Posts Tagged ‘Books of Chronicles’

By faith (Abraham) dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  Heb. 11:9-10

Yes, I am a tad irate.

If you read my recent Facebook status (in regard to our latest government shutdown) you would probably come away thinking that I was pretty annoyed with our politicians in irategeneral and our president in particular. You would be right. I’m angry that our government has closed up shop, I’m angry that our nation is 17 trillion dollars in debt. I’m angry that half our nation has become (or is becoming) dependent upon government assistance. I’m angry that the constitution is being trampled upon. I’m angry that our leadership is cozy with our enemies.

And that’s just the short list!

Then the Lord offered this explanation:

“The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ” Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” (Psalm 2:2-12)

How Appropriate

The Psalmist explicitly states that part of the problem lies with the leaders. Working together, our rulers (nationwide and worldwide), seem to do everything within their power to violate, transgress, and/or contravene the ways of the Lord. As they collectively cut the cords that bind, they legislate ungodly decrees to hinder those of us who choose to cling tightly to them. As the psalm concludes, our Father in Heaven compassionately offers our kings the opportunity to repent.  Hence, it’s only fitting that we pray for them.

The Bigger Problem

It would be easy for us to rest upon the knowledge of Psalm 2 and deny that there are other issues that serve to perpetuate our current national decline (boy, wouldn’t that would be a shame). I believe, based on scripture, that the larger portion of responsibility rests on the shoulders of the church, or more accurately, the nominal Christians who make up the church.

What is a Nominal Christian?

Nominal Christians (NC’s) fall into different categories, ranging from those people who think they’re believers (but have no actual relationship with Jesus Christ), to those who are born again and are severely back-slidden, and everyone in-between. One characteristic common to all NC’s is selfishness; that is to say, they are primarily serving themselves and not Jesus Christ. Plainly said, they are not committed, submitted, or consecrated to God.

Consider God’s words to King Solomon.

When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

One might look at the present condition of the United States and surmise that the reason for our nation’s downward spiral is because the majority of us are decadent, depraved, and degenerate, non-Christians. I submit to you that’s not the reason at all. Those who aren’t walking with Jesus Christ should be behaving in this manner — it’s what heathens do.

God’s warning to Solomon was for the believers who were acting illicitly. Clearly God is saying to His church that it’s time to clean up our act.  In other words, it’s time for those dirtwho call themselves Christians to start acting like Christians. Our nation is not going down the tubes because of the perverted efforts of one elected official. It has taken us decades to get to where we find ourselves today. Our current president can point to the former president all he wants and proclaim that it’s his fault, but he’s wrong — it’s the churches fault. This wrath we’re witnessing, which is only a very small glimpse of the wrath to come, is our fault and it is a direct warning to the church to repent. God uses those in authority to admonish His children, in much the same way He used King Nebuchadnezzar (and Babylon) to admonish, and ultimately correct, the nation of Israel.

“For I the Lord do not change” Malachi 3:6

What should we do?

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14

If God is saying that we need to be humble, it means that huge numbers of us, since the inception of our nation, have positioned ourselves above His authority. Therefore, we must express godly sorrow for our sin and step down from that post to a place of submission. If you’re not agreeable to this doctrine, then don’t even bother praying, for God will not hear you; the text is that clear. The directive is to be humble, pray, seek Him, and turn away from depravity.  And remember, the ordinance in this context is not for the heathen, it’s for those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ!

For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 2 Corinthians 7:8-9

Are you angry?

I hope you are.

Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Psalm 4:4

Let your God-given emotion bring you to a place of decision. I hope you’re angry enough to lovingly pray for our government and our leaders. I hope in your anger you allow the Holy Spirit to identify your role in the equation, as I have. I was once a NC and although I have repented, I recognize that my back-sliding days have caused much damage. So while it is true I am forgiven, I am as much responsible for what’s going on in our nation as those who are actively nominal in their faith. It is for this reason we sound the trumpet. There can be no healing of the land unless the church as a whole is submitted to the will of God. It starts with me and it starts with you.

Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ Ezekiel 33:11

But aren’t we aliens in a foreign land?

Why should we care what happens here, after all we’re just passing through, right?

This is true, but we’re also called to be good stewards with the things the Lord has provided to us. How selfish it would be to devour the land and our liberties, without any effort to leave the place better than we found it. We have also been instructed by our creator to submit ourselves to those in authority over us and to obey the laws of the land, as long as those laws do not violate the laws of our Lord. Therefore, it is our duty to sustain that which is good (as prescribed by our forefathers) and maintain that which the Lord has graciously given. In regards to our stewardship, I cannot help but think of Christ’s words to Saul (aka: Paul) on the lonely road to Damascus.

‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’  Acts 26:14-18

I ask you, has God stopped sending people?

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What’s wrong with Christianity in America today?

I’ll tell you.

