Trust in The Lord
By Pastor J.D. Link
Pro 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (7) Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
With all the injustice, immorality, confusion, propaganda, fraud and evil in our world today; the saint who has their eyes opened to it all can sometimes feel helpless. Helpless, that is, to do anything about it. It’s like being on a roller coaster – the ride is insane, but your locked in and someone else is driving.
Of course, we pray, read The Word, speak the truth, love, raise our families, work, etc. – but we may feel like, “What move do I need to make? I can’t just go through the motions – I have to DO something!” Well, don’t check out and don’t get discouraged; but also, don’t have an “Ishmael”. That is, don’t just jump out and DO something just for the sake of DOING something.
Instead, DO Proverbs 3:5-7.
1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart
Psa 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee:
Psa 37:3, 5 Trust in the LORD, and do good... trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
Psa 62:8 Trust in him at all times…
Psa 115:11 Ye that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD...
Psa 4:5 ... put your trust in the LORD.
Psa 143:8 ... for in thee do I trust...
Isa 12:2 ... God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid...
Isa 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace... because he trusteth in thee.
Isa 26:4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength
Jer 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…
We are to:
Seek God with all our heart (Jer 29:11)
Serve God with all our heart (1Sam 12:24)
Turn to God with all our heart (Joe 2:12)
Obey God with all our heart (Dt 26:16)
Love God with all our heart (Mk 12:30)
Believe in Jesus with all our heart (Act 8:37)
Trust in God with all our heart (Prv 3:5)
2. Lean not on your own understanding
Gen 3:1-6 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Pro 23:4 ... cease from thine own wisdom.
Pro 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool...
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Rom 12:16 ... Be not wise in your own conceits.
1Co 8:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
1Co 3:18-20 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. (19) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. (20) And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
3. In all your ways, acknowledge Him – and He shall direct your path
Pro 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
1Sa 23:4 Then David enquired of the LORD yet again...
Neh 1:11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy...
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
He shall direct your path
Pro 8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
Pro 11:5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way...
Pro 15:19 ... the way of the righteous is made plain.
Psa 25:9 The meek will he guide in judgment...
Psa 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Psa 48:14 ... God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
Psa 73:24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Isa 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Isa 48:17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.
4. Be not wise in your own eyes (same as #2 – lean not on your own understanding or wisdom)
5. Fear the Lord and depart from evil
Pro 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Pro 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil:
Pro 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Act 10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Psa 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good...
Psa 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good...
Psa 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil...
Rom 12:9 ... Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
2Co 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
So, this is what we do. We trust in The Lord (and His Word) with all our heart. We avoid leaning on our own understanding. We acknowledge Him in all we do – and He directs our path. We fear God and depart from evil.
This may seem overly simplistic – but it is God’s Word and it works. When it’s time for us to do something specific, He’ll show us. I’m not saying, “do nothing” and just sit around. I’m saying, do the revealed will of God (His Word) and be at peace – knowing and trusting that He will guide you into specifics in His time and for His purpose. We’re all being prepared. Let patience have its perfect work. Selah.
God shall send them strong delusion
By Pastor J.D. Link
2Th 2:10-12 “… because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Who did God send strong delusion to? Those who did not love the truth. Why did He send it to them? Because they rejected the truth. Because they did not want the truth – and thus, did not want Him, who is The Truth – He gave them what they wanted. When His people (His creation) do not listen to His voice; He gives them up to their own heart’s lusts and counsels (Ps 81:11-13).
When men’s hearts are far from God, and they merely pay Him lip service – He closes their eyes and pours out a spirit of deep sleep upon them. When they live as if God doesn’t see them and know everything about them – He blinds them to His Word (Isa 29:9-15). He will deceive the false prophets and hold them – and the unrepentant sinners who seek them – accountable for their rejection of the truth (Ezk 14:6-10). He will allow lying spirits to enter the false prophets and lead astray the wicked who follow their counsel (2Ch 18:14-24).
When Isaiah volunteered to be God’s mouthpiece, what did God tell Him? “Go, and tell this people, ‘Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed’” (Isa 6:9-10). God will blind the eyes and harden the heart of those who refuse to believe (Jn 12:37-40).
Those who do not glorify God; are not thankful to Him; are vain in their imaginations; who’s foolish hearts are darkened; who claim to be wise, yet are fools; worships idols (physically and/or in their own mind); live in fornication; worship creation; practice and promote LGBTQ+ism; reject the knowledge of God; etc. – God “gives them up” and “gives them over to a reprobate mind” (Rom 1:21-32).
Notice, in all of these instances quoted above, that God sends strong delusion; gives up; pours deep sleep upon; blinds; hardens; sends lying spirits; gives over to a reprobate mind – those who do not love the truth. He doesn’t do this immediately. He gives people/nations months, years and decades to repent and love the truth. He also doesn’t do this to people who love the truth yet fail to live it out perfectly. If we truly love Jesus, love the truth, seek to live by it and are repentant when we fail – He lovingly forgives and restores His children.
