sunday of Lent Devotional +

    First Sunday of Lent - March 13, 2011 A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within Read More
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Don  Carson

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+19-20%2CJohn+13%3A21-38&version=NRSV

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/revelation/8.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/zechariah/4.html

http://www.biblestudytools.com/rsv/john/7.html

2 Chronicles 19–20; Revelation 8; Zechariah 4; John 7

EARLIER WE WITNESSED A KING who began well and ended poorly (Asa; see December 13–14); still earlier, we witnessed a halfhearted reformer (Rehoboam; see December 11).

Now we come across another, King Jehoshaphat, who does not degenerate, nor does he slide along in a gray zone between good and evil, but rather proves to be very good in some areas and not very discerning and even stupid in others—all his life (2 Chron. 19–20).

The two previous chapters (2 Chron. 17–18) can be divided into two parts. Chapter 17 depicts the strengths of Jehoshaphat—the man who diligently seeks the Lord and fortifies the entire southern kingdom. By contrast, chapter 18 depicts foolish Jehoshaphat, enmeshed in a needless and compromised alliance with wicked King Ahab of Israel, almost losing his life in a fight that wasn't his. Now in the chapters before us, the prophet Jehu, son of the prophet Hanani who had been imprisoned by Asa in his old age, confronts Jehoshaphat: "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God" (2 Chron. 19:2–3).

Then the pattern repeats itself. Jehoshaphat works diligently to rid the judiciary of corruption (2 Chron. 19:4–11). When he faces another military crisis, this time the nations of Moab and Ammon allied against him, he turns to God for help. The culmination of his prayer is intensely moving: "O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you" (2 Chron. 20:12). In his mercy, God sends his Spirit upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, who carries a prophetic word to strengthen and encourage Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah and Jerusalem (2 Chron. 20:15ff). The victory they win is extravagant, and the Lord graciously imposes "the fear of God" upon the surrounding kingdoms, thereby giving Jehoshaphat and Judah rest.

So what does Jehoshaphat do? He makes another stupid and unnecessary alliance, this time with Ahaziah, the new king of Israel, and is soundly rebuked by another prophetic word (2 Chron. 20:35–37). Doesn't the man ever learn?

Today we would probably label such deeply disturbing repetitions "character flaws." They can occur in people whose lives, on so many levels, are entirely praiseworthy. At one level it is entirely right to thank God for the good these people do. But would it not have been far better if Jehoshaphat had learned from his first mistakes?

Would it be impertinent to ask if you and I learn from ours?

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/loveofgod/2013/12/17/2-chronicles-19%e2%80%9320-revelation-8-zechariah-4-john-7/

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

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              The finished diamond is one of the most beautiful and desirable gems.  Yet, in the Read More
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    Conversations provides thoughtful, in-depth article treatments of topics aligned around a particular theme. Conversations covers “five continuing themes, each representing Read More
  • Discipleship by Dallas Willard +

    Dallas Willard is one of the best thinkers and writers in the world today; it is a blessing to Christ's Read More
  • Assessing Spiritual Growth (interview with Dallas WIllard) +

    How Do We Assess Spiritual Growth? An interview in Leadership Journal, May 2010 How can churches know if they are Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Prayer by Alex Kirk, Chatham Community Church +

    What role does prayer play in our lives? What is prayer, anyway? Alex Kirk, pastor of Chatham Community Church, gives Read More
  • How to be Mary in a Martha world by Jim Abrahamson, Chatham Community Church +

    Jim Abrahamson spoke at Chatham Community Church on an essential of the Christian walk Who/what is our savior? What is Read More
  • Christ the King Sunday by Art Going (Holy Trinity Chatham) +

    A thoughtful discussion of how we function as colonizers for Christ the King.  Read More
  • MY STUPID MOUTH by Steve Tamayo of Chatham Community Church +

    Tremendous sermon on the liabilities of our tongue, both in what we say and don't say. Read More
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