Cover to Cover
Jesus is continuing a conversation to religious Jews about the relationship between the Father and Himself, the Son. In verses 38-39, Jesus speaks about their study of Scripture, but how they have failed to allow the Word to penetrate their hearts. If the Word was in them, then they would have recognized the Savior the Word promised and listened to His voice.
In verse 42, Jesus says that the love of God is not in them. Their hearts are closed, not open, to what the Spirit of God is doing. The reason is because these Jews are living in self-sufficient, religious performance. They are arrogant and self-righteous in their works instead of humble and dependent on the move of the Spirit.
In verses 41-47, Jesus mentions that they do have honor, respect, for God or for Him. They do not value God for the gracious and merciful God that He is. They do not value Christ for the Savior that He is. If they did, they would receive Him.
These religious Jews did not humble themselves in reliant, obedient faith; therefore, they failed to open their heart to the Word, to love, or to honor. They missed Jesus, their Messiah. Their hearts were to criticize and condemn Jesus instead of celebrating Him. They could have heard His voice, felt His embrace, and experienced His power- but no, they didn’t. Today, let’s not slip back into works and self-centered performance, thinking we know more than others or have a superior position than others. It’s easy to be deceived, thinking we are doing the right things, but failing to receive grace for ourselves and others. Today, let’s make sure we are finding our sufficiency in God, trusting His love, opening our hearts in trust, and acting in faith. Then we will receive His life, His revelation knowledge, and His day-to-day leading of His Spirit.
2 Kings 12-14
Jehoash (or Joash) becomes king of Judah at age seven. Jehoiada the priest was appointed to govern until Jehoash become of age. Under the priest’s influence and rule, the temple was repaired and people returned to the Lord – a revival took place! The people responded in faith and responded with a willingness to give generously to the Lord and His house. When the king of Syria threatened King Jehoash, the king gave away many of the treasures from the house of the Lord. Then his servants murdered him, and his son, Amaziah reigned in his place.
Meanwhile, in Israel, Jehoahaz is king. Notice that many of these kings had “Jeho” in their name. This was the root Yhova, the name for God. King Jehoahaz; however, did evil in the sight of the Lord, FOLLOWING the sin of Jeroboam. It’s human nature to follow after something; it’s wisdom to choose to learn God’s ways and follow after Him.
In chapter 13, we read where Elisha asks the king to take bows and arrows with him. Then at a window, the king and Elisha shot an arrow to illustrate God’s deliverance for Israel against Syria. Then the king was instructed to take the arrows and prophetically strike the ground. He struck 3 times, but he missed what the Spirit of God wanted. Because his action for his faith stopped at 3 strikes, the king would only strike Syria 3 times. If the king has followed the Spirit, he would have struck 5 or 6 times, defeating Syria. We must listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and do what He says. We also must pay attention when the Lord is asking us to do a prophetic action or declaration, actions that call matters into existence.
In 2 Kings 13:14, Elisha became and sick of an illness that took his life. We know the Word promises healing for the children of God, so this is a mystery why this prophet would pass from sickness. However, when a dead man was put in the shared tomb of Elisha, he came back to life, showing us that the anointing was still residing in Elisha’s bones for a time.
In chapter 14, we shift back to Judah, the southern kingdom, and read that Amaziah became king when he was 25 years old. Jeroboam II reigns in Israel. Some things were done right and some wrong, but all these kings have come and gone. In consideration of our one, short life, let’s determine that we will live it for the Lord.