Old Testament Style Of Salvation

Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying,
2 Kings 22:10‭-‬20 NASB

King Josiah’s life is an inspiration. He started to reign when he was 8 years old and according to the previous verses in the Bible:

He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.
2 Kings 22:2 NASB

He reigned uprightly and we could not read any mention that he did something that angered God, similar to the kings before Him.

Then we learned in the main passage his response when he later heard what were written in the book of the law. It was as if his eyes were opened of the sins that his people and ancestors committed against God. Though he himself did not grieve the Lord, the way he humbled himself and repented to all their transgressions meant he carried the guilt as well. However, the Lord who is just did not relent on His punishment for the people of Judah but instead mercifully promised Josiah that he will be spared as the God’s judgment would not happen in his lifetime.

This is our story too. A lot of people say they believe in God and seem to be doing good works as much as they can. But without true repentance that comes with faith in God (Jesus Christ), acknowledging that we have sinned against Him, our external facade of being good will not earn us salvation. If we are reconciled with God through Jesus then we are spared of God’s wrath and we enter a loving relationship with Him.

Indeed, genuine faith precedes genuine repentance. That is why we can read in the suceeding passage that Josiah reformed Judah, destroying all the idols in his land and renewing the covenant with God.

Then the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the Lord and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the Lord . The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord , and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.
2 Kings 23:1‭-‬3 NASB

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

Let God Fight His Battle

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After King Hezekiah’s officials delivered the king’s message to Isaiah, the prophet replied, “Say to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be disturbed by this blasphemous speech against me from the Assyrian king’s messengers. Listen! I myself will move against him, and the king will receive a message that he is needed at home. So he will return to his land, where I will have him killed with a sword.’”
2 Kings 19:5‭-‬7 NLT

As Christians, it is natural for us to feel offended when the God we worship is being desecrated or mocked. Our natural instinct is to fight through words and condemn the person. Then things get worst when we start to engage on the low level of conversation as we defend the Lord. We argue with others as if the Lord we serve cannot defend Himself.

Though king Hezekiah’s servants reached out to Isaiah because there was nothing they could do against the threat of king of Assyria, this passage clearly tells us that we do not have to fight God’s battle. God is God, He has everything at His mercy. He Himself will not allow anyone who defile His great name go unpunished.

Moreover, as His people, our initial response must be in prayer. We pray for inner peace so that we do not feel the need to react out of anger but to respond to people with grace. Then we trust the Lord that He will protect His name, whatever means He choose to make it happen. His retribution does not have to fit our expectations. Knowing this alone will surely remove our unnecessary burdens.

Finally, as we lift up these things to the Lord, we also think about those that oppose His name. They need grace too, as they do not know God. They are enemies of the Lord, their behaviour is what it should be because they are dead to sin. Remember, we were once like them too. It is just by God’s grace that we have come to faith with Jesus Christ, His Son. Now that we know better because we know God, we should also extend the grace we received from the Lord to the people who do not know Him.

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

I No Longer Of The World But Of God

And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, and they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.” But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the Lord had commanded them that they should not do like them. And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.
2 Kings 17:7‭-‬16 ESV

The book of 2 Kings gives us the list of kings who ruled Judah and Israel, providing us insight how they led their people to and away from God. Both had a share of failed kings, Israel was over-the-chart while Judah was less so. All through-out, we can see that the Lord was so gracious giving His people warnings by sending His prophets to turn from their idolatry. Here, we can see the extent of man’s depravity, the Lord speaks but men do not listen. The Israelites knew that their disobedience would cause God’s judgment and yet they continued with their wickedness. More and more, I realize the depth of what is to be dead to sin. Being dead to sin removed our ability to instinctively choose what is good in God’s eyes, let alone choose Him.

This reflection gives me a deeper appreciation of God choosing me to Himself and to what had Jesus done for me. I know I could have been like the Israelites who did not follow the Lord, if not for His grace. Grace is everything because I can offer nothing to earn my salvation. I came to Christ not because I could but because of His irresistable grace. If I could, I would be a Christian much earlier rather than later but I did not, because I was dead to sin and God needed to work on my heart first for me to respond to His call. Nevertheless, I just praise God for His perfect ways and timings! What is interesting is that when He called me, I suddenly saw something that I did not see before. Actually, I never thought I would be this zealous for God as I had never been religious.

Furthermore, this passage reinforced to me that conformity to the world is dangerous. I do not have to follow what it dictates because I am first and foremost a follower of Christ. Now that I have Jesus, I am enabled to choose God’s ways and overcome the pressure of the world to be much like those of the world. My moral compass is clearer than ever and it points back to God who delivered me.

Soli Deo Gloria!

-Rhia

Shocking Story: (2 Kings 6:26‭-‬29) Cannibalism

As I read the Bible, I encounter stories that bring me horror, all of which were the atrocities of man. Never did I ever expect that I would read these kind of stories in the Bible. Yes, now I know that the Bible is not a wholesome book but a book about the truth, the good and the bad. And the truth is, apart from God, man is evil. We need Jesus and He is the only One who can save us from ourselves.


Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying,
2 Kings 6:26‭-‬29 ESV

Other shocking stories here.