Wednesday, July 13, 2022

             II Chronicles is a continuation of Old Testament history.  Most of Judah’s kings were idolatrous and wicked and led the nation on a course of spiritual ruin and depravity.  One exception was King Uzziah.  We read this about Uzziah, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done.  He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God.  As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success” (II Chronicles 26:4-5).  This simple assessment teaches us some valuable lessons.  First, anyone should seek the Lord.  God calls both kings and commoners to come to Him and to seek Him.  We never reach a status in life where we can retire from seeking or serving the Lord.  The Lord graciously invites us to know Him, love Him and serve Him.  King Uzziah wisely knew that He could not lead his people without guidance from the Lord God.
            Second, success can be defined in a different way.  Culture and the world have ways of defining success, standing or wealth.  Scripture has a different way.  The successful life makes a way and a place for the Lord.  We do not live by our standards and we do not do things our way.  We take a knee before the Lord and begin to define success and faithfulness as He defines them.  King Uzziah was blessed by God because of this monarch’s humility and for his choice to yield himself before the God.  We would do well to remember the warning of I Peter 5:5b, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  We can humble ourselves willingly or we can leave it to God to bring humility to us.  There were kings who faced humbling at the hands of the Lord because of their persistent, willful stubbornness and rebellion.  May we never reach the point that God must humble us because of our pride or sinfulness.
            Third, we learn that Uzziah was instructed in the fear of the Lord.  We are to fear the Lord—not in the sense of a scary movie, ghost stories or like we might fear a crime taking place.  Rather, we fear the Lord from the perspective of reverence and honor.  We give to Him what rightfully belongs to Him—our worship, adoration, respect and reverence.  We love Him because He first loved us.  We want to be careful not to develop a casual, careless, haphazard relationship with the Lord whereby we only call upon Him when we need or want something.  To fear the Lord means we walk with Him and cling to Him at all times, in all ways and on every occasion. 
            Near the end of II Chronicles, another king named Josiah led a period of revival and renewal in Judah after a copy of God’s law had been found.  Amazing isn’t it that the people had become so detached from God’s Word and Ways that it was news when a copy of the Law was found!  We live with Bibles so close by that we find it hard to imagine life without the Word close to us.  It was said about Josiah, “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and walked in the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left” (II Chronicles 34:2).  Shortly after the finding of the copy of God’s Law, Josiah led the people in a reading of it and a recommitment to keep and honor this Word.  The lesson for us is to know God’s Word and ways and to live in them and with dedication to them.  May we also live in a way that others see evidence of that commitment and devotion in us.  Folks should know we are devoted to the Lord and His Word and ways before we ever have to open our mouths to say one single thing.  There should be evident indications of the depth to which the Word and ways of God have penetrated our heart, mind, soul and being.  The lesson from II Chronicles is clear for all to see.  An ignorance of God, His Word and His ways will uniformly lead to ruin and decay.  But the opposite is equally true.  Walking with God, understanding His Word and seeking to follow His Ways will lead to life, joy and success in His eyes.  Have a wonderful Wednesday and remember you can share our worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.  

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