|Passage: 2 Chronicles 18-20|
On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, Fernando wrote,
2 Chronicles 20
13 Meanwhile all Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. 14 And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, “Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God's. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.”
Doug Wilson is a pastor I like to read and appreciate his writings. Much of what I am saying comes from this link:
I believe revelatory gifts have stopped. Not that they could not continue again in the future, but there have been no biblical quality manifestations (specifics presented, timelines kept, limbs restored). But to be clear, I am speaking of revelatory gifts, gifts that reveal God and his confirmation of such revelations. The kind we see in this passage ‘they will be here tomorrow, you will not have to fight, you will win – I bet all of our lives on this.’
Revelations are guaranteed by the Spirit and are fully insured with a 100% guarantee, as offered in Deuteronomy 18. These kinds are overpowering causing the recipient to experience problems for not speaking, like Jeremiah. They reveal events that others can try to mimic through manipulations and deceit or luck, such as Pharaoh’s magicians. This kind of claim is invoked when words like “the lord said” or “in the name of the lord;” we should be very careful of the idle words that come out of our mouths (Matthew 12:36).
In addition, if such a word being offered then it is candidate for scripture-hood, even if it is something such as “the lord told me to buy this shirt;” even the mundane such as, ‘my husband died, I went to Israel, and I found another husband’ (cf Ruth) are extraordinary because it is a revelation of God, any hair, or shadow of God is of the greatest importance!
Spiritual insights or special knowledge does are not guarantees of the Holy Spirit. Such insights are strung along the whole body of scripture:
Proverbs 21: In the lord’s hand the kings heart is a stream of water
Proverbs 16: in their hearts humans plan, but the lord directs his steps
Revelation 17: For God put it into their hearts to fulfill his will
Acts 16: So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God called us to preach the gospel to them
Jeremiah 33: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come
Isaiah 45: I will give you hidden treasure, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord.
If ”all things that are good and pure, come down from God above” (James 1), then every time my child chooses not kick her younger sister, praise God, he put something in her; every time I choose to confess my prideful attitude to my wife, praise God he put something in my heart. It cannot be denied that God still is working. But to say your desires are directed by God (Philippians 2:13), or acting as if all your desires are approved by God, without considering that temperance is required by God, then a weakness is made of the kind David had when God sent a spirit to tempt him, which lead him to the death of many by the angel’s sword.
Isaiah 8: Consult God's instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn
|Passage: 2 Chronicles 18-20|
On Friday, May 24, 2013, Yujin wrote,
Now therefore, behold, the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets, for the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you.” (2 Chronicles 18:22).
Here we read that the LORD sent a deceiving spirit. But does this contradict other Scriptures that suggest that God does not and cannot lie (e.g. Titus 1:2; Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18)? It does not.
In the present text, notice that even though God sent a deceiving spirit, it went into the prophets of Baal, so that they gave King Ahab a false assurance of success in battle. We know this because Jehoshaphat king of Judah asks Ahab if there is not also a prophet of the LORD there (2 Chronicles 18:6). When they find such a prophet in Micaiah, son of Imlah, he speaks the word of God in truth. Thus, God made a distinction between the Word of the LORD and the word of the false prophets of Baal.
Our God is sovereign. He can use evil men (cf. Acts 2:23; 4:27-28), deceiving spirits and even Satan (cf. Job 1:7-12; 2:2-6) to accomplish His purposes. But He Himself does not tempt and cannot be tempted (cf. James 1:13). And He himself does not and cannot lie (cf. Titus 1:2; Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Thus, we also read in Romans 3:3,
Let God be true, and every human being a liar.
What does this mean? It means that God defines truth. He always acts in ways that are completely consistent with His character and purposes. But this does not preclude His use of sinful men in their sinfulness, lying spirits in their deceptiveness, and Satan in his antagonism, to accomplish His good and perfect plans. If He could not use these agents, then He would not be sovereign. And if He were not sovereign, then He would not be God. Because our God is a sovereign God.
|Passage: 2 Chronicles 18-20|
On Thursday, May 24, 2012, Fernando wrote,
1 Corinthians 2 speaks of Paul proclaiming God not by words but by the Spirit and power. So they would not rest in the wisdom of men but the power of God. Verse 6 points to a maturity and is contrasted in chapter 3. After Paul came demonstrating with power it did not stick. He had to address them as ‘people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.’ He comments that ’the wise in Christ are fools to the world.’
Hebrews 5 paints a picture of maturity in Christ as one who has discernment trained by constant practice.
Philippians 3 paints a picture that maturity in Christ is seen as someone who strives for eternity and puts all things in that context. This would mean we would forgo some, what would appear, crucial events today, because we have our eye on the eternal.
Jehoshaphat did well. He took down the unholy things and taught the people to be holy. But he missed the overarching of God. After we hear of his great works, he does something odd; he creates an alliance with Israel. Why was this needed? Why does Judah, who is with God, need to claim equality with another nation? After all, an alliance states an equality, a statement saying (2 chron 18:3) “I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.”
Jehu then rebukes Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat then is attacked once again; does well pleading to the Lord, but then later joins up again with Israel in building ships ‘to go to’ Tarhish; I presume for war and the Lord foils this plan – *just read* Wikipedia says to revive trading.
We start as infants with God. Learning that he has saved us, but this is only the beginning. We should expand to know that your struggle of the day is only a small piece of your existence. As we grow we should (Hebrews 5) practice learning and applying who God is. How we view struggles should change. Why we wake up each day should change. Our interest should be aligned with God’s interest, our interest are his interest – only.
This is a big task! You are to become God-like, The Lord-like. This definitely will take practice! If we strain to look forward toward eternity, knowing God moves all the pieces, then what seems foolish now should be done, because we know the outcome, we know the last piece to be moved.
