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April 24 Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 8-9
“The man of God wept.”
2 Kings 8:11
Well might the man of God weep, knowing the wickedness around him and the judgment of God about to be executed! We weep for ourselves and our own wickedness, but rejoice in the full and free forgiveness of sins by the blood of Christ. We weep for the wickedness around us, knowing the terror of the Lord that shall soon seize the ungodly! Many are the gospel instructions found in these chapters. May God the Holy spirit write them upon our hearts.
The restoration of the Shunammite’s land reminds of the joyful fact that our Lord Jesus has effectually secured our inheritance for us as the sons and daughters of the Almighty. Though we forfeited everything in the sin and fall of our father Adam, though there has been a seven year famine (that is to say, a complete and utter famine) and poverty in our souls, Christ our King has restored and will restore all. He has restored and will restore all that we lost in Adam, and indescribably more! Indeed, our Redeemer and God is our Inheritance!
In the account of Hazael’s great wickedness we should be reminded that this is the character of all the sons and daughters of Adam by nature. Sin is what we do, because sin is what we are! The fact that you and I may not actually perform such crimes as we read here is not because we are of a different character. It is not because we are better people than Hazael. The difference is altogether God’s doing (1 Corinthians 4:7). We do not act out the evil that is in our hearts only because God prevents it by his restraining grace. That is true of all men. God allows none to do all they are capable of doing (Psalm 76:10). But I want grace to remember always that the only thing that keeps me from doing any evil known to man at any time is God’s grace. My brother, my sister, the same is true of you. May God the Holy Spirit constantly cause that fact to burn in our hearts and keep us looking to Christ for all our righteousness and trusting him to keep us by the power of his grace.
We are told again and again in the Old Testament scriptures that the Lord God would not destroy Judah for David’s sake; and we have read it again today. So it has been and so it is. Judah’s Lord still lives. He still reigns. The efficacy of his blood and righteousness and the power of his grace are everlastingly effectual. He changes not! We live by and upon this covenant God in Christ. In him is all fulness; and his grace is all-sufficient! He is able to keep us; and he will keep us! He will, at last, present every chosen, redeemed sinner faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy!
The House of Ahab
How miserable was the end of Ahab’s house! His family, though rich and powerful, though constantly reproved by God’s faithful prophets, though constantly made aware of God power by singular displays of his greatness and his dominion, was destroyed and cast into hell! Ahab and Jezebel brought themselves and their children down to hell!
Yet, Ahab and Jezebel stand as fair representations of reprobate men and women in every age, in every part of the world, throughout history who set themselves in opposition to Christ our God and his church and kingdom. They are especially representative of the politically powerful and influential. In the end, they shall do no harm to God’s kingdom, no injury to Christ’s church, and give no hindrance to the cause of the Triune Jehovah in this world. They shall all die. They shall all be brought down to hell. And the cause of Christ shall be triumphant in all ages! All the Ahabs and Jezebels of all ages shall only serve the benefit of God’s people. God our Savior shall use them and all their intended evil for our everlasting good, just as he turned Shemei’s cursing of David into a blessing upon David’s head!
Take that thought with you through the day this day and lay down upon that pillow tonight and be at peace, O my soul!