Posted by: arieliondotcom | July 8, 2013

Always Vigilant (2 Chronicles 29-32)

Always Vigilent
(2 Chronicles 29-32)

The world is going through some turbulent times. And there is a feeling that catastrophe is coming. Politicians and government agencies that are supposed to protect us seem to be the ones working against us. We know from the previous chapters that God can use even ungodly leaders to discipline us. But how do we know they are being used by God? And what do we do during the discipline? The answers are in today’s chapters.

Hezekiah is the King of Judah. And, like a cool breeze after a storm on a hot summer day, he restores godliness to Judah. He cleans out the idol worship. He cleans up the temple. And he reestablishes worship according to the Law of God. He even invites The rebellious 10 tribes of Israel to come back to the LORD. And a few members do. And while the priests are reconsecrating themselves after being hidden for years from idol-worshipping kings, and the Israelites are slowly coming, King Hezekiah has the Levites do as much as they can to help tbe fewer than normal consecrated priests to start worship as soon as possible. He even prayed that those who couldn’t meet the letter of the Law for keeping the Passover could celebrate it anyway if their heart longed for it and to serve GOD. And GOD granted that prayer.

The Lord prospers and blesses Hezekiah and Judah. And yet, even though Hezekiah was faithful, and the people obedient, trouble still came.
Hezekiah had the people cleanse the filth from among them and seek GOD’s Mercy but was still tested by attacks and by pride.

First came the attack and pride of the Assyrians. How do we know that the Assyrians aren’t sent by the LORD? Because their pride gives them away. We will see later, when Babylon is used like a tool to discipline GOD’s people that the King of Babylon (at least for a time) acknowledges it is the LORD who is empowering him to do it. But the King of Assyria doesn’t do that. He claims to have defeated all other countries and all other gods in his own power and that he is greater than GOD.

Just a clue: That is the wrong thing to say about or to GOD. An angel named Lucifer tried that and it didn’t go down well.

The point is that though we may be doing everything right, GOD may still allow us to suffer wrong. Part of that includes wrong leadership that is prideful and equates itself with GOD taking on more power than is right. That is why the United States has three branches of government, to keep each other in check under the Constitution. The Christian founders of the United States knew that power always brings the temptation of pride. So if any leader seeks to be “judge and jury” or takes powers against the Constitution and principles of the Bible we know he is not of GOD.

GOD Himself defeats the Assyrians without a fight, killing them within their own ranks and leaving their commanders to explain the inexplicable to their king and their withdrawal to other countries.

This led to more respect for Hezekiah. But it went to his head. When he, too, became prideful the LORD disciplined him and he repented (although there is a hint that consequences will be felt after his death).

Scripture says that pride goes before a fall. If you’ve got your nose in the air and chest pumped out you won’t see the hole you’re walking into. Ungodly, prideful leaders can unfortunately take their people down the hole with them. But we as Christians can stay vigilant against pride in ourselves so we can see it in our leaders. We can stand firm against ungodly leaders. And we can acknowledge that, as Paul said, we have one LORD, JESUS Christ. And He can lead us even from any political or financial hole bad leadership gets us into.

JESUS said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Paul included respect in that. But in our respect for authority we must acknowledge their only authority is Christ. As the founding fathers said, we have no King but Christ. And we serve Him in love in any circumstance under any leader as far and as long as they don’t think they have taken His place.

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