However, if people persist in rebellion & pride, and remain unrepentant and stubborn – God is perfectly just in eventually “giving them over”. After all, that’s what they wanted, right? This is the extreme, eternal danger of not loving the truth. In doing so, a person may reach the day God hardens them beyond repentance and blinds them beyond remedy. Essentially God says, “You don’t want Me? You don’t want truth? Well then, I’ll see to it you get exactly what you want.”
Understanding this Scriptural principle goes a long way in helping understand what is going on in our world. Many people, beyond all reason and logic; despite mounds of evidence to the contrary – still believe the lies coming from politicians, media, Hollywood, Pro Sports, Academia, “Health officials”, “Faith leaders”, Globalist organizations, etc. The belief in lies and rejection of truth is to the point of insanity. For those who can see, it seems incomprehensible – until you understand what we’ve just talked about. Then it makes perfect sense.
You see, there are many people who are “gone” – given up; given over; blinded; hardened; reprobate – and they’re not coming back. No amount of logic, reason, facts, evidence, etc. is going to change their mind. Now, were not the judge of who these people are – but only that they exist.
This isn’t speaking of those who are simply ignorant, confused – even deceived for a season. We can all be deceived to some degree and for some period of time. However, when they are presented with the truth and the facts are revealed – they repent. The cure for deception is loving the truth and repenting (turning back to the truth) when it is revealed. It is those who reject the truth consistently over a long period of time that are eventually “given over”.
At least for a season, the Devil can deceive us (Rev 20:10); our own pride can deceive us (Oba 1:3); sin can deceive us (Rom 7:11) – even Pharmakia can deceive us (Rev 18:23 – this really hits home, doesn’t it?). However, if we love the truth, humble ourselves and repent when we are enlightened – we will be forgiven and restored.
As the saints, we remain humble. We have all lived some season in darkness. But now, by God’s mercy, we are saved – by His grace, we are justified (Titus 3:3-7). We love the truth and our eyes are open. We do not boast, for we have been called and chosen (2Thess 2:13-14). It is God who comforts our hearts and establishes us in every good work (vs. 16-17). Thus, we love; stand firmly on; and hold tightly to, the truth (vs. 15).
One final note: Don’t stop speaking the truth and praying for people. We are not the judge. Though we may “suspect”, we don’t know who’s beyond hope – only God does. Not all who are presently in darkness will remain there. Souls are coming out into the light every day. So, let us work while it is day – for the night comes when no man can work (Jn 9:4).
Beware of False Prophets
(Lessons from Jeremiah)
By Pastor J.D. Link
Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you…
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
Isa 30:9-10 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: (10) Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
2Ti 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Jer 6:13-15 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. (14) They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. (15) Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
Mic 3:11-12 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. (12) Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
What do the true prophets say? Return to God. Forsake evil.
Jer 35:15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.
Jer 14:13-16 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. (14) Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. (15) Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed. (16) And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.
Jer 23:11-27 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. (12) Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. (13) And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. (14) I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. (15) Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. (16) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. (17) They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you…. (21) I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. (22) But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings… (25) I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. (26) How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart…
Eze 13:1-11 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; (3) Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!... (6) They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. (7) Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken? (8) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD. (9) And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies… (10) Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered morter: (11) Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.
Eze 13:22-23 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: (23) Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Some signs of a false prophet:
They deny the deity of Jesus
1Jn 4:2-3 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: (3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
What they proclaim doesn’t happen
Deu 18:20-22 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. (21) And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? (22) When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
They use their power to lead people into error
Deu 13:1-3 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, (2) And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; (3) Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The fruit of their life is bad
Mat 7:15-16, 20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (16) Ye shall know them by their fruits… (20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
They look like “sheep” or “angels” – but their doctrine is false
2Co 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. (14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (15) Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
They cause division and offense by opposing clearly established doctrine
Rom 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (18) For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
They pursue you with zeal (think JW’s/Mormons)
Gal 4:17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
They are loved and respected by the worldly
Luk 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
True Prophets Speak the Word
(Lessons from Jeremiah)
By Pastor J.D. Link
Jer 29:8-9 … Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. (9) For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
God has warned us in His Word to be alert and beware of the many false prophets in the world. Today, there are more than ever. Through TV, internet, youtube & social media; one can find all manner of people calling themselves prophets and all manner of differing prophecies being given on a daily basis. Next week, we will look more carefully into how we can spot false prophets. However, this week, I want to look more at how to spot a real prophet by examining Jeremiah.
The saint’s job is to speak the Truth – speak the Word
Jer 1:6-10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. (7) But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. (8) Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. (9) Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. (10) See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.