By ordering your life with the big important issues first, the issue of Jesus, then you have anchored yourself well and find the Spirit fighting all sorts of battle for you. As Umni’s comment, “the lord fights your battles” – I would add, it is up to you to hold the ground, using the armor of God (Ephesians 6).
|Passage: 2 Chronicles 18-20|
On Thursday, May 24, 2012 (Last Updated on 5/24/2013), Yujin wrote,
Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him [Jehoshaphat]. “Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD?” he asked the king. “Because of what you have done, the LORD is very angry with you.” (2 Chronicles 19:2 NLT)
Jehoshaphat is called a "good king" because He sought the LORD (1 Kings 22:43). We are told that he taught the people the Word of the LORD and removed the pagan shrines and Asherah poles from Judah.
Yet, as we look at Jehoshaphat's life, we see some inconsistencies. Even though He sought the LORD, he also allied himself by marriage to the wicked king of Israel, Ahab, who worshipped Baal (2 Chronicles 18:1). Later, even after prophetic warnings against it, he would ally himself to Ahab's son, Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 20:35-37) and give his son in marriage to Ahab's daughter (2 Chronicles 21:6).
And even though he sent out officials and Levites to instruct the people on the Word of the LORD (2 Chronicles 17:7-9), and even though he encouraged the people to listen to and believe God's prophets, he himself failed to do so when the prophet Micaiah of Imlah told him and Ahab that they would be defeated by the Arameans in battle. He also failed to pay any attention to the prophet's (prophet Jehu the son of Hanani) warning not to ally himself with the wicked kings of Israel (2 Chronicles 19:2).
What is more, even though he removed some of the pagan shrines, he did not remove all of them, such that "the people still offered sacrifices and burned incease there" (1 Kings 22:33).
When looking at the totality of his life, you get the sense that while Jehoshaphat sought the LORD, he did not do so wholeheartedly, and he was more than willing to compromise to ensure peace with his "brothers" in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. His loyalty to his friends and family was greater than his loyalty to the LORD. And this not only caused suffering for the people of Judah in his reign, it almost destroyed the Davidic line of kings, as familial links to Ahab would wreck havoc in both Jehoshaphat's descendants and the faith of the people of Judah.
Friends, what do we learn from this? We should not compromise our faith. We should not compromise the truth. Sometimes, for the sake of "unity," for the sake of "peace," we are told not to correct (or "criticize") those who speak and do the wrong things. Yet, we are commanded in the Bible not only to encourage but to admonish and correct each other (Colossians 3:16; Titus 1:13; 2:15):
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV)
The Word of God is given for this purpose:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17 NIV)
What we should say is not "Don't judge" or "Don't criticize," but rather "Judge rightly" and "Correct biblically," not forgetting also to encourage one another, knowing that our intent is not to destroy but to build each other up in the truth. If we just make some blanket statement like "Don't say anything critical of anyone, we are going "beyond what is written [in Scripture]" (1 Corinthians 4:6) and violating the biblical mandate. Also, when we allow false testimonies and "prophecies" contrary to the correct handling of the Scriptures without correcting and rebuking such, we dishonor the Lord and lay the groundwork for divine judgment, for as the Scripture says,
But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. (1 Corinthians 11:31 NASB)
Because Jehoshaphat compromised truth and faith by making alliances with the wicked kings of Israel and going along with their plans, God judged him and his posterity. Let us not make the same mistake.
Recently, we had someone testify prophetically, saying that certain obscure passages of Scripture along with a very spiritualized view of numbers were signs to them from God. While I sympathize deeply with this person's pain, such that they might say anything to find consolation, their bizarre handling of Scripture was wrong. And, thus, their perceived prophetic "signs" are likely also to be wrong.
But what is worse perhaps is that church leadership allowed them to freely speak such biblical error, even giving tacit approval to their words. Sympathy is one thing, but this is wrongful sympathy, for the Scripture says that true love "does not delight in wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth" (1 Corinthians 13:6). I pray for this person's healing and my heart aches for them, for I have known them a long time. It would have been better for them to simply testify that God supernaturally told them they would be healed (i.e. if indeed God did) rather than using the Scriptures in such a wrongful way. And the church leadership should never have given them a forum to speak such a wrongful testimony in the pulpit. Even though every testimony is personal and subjective, this does not mean that every testimony is right, especially when the testimony invokes Scripture in a wrongful way.
Friends, only some of you will know about what and about whom I am referring to, but I kept it general so that we might all be instructed. We cannot worship the Lord in a syncretistic way, allowing truth and falsehood to coexist. We are called to expose anything to do with the darkness (Ephesians 5:6-13). Jehoshaphat thought it was fine to be allied with the wicked kings of Israel as long as he himself remained faithful. But as the prophets and biblical history show, this was not the case.
Now, in the scenario I gave above, I am not speaking of unbelievers but believers. Wiithin the church we are commanded to turn our brothers and sisters from the wrong way to a right way, from falsehood to truth. Let us not be squeamish about doing this in love.
My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19, 20 NASB)
|Passage: 2 Chronicles 18-20|
On Wednesday, May 25, 2011, Unmi wrote,
Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” (2 Chronicles 20)
This is such a wonderful reminder to us all. The Battle belongs to the Lord! In Jehoshaphat's day, the LORD physically intervened and fought against their enemies. How about in our time? We too fight against enemies both physical and spiritual. Paul told the Ephesians to put on the full armor of God "for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12) However, we are to "not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." (Matthew 10:28) We can go out and face tomorrow because we know that "that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39) Even in death, there is no victory for the evil one. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, "death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:54)
Let us live victorious lives for the battle has already been decided and God has won!