Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Never to Die Again

Romans 6:9 says, "knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him." This verse reveals the unique place of mankind in the eternal plan of God. Christ died for man, never to die again. In other words, 2 million years from now there will not be another creation for which Christ will die and redeem them. He died to redeem mankind, and mankind alone. It is an event that will never be repeated for all eternity. Billions and billions of years into the future, at which point we will probably have very little concept of time, we will still be rejoicing that in 30 A.D. Christ became a man and died for our sins, an event that was never to be repeated in any way, shape, or form. Praise God for His indescribable gift!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sovereign God of the Ends and the Means

2 Kings 19:25-26 says, "Have you not heard? Long ago I did it; from ancient times I planned it, now I have brought it to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps. Therefore, their inhabitants were short of strength, they were dismayed and put to shame." These words were spoken by God to Sennacherib king of Assyria in relation to his boasting about the nations that he had overthrown. God is quick to humble him, however, by informing him that those nations were overthrown only because He providentially weakened them. The destruction of these nations was something he had planned long before Sennacherib came on the scene. In other words, Sennacherib should not have boasted about his accomplishments because they were not his.

God operates in the same way in the lives of believers. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Our good works are planned by God long beforehand and it is He that providentially brings them to pass in our lives and allows us to participate.

Again, I apologize, this post is more devotional than conversational, but I thought the comparison between 2 Kings 19:25 and Ephesians 2:10 was an interesting one.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Evil Kings Make Good Pawns

In 2 Kings 14:23-27 there is a perfect illustration of Proverbs 21:1 ("The king's heart is like channels of water in the hands of the Lord, He turns it wherever He wishes"). In verse 24 it says Jeroboam II, "did evil in the sight of the Lord, he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam." Not departing from the sins of Jeroboam was a serious offense because we find out later in 17:21-23 that sinning like Jeroboam was the reason Israel was cast into exile. So, that being said we should be shocked to find that verse 27 says "[God] saved them by the hand of Jeroboam (II) the son of Joash." Though Jeroboam was an evil King the Lord used Him to restore the border of Israel (14:25) in response to the affliction of Israel (14:26). Of course Jeroboam II had no clue he was being used by God to respond to this affliction.
So, God is in control of even the most evil world leaders accomplishing His good purposes (Rom. 8:28). Also, God many times sees fit to answer prayer through those who rebel against Him.
I guess this post doesn't really call for much interaction. I just came across this passage this morning and wanted to jot down some thoughts.