Jer 1:17-19 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. (18) For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. (19) And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.
Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Jer 23:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
God’s Word is like a purifying fire, bring out the dross and consuming the chaff. It is like a hammer that breaks lies and deception into pieces. The believer who is walking in the Spirit and after the Spirit will heed God’s Word – even if the warnings are not directed at them.
Jer 7:2-10 Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. (3) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. (4) Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. (5) For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; (6) If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: (7) Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. (8) Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. (9) Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; (10) And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
Jer 19:14-15 Then came Jeremiah from Tophet, whither the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD'S house; and said to all the people, (15) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, because they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.
1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Jer 20:7-9 O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. (8) For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. (9) Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
Jer 6:13-17 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. (14) They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace…
1Th 5:2-11 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. (3) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (4) But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (5) Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (6) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (7) For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. (8) But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (9) For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (10) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (11) Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
(15) Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. (16) Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. (17) Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
Lessons from King Josiah
By Pastor J.D. Link
Read 2Ch 34&35
Today we will examine ten lessons we learn from righteous King Josiah. Josiah was the last “revival king” of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, before it fell to the Babylonians and they were carried away into captivity. Judah had become extremely immoral and idolatrous. Yet, in the midst of this dark and low point in their history, God grants them one more revival under King Josiah. One last chance. One last opportunity to really change their ways before God’s wrath and judgment was executed. Sadly, though righteous Josiah did all he could – the nation as a whole returned to their wickedness immediately after his death. Like the old saying goes, “Getting the sinner out of Egypt and getting Egypt out of the sinner are two very different things”. So, what can we learn from this righteous king?
1. He did what was right in God’s eyes (vs. 2). God’s Word determines what is right and wrong, good and evil. We ought to follow it as Josiah.
2. He sought God while he was young (vs. 3). The younger we teach our children to seek Jesus and pray, the better. Start wherever you’re at – but the younger the better.
3. He cleansed the land of idols. Besides 2Chr 34:3-7, we get even more detail about this in 2Kin 22:4-20. He removed all the idols from the Temple and crushed them; he executed all the pagan priests; he tore down the LGBT houses of whoredom; he stopped child sacrifice; he destroyed all groves, images and altars to false gods; he took away all the high places and defiled them; etc. If we have gotten off track, we need to clean our own life of idols and that which offends God.
4. He repaired the temple (vs. 8). Sometimes our “temple” gets broken down and needs repairing so that we can worship God properly.
5. He repented when He heard God’s Word (vs. 18-21). When repairing the Temple, they found the scroll of the law. When Josiah heard it read to him, he understood how far Judah had fallen from God’s ways and tore his clothes in deep contrition of heart. Do we harden ourselves when we hear hard things from God’s Word – or do we repent like Josiah?
6. He was saved from God’s wrath, because he was humble (vs. 25-28). The prophetess Huldah told Josiah that God’s wrath would indeed come upon unrighteous Judah – but that he would not live to see it. His tenderness and humility before God spared him from the wrath to come.
7. He read his people the Word of God and called them to follow it (vs. 29-33). This is what righteous leaders do. Be it fathers, pastors – or would to God, presidents – we ought to read the Word to others and call them to follow it (of course, we making every effort to follow it ourselves).
8. He kept the Passover (2Chr 35:1-7). Judah had not been keeping the feasts for a long time. Josiah brought back obedience to keeping the feast. Of course, in the New Covenant, Jesus is our Passover – so we keep the feast by walking in sincerity and truth (as well as the Lord’s Supper) – 1Cor 5:7-8.
9. A. Not inquiring of God can cost us our life. B. God keeps His promises. (vs. 20-25). In one sense, we can say Josiah died young because he did not inquire of God concerning Necho’s words. We must avoid being hasty, and never stop seeking and inquiring of God about what we ought to do. However, in another sense, Josiah’s death was also a promise kept by God (2Chr 34:28). God didn’t say HOW he would preserve Josiah from seeing the wrath to come upon Judah. He just said He would. Thus, his death, while seemingly needless and tragic, was actually God’s mercy and fulfillment of His promise. While long life – as a general rule – is a blessing; we mustn’t always assume that when the righteous die young that they were “taken” too early. Sometimes it was right on time. The nation would fall shortly after his death.
10. He had an enduring testimony (2Chr 35:26-27). Josiah was remembered as a good and righteous man. Songs of lamentations were written and sung about him. “The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.” (Prv 10:7). What kind of legacy are we leaving? Will we be remembered for goodness and righteousness, like Josiah? When survivors remember us, will they think, “That person loved Jesus. They stood for and spoke the truth. They fought the good fight. They were kind, dependable, faithful, a servant, full of faith, a prayer warrior, loving, strong in the Word, etc.”. No, none of us will be perfect; but we ought to strive to have a legacy like Josiah. Selah.
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