Apparently 6 million self-described, evangelical, born-again Christians support killing babies in the womb (abortion), gay-marriage, and believe the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God.


This number could even be much, much higher! This revelation should sadden you greatly. It appears we have come to this time (spoken of in 2 Timothy 4:3-4):

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

If this passage describes you and the faith you follow, you need to know that this ‘New Christianity’ is a false religion. No one cannot say they believe and follow Jesus, change His attributes, and then believe it’s all still the same. It is not the same. Those who do this have taken the Lord’s name in vain. Jesus Christ is the Word and He is inerrant! He does not advocate abortion or gay marriage! If you think He does, you are following a different Jesus.

American Christians (and you know who you are), must repent. Read the following verse again and again and consider its serious implication:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

Until Christians ‘turn from their wicked ways,’ our land will not be healed. Ignore this admonition from God and He will not hear your prayers and pleadings, and your sin will not be forgiven. Of course issues such as abortion and gay marriage are just the tip of iceberg. The vile activities that ‘New Christianity’ advocates (and justifies) are an abomination to the true and living God, but regardless of what you did (or formerly believed), today, right now, you can turn away from it all, confess it for the sin that it is, and turn to the real Jesus for salvation and healing.

“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:6b-10)

Humble yourself before the Lord. Repent. Confess. Be saved.

*** While it seems this article was written in response to the 2012 Presidential election, the reality is the blog is not political; my genuine concern is for the lost, the misguided, and the like. A person’s salvation is of much more importance.  (The fact of the matter is I did not vote for Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney, but voted for another individual). If you agree with the sound Biblical premise of the blog, please share it on Facebook, twitter, or other social media.

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Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance…No king is saved by the multitude of an army; A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; Neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You. Psalm 33:12, 16-22

You know, I have sung the song, ‘My Country Tis of Thee’ a gazillion times, but I don’t think until today I fully understood (or appreciated) who the ‘Thee’ is. I mean obviously, the ‘Thee’ being referred to is God, but I don’t ever recall having thought about the true Focus of the song or the ideals it espoused as being equated to God. For years, I’m sad to say by rote I sang these words without giving them much consideration.

My Country tis of Thee

My country,’ tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside let freedom ring!

My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, thy woods and templed hills; my heart with rapture thrills, like that above.

Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees sweet freedom’s song; let mortal tongues awake; let all that breathe partake; let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God, to thee, author of liberty, to thee we sing; long may our land be bright, with freedom’s holy light; protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord

Depending upon which source you tap, a clear majority; roughly 76 percent of all Americans profess to be Christian. Therefore it would stand to reason that as a nation (whose majority is Christian), we could rightly proclaim that Jesus is Lord and that we are blessed because of it. Why then, I ask, is God’s sovereignty even an issue in these United States?

Well I submit to you that God is sovereign here (and elsewhere) whether there is 76 percent support or zero percent. What’s at issue is how blessed [as a nation] we truly are—as Christianity wanes, as the Gospel is diluted, and yes, as morals decline, so go our blessings. As a nation, we look around and are concerned, but it would seem we refuse to do anything about it. More precisely, we refuse to do what God would simply have us do.

What does God want us to do?

“Then it shall come to pass, (if) you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples… Deuteronomy 7:12-14a

God has given us the Law and further tells us if we adhere to the Law and follow its obvious course (which leads us directly to the Cross and Jesus Christ), we will be blessed. The Deuteronomy passage, by the way, is for all people, so it doesn’t matter if you live in a free American democracy or a brutal foreign dictatorship—the blessings are for all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior and obey.

“So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant–when you have eaten and are full–then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall fear the Lord your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are all around you (for the Lord your God is a jealous God among you), lest the anger of the Lord your God be aroused against you and destroy you from the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 6:10-15

We might debate to what degree, but there is no denying it—we are currently blessed. The danger (and the reason why our blessings are diminishing right before our eyes) is because across the board we have forgotten Who has provided our blessings. Generally speaking, we have taken everything for granted. To make matters worse, we have become a nation whose selfish one-word motto is, ‘Entitlement.’ As a result so many of us do not worship God any longer. We have become a country that idolizes the blessings rather then the Blesser and in our flesh we strive to obtain that which we don’t yet have.

Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 8:19-20

Finally, as a nation, we do not fear the Lord. Ask a Christian what the fear of the Lord means and you’ll likely receive a variety of answers. “Fear,” they might say, “means ‘respect’ or ‘awe,’ but it doesn’t mean we actually fear God.”


Read Deuteronomy 8:19-20 again and tell me honestly there isn’t something there we should fear.

