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September 8, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Ezekiel 28-30
Audio: Ezekiel 28-30

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Chronicles 17 (ESV)

Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place and strengthened himself against Israel. He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had captured. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.

In the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah; and with these Levites, the priests Elishama and Jehoram. And they taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the Lord with them. They went about through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

10 And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver for tribute, and the Arabians also brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 goats. 12 And Jehoshaphat grew steadily greater. He built in Judah fortresses and store cities, 13 and he had large supplies in the cities of Judah. He had soldiers, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem. 14 This was the muster of them by fathers’ houses: Of Judah, the commanders of thousands: Adnah the commander, with 300,000 mighty men of valor; 15 and next to him Jehohanan the commander, with 280,000; 16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, a volunteer for the service of the Lord, with 200,000 mighty men of valor.17 Of Benjamin: Eliada, a mighty man of valor, with 200,000 men armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him Jehozabad with 180,000 armed for war. 19 These were in the service of the king, besides those whom the king had placed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.

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Next: 2 Chronicles 18

Back: 2 Chronicles 16

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Teaching the Law

    It has been noted that today's chapter can be divided into three sections:

    1. The theological review of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17:1-6)
    2. Jehoshaphat's instruction for Judah (2 Chronicles 17:7-9)
    3. Jehoshaphat's military prowess (2 Chronicles 17:10-19)

    In his Study Bible, John MacArthur outlines three important strategic moves that Jehoshaphat made (spiritually speaking):

    1. He obeyed the Lord (2 Chronicles 17:3-6)
    2. He removed false worship from the land (2 Chronicles 17:6)
    3. He sent out teachers who taught people the law of the Lord (2 Chronicles 17:7-9).

    It was just as important that people knew the law back then as it is today. That is why Jehoshaphat sent his officials Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the cities of Judah (2 Chronicles 17:7) and why the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah; and the priests Elishama and Jehoram taught the Book of the Law of the Lord (2 Chronicles 17:8).

    For many people today who profess faith in Christ, there is little value for "the law" or little application since Christ fulfilled the law. 

    One time as a youth event at another church, I spoke with one of the co-leaders about the law because she didn't like what I said about it in a Sunday school class I was teaching. (I should point out this church is pastored by someone who peddles the false teaching of easy believism so I understood the information I was sharing was new to her). In her mind, Christ fulfilled the law and because we are under grace, the law no longer applies to believers. 

    I said to her "the righteous requirement of the law will be fully met in us." Her response was, "that's legalism!" I said kindly, "No, that's the Apostle Paul from Romans 8:4."

    That word "legalism" gets thrown around quite a bit by people whose approach to Christianity is casual and holiness is optional in a life of faith. 

    In an article from Ligonier Ministries, R.C. Sproul shares three types of legalism (which matches our pattern for 3 points from this chapter)!

    First Type of Legalism

    "Basically, legalism involves abstracting the law of God from its original context. Some people seem to be preoccupied in the Christian life with obeying rules and regulations, and they conceive of Christianity as being a series of do’s and don’ts, cold and deadly set of moral principles; where one is concerned merely with the keeping of God’s law as an end in itself.

    "There’s no love, joy, life, or passion. It’s a rote, mechanical form of law-keeping that we call externalism. The legalist focuses only on obeying bare rules, destroying the broader context of God’s love and redemption in which He gave His law in the first place."

    Second Type of Legalism

    "We must remember that the New Testament distinguishes between the letter of the law (its outward form) and the spirit of the law. The second form of legalism divorces the letter of the law from the spirit of the law. It obeys the letter but violates the spirit. There’s only a subtle distinction between this form of legalism and the one previously mentioned.

    "This second type of legalism can be illustrated by the Pharisees who confronted Jesus over healing on the Sabbath day (Matt. 12:9–14). They were concerned only with the letter of the law and avoiding anything that might look like work to them. These teachers missed the spirit of the law, which was directed against ordinary labor that is not required to maintain life and not against efforts to heal the sick."

    Third Type of Legalism

    "The third type of legalism adds our own rules to God’s law and treats them as divine. It is the most common and deadly form of legalism. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees at this very point, saying, “You teach human traditions as if they were the word of God.” We have no right to heap up restrictions on people where He has no stated restriction.

    "The gospel calls men to repentance, holiness, and godliness. Because of this, the world finds the gospel offensive. But woe to us if we add unnecessarily to that offense by distorting the true nature of Christianity by combining it with legalism. Because Christianity is concerned with morality, righteousness, and ethics, we can easily make that subtle move from a passionate concern for godly morality into legalism if we are not careful."

    I also want to share what John MacArthur wrote in his Study Bible on Romans 8:4 and what the "righteous requirement of the law" means. It means, "The thoughts, words, and deeds which the moral law of God demands."

    He goes on to say:

    "The ceremonial aspect of the Mosaic law has been set aside (Col. 2:14–17), and the basic responsibility for the civil aspect, which shows the application of the moral law in a community, has been transferred to human government (Romans 13:1–7). The moral law finds its basis in the character of God and is presented in outline form in the Ten Commandments; its most condensed form is in Jesus’ commands to love God and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. It has never been abrogated, but finds its authority in the New Covenant. Every unbeliever is still under its requirement of perfection and its condemnation, until he comes to Christ (Gal. 3:23–25) and every believer still finds in it the standard for behavior."

    Regarding "fulfilled in us" he writes, "Although the believer is no longer in bondage to the moral law’s condemnation and penalty (Romans 7:6), the law still reflects the moral character of God and His will for His creatures. But what the external, written code was unable to accomplish, the Spirit is able to do by writing the law on our hearts (Jer. 31:33, 34) and giving us the power to obey it."

    MacArthur, J., Jr. (Ed.). (1997). The MacArthur Study Bible (electronic ed., p. 1707). Nashville, TN: Word Pub.

    Without the law, the necessity of Christ doesn't even make sense. We need Jesus to save us from our sins. Without the law, we wouldn't even know what sin is!

    Romans 7:7 says "What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet.'"

    The modern gospel distorts Christ and makes Jesus more of a genie than a Savior – where faith in Him becomes more about giving us a good life now instead of the focus being on saving us from our sins and empowering us by His Spirit to overcome sin as we become more like Christ through sanctification. 

    1 Timothy 1:15 says, "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost."

    He didn't come to make our dreams come true. He didn't die so we can be rich. He doesn't heal all of our diseases if we have enough faith and He certainly is not a vending machine or cosmic genie ready to grant the wishes of our hearts. 

    When we "Go and make disciples" and teach people to "observe" all that Christ commanded, it's His law which is written on our hearts that people observe. 

    Let's remember Psalm 119:11, "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."

  2. I'm always blown away by how much there is to learn.

    The Bible can be read over and over, and yet we still learn something new each time we read it. I literally learn something new everyday, and it's really exciting. 

    I have broken both God's laws and the laws of our government in my past. I've been arrested multiple times back in the days I used drugs & alcohol. They never did me any favors. 

    Now that I'm clean & sober and truly saved, my perspective is completely different. I live in the light now, and I see clearly who I used to be, as opposed to who I am today. 

    I want to follow God's laws more than anything. I love seeking Him, and I'm so excited that I can learn about about Him until the day I go home to Him. So blessed! 

     

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