RIGHT-hand Man

“Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” (2 Chronicles 24:2)

Jehoiada the priest was not the king, but he was able to provide wisdom to him.  Sometimes, the search for the spotlight can blind us to the fact that a righteous right-hand man (or woman) can be a more effective influence for good than those in power.  When we don’t care about the credit, just the outcome, we can truly make an impact.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Begrudging Compliance

“So the man of God was angry with him and said, ‘You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it.  But now you shall strike Aram only three times.’ ” (2 Kings 13:19)

When the king of Israel asked Elisha to help him defeat Syria.  God, through Elisha, commanded him to shoot arrows at the ground.  The king obeyed, but not whole-heartedly.  He should have emptied the quiver, but instead, he fired a scant three times.

It is a good reminder that half-hearted obedience is just another form of disobedience.  When we begrudgingly comply with God’s commands, we reveal our true hearts.  Grumbling obedience from children is disciplined, we should expect no different from our Father.

When we give, we should be cheerful about it.  When we serve, we should do so with our whole strength.  When we follow, it should be with eyes forward and without turning back.  Let us throw our whole hearts into His ways.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Giving An Account

“Moreover, they did not require an accounting from the men into whose hand they gave the money to pay to those who did the work, for they dealt faithfully.” (2 Kings 12:15)

Our trustworthiness is an indication of our faithfulness.  If she is a faithful friend, she can be trusted with your secrets and heartaches.  If he is a faithful worker, he can be trusted with the company’s accounts.  How we deal with that which belongs to another indicates how much faith they can put in us.

So, when Jesus returns, will He find us to have been faithful with what He has entrusted us with? Were we faithful with the spouse He gave us or the children we were given to raise?  Will we be found trustworthy with the talents He has supplied us with or will we have buried them?  Will we be found to faithful to His Scripture or will His churches have become our churches?

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

The Road Carefully Chosen

“But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart” (2 Kings 10:31)

If we are to serve God, we must do so carefully.  His authority must be observed with an eye toward precision.  A life dedicated to God should not be undertaken in a sloppy fashion.  We are to serve Him with diligence as craftsman striving to meticulously present our lives as living sacrifices to the King of kings.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

A Godless Waste

“They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.” (2 Kings 10:27)

Verses like this are proof that God has a sense of humor.  God didn’t have to tell us that Baal’s temple was turned into a public toilet… but He did.  I’ll leave it to you to decide what the symbolism is in that history lesson.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Unseen Strength

“Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16)

We count what we can see, but Elisha prayed that his servant would count the unseen heavenly host of warriors that were protecting Elisha from the Aramean army that day.  The mountainside was full of angelic battalions prepared to guard God’s people.

Do we think that things have changed?  Do we forget that God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever?  He still guards us and His angels still stand ready.  We just need to have the faith to count what we cannot see.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Too Simple to Accept

“My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” (2 Kings 5:13)

If God asked us to scale mountains or plunge to the deepest parts of the oceans to receive salvation, we would accuse Him of being elitist and reserving salvation only for the strongest and brightest.

And yet, when He commands us to simply “believe and be baptized” (Mark 16:16) the world says that Christianity is too simple and only for the foolish and uneducated. We, like Naaman, roll our eyes at the “blandness” of God’s design.

God’s ancient plan of salvation is simple because He desires all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (see 1 Timothy 2:4).  His love of all of us compels Him to make His plan straightforward enough that all the honest and humble might be able to obey it.  He doesn’t need us to do great things… Jesus already did the great things.

Matthew 4:4 #Biblebites

Preconceived Notions

But Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.’” (2 Kings 5:11)

Naaman’s struggle to accept the simple instruction to be dip himself in the Jordan River seven times to receive healing from his leprosy stems from preconceived notion.  Naaman had decided ahead of time how a prophet should act and what God would require of him.  There is a problem with assumptions about religion though – they blind us to the truth of God’s true will.

When we submit to Jehovah, we are submitting to the God that is higher and wiser than us.  We cannot expect His commands to match ours.  His greatness will challenge us and shatter our stereotypes.  This is why it is so important that we read the Bible for ourselves instead of just listening to other people that have read it and regurgitated their views of it to us.

There is no replacement for direct contact with the mind of our Creator recorded in the holy scriptures.  You can’t follow Him without listening to Him.

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

A Small Thing for Him

“This is but a slight thing in the sight of the LORD; He will also give the Moabites into your hand.” (2 Kings 3:18)

Things that are big to us are not big to God.  Don’t try and put God in a human-shaped box.

“But He said, ‘The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.’ ” (Luke 18:27)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

Release the Sin

“Nevertheless, he clung to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.” (2 Kings 3:3)

The Bible doesn’t use the word ‘addiction’ – that is a modern term.  Instead it takes about being enslaved to sin, entangled in sin, or (as in the verse above) those who cling to sin.

When you know that a behavior is wrong and yet you cling to it anyways – you’ve become its slave.  Sin doesn’t want what is best for you and it doesn’t love you back.

Let it go.  Just let the sin go and move on.  There are better things that await those that turn to God to be set free.

“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)

Matt 4:4 #Biblebites

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