I never feared by dad when I behaved, but I most certainly feared him when I had done something wrong. At that point, my fear had very little to do with respect and awe and a whole lot to do with dread. Did I still love my dad? Absolutely. The fear of my dad served to keep me in line; you could say it kept me blessed. The fear of the Lord also keeps me blessed, but in much more significant way.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at my home church, Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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And Solomon had all these articles made in such great abundance that the weight of the bronze was not determined. 2 Chronicles 4:18

Bronze (or brass) in the Bible always speaks to judgment and it is not a coincidence that all of the components outside the Temple’s Holy Place were made of bronze. The last item in fact to be seen before passing into the Holy Place was the bronze covered door. In the typology, that door speaks of Christ Jesus and the bronze encasement speaks to all the judgement He endured and bore for our transgressions.

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. John 10:9

What I like about the 2 Chronicles passage is that it records that weight of all the bronze used in the Temple was without measure. Similarly it can also be supposed that the weight of the judgment cast upon the shoulders of our Lord and Savior cannot be calculated. My prayer would be that we; that is you and I…

may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 2:18-19

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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands.

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So David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, for his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of His people Israel…Now when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went out against them…And David inquired of God, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to him, “Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand.” So they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there…Then the Philistines once again made a raid on the valley. Therefore David inquired again of God, and God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; circle around them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear a sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” 1 Chronicles 14:8, 10-11a, 13-15

Four Reasons Why Christians Suffer

Generally speaking there are four fundamental reasons why born-again Christians experience suffering. First and foremost we’re afflicted because we live in a fallen condition brought about by Adam’s indiscretion in the Garden. As a result we sin against others and they sin against us; God does not routinely interfere lest He deny us our free will.

A subsequent (and obviously interrelated) cause is based not on what other sinners do to us, but rather upon what we do to ourselves; i.e., the things we suffer because of our own foolishness. The reality is God is not mocked and we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8).

Thirdly, there is the sanctification process the Christian willingly submits himself to. Followers of Christ choose submission over disdain because the trying course consistently proves to be a blessing rather than a curse. The truth be told, believers know that those who are without God’s chastening are considered to be illegitimate children (Hebrews 12:5-8).

The final reason is subtly revealed in the 1 Chronicles 14 passage (above) and fortified by this New Testament canon:

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33b

When David knew that God had established and ordained him ~and~ when the Philistines heard about it, they attacked. This satanic policy holds true for us as well, for when the enemy learns of our anointing, he too will attack. How the enemy manifests himself varies and I submit that they range from flat tires to martyrdom. I know of one brother in the faith who had a deer jump through his car window as he traveled to a ministry conference. The naysayer rolls his eyes and screams, “Coincidence! Hardly. Christians know better.

Our Response

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

Our first response is birthed in our hope, for we know that, ‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’ (Romans 8:28). We have our rest in the assurance that God is orchestrating a picture beyond the scope of both our suffering and our imagination. However, in light of that hope, we have spiritual responsibility.


That responsibility is revealed in what David did. In an act of Godly dependence, he inquired of the Lord, not once, but each time the enemy was on the attack. How God answered David teaches us that our responses can be as varied as the attacks themselves. Like David, we might be called to mount up a frontal assault one time and a rear offensive another. The significant point is that we cannot be confident in anything until we ask for His input. For all we know, we might be called to ignore the enemy entirely. Important things to glean from David’s story are to never suppose God’s methodology runs consecutively and to never assume (based on history) we can leave God out of the equation. To become dependant upon what God has given rather than upon God Himself, we effectively open the door of victory to our adversary.

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These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands

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Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying: ’What man is there who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. Also what man is there who has planted a vineyard and has not eaten of it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man eat of it. And what man is there who is betrothed to a woman and has not married her? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man marry her.’ The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ’What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.’ And so it shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people. Deuteronomy 19:5-9

Attending to Jesus

Do not be confused by the passage. While it is true that our Father is instructing those with distractions to go take care of those things, He is not asserting that any of these things take priority over Him. If we are not focused on the spiritual battles before us; if our primary focus is on our home, our work, or our family, someone is going to get hurt. In other words, God is saying that if we cannot put Him first and trust Him to provide in all these areas, then go home—you are of no use on the battle field.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

But make no mistake about it, God does not want us to go home. In establishing the policy in this manner, the Father attempts to provoke us to jealousy; after all, who wouldn’t want to go and serve the Lord–it is His hope that we might see, understand, and believe that Christ alone is number one and it is He who sets our priorities. By faith, when we can trust this certainty of God, then we are best suited to take up our spiritual battle stations.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

Faith is the criteria by which spiritual leaders are made and fear is the cancer that seeks to destroy that which we believe. The therapy for the fainthearted is to make use of the lingering faith that remains. Having little faith is no disadvantage, not using what we already have is what leads to weakness. The faith muscle is strengthened by exercise and cannot be overused. Its potency is enhanced by trusting in the One who provided it to you in the first place. This trust is founded in memory; the remembrance of that which God has done, is doing, and will continue to do.

Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth… 1 Chronicles 16:12

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