“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!”
Revelation 3: 15
2 Kings 12-14 (Psalm 104)
As we read through these books we witness the continual failure of leaders and people to fully follow God. Today is no exception. Joash follows God to some degree, and works to repair the temple, but allows idol worship to continue; incomplete obedience. The Priests seem inactive for twenty-three years under support from Joash; lethargy or the love of the status quo? Jehoahaz is disobedient to God but seeks Him when under threat; obedience because of necessity? Jehoash continues in the bad example of his father but does seek help from God’s man, Elisha. However, he does not fully commit to Elisha’s instructions so is not fully blessed. Amaziah, like Joash, makes an attempt to follow God. With limited success, however, he gets over confident and brings ruin on his kingdom. In the final section, an able leader Jeroboam, goes against God, but is used by Him for the sake of God’s people.
None of the Kings fully commit to God. They are influenced by culture, fear, self, others, ambition, power and situation. It is God’s grace that sustains the kingdoms through, and more often than not, in spite of the kings. God’s Priests seem to refuse an open invitation to bless God’s people. Despite their inaction, blessings then flow in abundance, with direct intervention from the king, showing the heart’s desire of the real KING.
Many factors will prevent us fully committing to God; we will see something of ourselves in the chapters we have read today. The sad truth is that our hesitancy, and lack of trust, often causes us difficulties. In sport (especially rugby and football-soccer), I learnt that full commitment brought reward, lack of commitment often brought loss and injury. It was best to be all in or all out. God cautions us of this truth in our relationship with Him. In Revelation 3: 14-22 the Church of Laodicea is warned against being lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. In 3: 16 there is a stark warning of rejection if the Church continued in this vain. In a far more positive 3: 16 (John) we see our saving grace. The fully committed Christ, achieves for us, our eternal future if we trust in Him. This grace of God is the all saving and vital truth for us. God does not deal with us as we deserve but is amazingly longsuffering and patient. He so desires to bless, if we but only trusted and fully committed
The Question of Application
Are you all in, all out or a bit of both in your relationship with God? How might God bless you if you gave more of yourself in loving trust?
Almighty Father, you have given your only Son to die for our sins and to rise again for our justification: grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
When I survey the wonderous cross by Kathryn Scott
The Wondrous Cross by Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.