Category Archives: Guidance

Keeping Up Appearances

2 Chronicles 12:10 – King Rehoboam made in their place shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king`s house.

Within a generation – Jerusalem had gone from immense power and glory under the leadership of Solomon, to serving Egypt and having to hand over national treasures to a foreign king under Rehoboam.  What an immense change!

In this verse we see Rehoboam putting shields of brass in the place of the shields of gold which had been taken.  In Solomon’s time, when even silver was of very little value, brass definitely didn’t make the cut!  But brass is all that is available to Rehoboam to make these shields with. 

It’s very likely that Rehoboam made the shields of brass in order to keep up appearances.  To give the impression that Jerusalem was still strong when she was in fact very weak. 

Verses like this should encourage us to walk very humbly before God.  Rehoboam inherited a judgment from God that came down on the house of Solomon.  No-one in Solomon’s days would have imagined that things could have got this bad.  Yet God is more than capable of very quickly making a powerful kingdom into a begging servant if they turn away from His ways and His commands.

So don’t get arrogant if God has placed you in a strong position.  Keep walking before Him with a contrite heart, and you will continue to see the blessing of God poured out on you. 

The Chosen Ones

Romans 8:30 – Whom he foreordained, them he also called. Whom he called, them he also justified. Whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Many Christians struggle with the idea of predestination or election, because it seems to fly in the face of what they believe to be free will that has been given to the human race.  But those who set their fear aside, and actually delve into what the Scripture says about God choosing people for Himself – they discover that the fact God really has chosen us is the most exciting, faith-building, foundational thing we could ever hear from Him. 

This verse in Romans shows the progression a person takes on the path of salvation.  Although the call of God goes out to all humans, those who God has foreordained will definitely answer the call.  This should give immense hope to you today – because if you have answered the call of God and the Spirit of God lives in your heart – then you are most certainly one who has been foreordained by God. 

But it doesn’t just stop there.  Those who have been called have been justified. God looks at them and says ‘I see no sin’.  And these same ones have also been glorified.  Ephesians tells us that we have been raised from the dead with Christ and seated in heavenly places.

The passage in Romans goes on to say ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’.   This is an often quoted Scripture, but in it’s context what it’s really saying is this: if God has chosen you before the foundation of the world, and called you, and justified you and glorified you, and will return to deliver you from your body of death and take you to Himself – then what on earth can really stand against you?!!

Although our decisions are very important, when it comes to our salvation, it is God who starts it, God who sustains it, and it’s God who finishes it.  We will eventually see that it all really was His work!  This should give us complete confidence and trust in Him that ‘He who began the good work in you, will surely bring it to completion on the day of Christ Jesus’

A Man Of Faith

2 Chronicles 30:18-19 – For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, The good Yahweh pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, Yahweh, the God of his fathers, though not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.

King Hezekiah had invited all of Israel to a re-institution of the feast of unleavened bread.  His invitation was turned down by many in Israel – and those who came would have endured scorn and mockery from their families and communities. 

Now that they had arrived in Jerusalem, it was found that many of those who had come were not cleansed according to the law – so from a legal point of view, they should not have been participating in the feast. 

Yet Hezekiah prayed for them – asking that the ‘good Lord’ would pardon all who set his heart to seek God.  The next verse shows us that God answered that prayer, and healed them. 

This passage is not given to show us that God’s commands don’t matter.  He has reasons and ways that are far beyond ours, and it is in our best interest to apply all diligence to observing what He commands us. 

Instead what we see in this passage is a people who are trying to return to God, a man of faith who is working with them, and a God of mercy. 

True faith seeks to love and obey God and what He has commanded, but it also has an understanding of the mercy of God – how He is one who justifies the unrighteous and pardons the ungodly.  Hezekiah knew this God, and knew that in this situation, that the Lord would not hold their impurity against them.

Becoming Transparent

Genesis 20:10 – “Abimelech said to Abraham, ‘What did you see, that you have done this thing?’.  Abraham said, ‘Because I thought, `Surely the fear of God is not in this place. They will kill me for my wife`s sake.`”

When Abraham and Sarah settled in the Abimelech’s land, Abimelech took Sarah to be his own wife – because Abraham told everyone that Sarah was his sister. 

The reason he did this was that in his assessment, the people of the land had no fear of God, and would simply get rid of him if they wanted Sarah and found out that she was his wife. 

But boy did Abraham get that one wrong!  It took only one dream, in which God turned up to Abimelech and warned him that he was as good as dead if he laid a finger on Sarah – for Abimelech to return her to Abraham.  One dream!  Compare this with the dreams, prophets and words that the Lord sent to Israel again and again to get them to turn from their sin – and yet they brazenly refused.  Surely this pagan king understood something of the fear of the Lord!

If Abraham had dealt with Abimelech honestly from the start, he would have discovered a person who was very different from who he imagined Abimelech to be. 

Sometimes we can make assessments of where people are at with God that are shockingly far off the mark.  We can assume that they would never be interested in Him, or that they don’t care what God would say – when actually they may possess more respect for God’s words than many so-called Christians!

Endeavour to be honest and transparent with people in all your dealings.  Sometimes all it takes is for one person to make a righteous move, and everyone else begins to follow suit. 

The Enemy’s Strategy

2 Chronicles 32:11 – Does not Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Yahweh our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

The king of Assyria has come up against Jerusalem, but the righteous King Hezekiah has spoken to his people – quoting Joshua 1:9  – “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or dismayed – for the Lord our God is with us”.  The people put their trust in this word and prepared themselves for the assault of the Assyrians.

But having arrived to beseige Jerusalem, the king of Assryia employs a number of tactics to try to shake the people’s confidence in the word of God. 

1) He tries to get them to question the word and actions of their king.  The people to this point have followed the orders of Hezekiah – who has commanded them to stop up the wells, and ready themselves for God to win.  The king of Assyria uses this to imply that to follow Hezekiah’s advice is to give themselves over to die by famine and thirst. 

2) He tries to bring division in the ranks. The king of Assyria also says “this is the same Hezekiah who tore down high places and altars and said you must worship in Jerusalem”.  Although this was the right thing to do – there would have been those who were still sore at Hezekiah for having done this.  Again, this is designed to bring division and mistrust. 

3) He tries to get them to focus on his power rather than God’s.  The king of Assryia says “have any of the other nations been rescued from my hand by the power of their god?”.  In essence he is telling them having trust in God is worthless – it didn’t work for other people, and it won’t work for you!

4) He tries to dishearten those who stand on the walls.  The king of Assyria speaks directly to them in their own language to try to dishearten them and spread discouragement through the troops. 

Despite all of this, Hezekiah and the people stand firm in faith.  Shortly after, an angel of God goes out and kills all of the men of valour and the captains of the army of Assyria, and the king returns to his own country in shame!

Know this for sure today – God REALLY CAN save you, no matter how bad a situation looks.  Don’t be ignorant of the enemies tactics.  Stand on God’s word, and don’t let go!  You will win!

God Directs Governments

Proverbs 21:1 – The king’s heart is in Yahweh`s hand like the watercourses. He turns it wherever he desires.

The king may be on the throne, but it’s God who is in charge. The king’s heart lies in His hand, and God directs it wherever He desires.

We see this fact in the life of Pharaoh – whose heart God hardened. The reason for this was to display His power and glory in the nation of Egypt.   If Pharaoh had consented to let Israel go from the beginning, then the multitudes would not have seen the signs and wonders which were demonstrated afterward – proving that God was powerful and not to be messed with!

This concept is something that we need to remember today when it comes to our governing authorities.  Romans 13:1 commands us to be in subjection to the higher authorities – ‘for there is no authority except from God, and those who be are ordained by God’.  We live in a democracy, we have a vote and we should use our votes wisely to put wise and noble leaders in positions of power.  But regardless of who is in power, we need to see that just like his dealings with Pharaoh, God uses those in authority for his own purposes.  His plan remains, and situations that we may not understand will all eventually work together for God’s purposes in the end.