Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #4

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

In the Law of Moses—Deuteronomy chapter 17—we read the following Divine ordinance concerning Israel’s king: “[18] And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: [19] And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: [20] That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.”

The LORD through Moses advised Israel in Deuteronomy chapter 8: “[10] When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. [11] Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: [12] Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;….”

It would be quite easy for the Jews, during the time of their prosperity during Jehoshaphat’s reign, to forget the LORD. Consequently, the King sent out Bible teachers to remind his people in the Kingdom of Judah of their obligation to keep the Mosaic Law, God’s covenant with them. Jehoshaphat knew and loved the LORD and His Word, and wanted his nation to do so as well. He understood the only way to fight Bible ignorance is with Bible teaching….

Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #3

Sunday, May 24, 2020

And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

Over 500 years prior to Jehoshaphat, Leviticus chapter 10 reports: “[8] And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, [9] Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: [10] And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; [11] And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.”

Jehoshaphat knew what the LORD God had instructed Aaron and his sons (the Jewish priests) to do. Accordingly, the King behaved as he did in the context of today’s Scripture: “[7] Also in the third year of his reign he sent to his princes, even to Benhail, and to Obadiah, and to Zechariah, and to Nethaneel, and to Michaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. [8] And with them he sent Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, priests. [9] And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. [10] And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.”

They were not merely preaching “oral tradition.” Nay, rather, they had a “book,” “the book of the law of the LORD with them.” They carried a Bible, especially the writings of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy). Jehoshaphat wanted his people to be mindful of God’s covenant with them, and their obligation to observe it….

*In order to provide a special study tomorrow, we temporarily break away from this devotionals arc.

Jehoshaphat’s Bible Teachers #2

Saturday, May 23, 2020

“And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the LORD with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people” (2 Chronicles 17:9 KJV).

Jehoshaphat was King David’s great-great-great grandson, ruling over the Kingdom of Judah more than a century after him. Early in his reign, Jehoshaphat wisely chose to commission Bible teachers to disseminate God’s truth throughout his kingdom.

Read about Jehoshaphat’s father, King Asa, as recorded in chapter 14: “[1] So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years. [2] And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: [3] For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: [4] And commanded Judah to seek the LORD God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. [5] Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. [6] And he built fenced cities in Judah: for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because the LORD had given him rest.”

Asa’s father Abijah/Abijam and grandfather Rehoboam were idolatrous kings of Judah (chapters 12–13). They promoted Baal worship, pagan idolatry, amongst the Jews. In total, these two kings reigned for 20 years. When Asa assumed the throne, he ruled for approximately four decades, initiating religious reforms that evidently did not go far enough. By the time his son Jehoshaphat began his administration, there were additional heathen shrines to abolish: “And his heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: moreover he took away the high places and groves out of Judah” (17:6).

Three years into his rule, Jehoshaphat directed Bible teachers to go out with the Mosaic Law (today’s Scripture), that the people of Judah familiarize themselves with how JEHOVAH God wanted them to live in His land. In doing so, they would prevent another resurgence of idolatry in their midst….

A Prayer According to God’s Will

Thursday, May 7, 2020

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;(1 Timothy 2:1-3 KJV).

On this United States’ National Day of Prayer, we pray you pray according to the Lord Jesus Christ’s will for today!

Today, religious people—the general public, clergy, and government officials—will assemble nationwide, like they do every year, and pray for spiritual and moral revival of the “Christian” (?) United States of America. We commend their noble efforts, but God’s Word says there will be no godly revival of any of the world’s Gentile nations until Jesus Christ returns to earth at His Second Coming (Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 59:20–60:3; Zechariah 8:20-23; Revelation 11:15; et cetera).

The LORD’s words to King Solomon are often quoted on this day: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Friends, this is certainly God’s Word, but has nothing to do with Gentiles in the United States in the Dispensation of Grace. This verse has a context often overlooked—the nation Israel under the Mosaic Law, praying in relation to God’s Temple in Jerusalem (verses 15,16). Actually, that Temple was destroyed over 19 centuries ago! Unlike Israel, the United States was never a divinely-founded nation. The American people as a whole are not God’s people like Israel was.

Rather than praying 2 Chronicles 7:14, remember today’s Scripture (God’s Word to us Gentiles). The verse following today’s Scripture says, “[God] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). Pray for those in authority, that they would trust Jesus Christ alone as their personal Saviour, and then grow in His Word to them so they can make wise decisions on behalf of the people they govern.

NOTE: Due to coronavirus, this year’s National Day of Prayer is a somber one, abounding with much confusion. For more information concerning how to pray in light of these difficult times, refer to our archived study, “What about the coronavirus pandemic?

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #7

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

Verily, verily, as touching the prophetic program, Divine wrath is coming upon all nations. However, since the mystery program currently operates, that judgment is delayed. Turn to 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and read what the Apostle Paul penned: “[18] And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

It is not that God approves sin. Rather, He is cordially allowing the nations to come to Him today through Christ’s finished crosswork, that they may gain forgiveness of their sins. As the Apostle Peter wrote: “[9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance…. [15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:9,15,16).

Just as God patiently dealt with obstinate Israel, giving her ample warning before His wrath fell, so He has now bestowed upon the world 2,000 years of His grace. May we come to Him by faith in Jesus Christ alone as personal Saviour, while there is still time….

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #6

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

By the time of today’s Scripture, Israel’s northern 10 tribes have already been taken away into Assyrian Captivity. This was the fifth and final phase of chastisement or punishment stipulated in the Law of Moses (cf. Leviticus 26:27-39). No longer would the LORD God permit these Jews to pollute His land with their pagan idols (see 2 Kings 17:6-23). That was now over a century prior to Jeremiah writing chapter 25. Currently, the Prophet is warning the southern two tribes—collectively called “Judah”—of their looming deportation. Their pagan idolatry will result in them being removed to Babylon!

Keep reading in Jeremiah chapter 25: “[9] Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations. [10] Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

“[11] And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. [12] And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. [13] And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.”

Not only will the LORD God take vengeance on idolatrous Jews, He will use Babylon to attack, conquer, and punish all (idolatrous) nations. Then, He will punish idolatrous Babylon….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain Matthew 10:41-42?

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #5

Monday, April 27, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

Read these other verses from Jeremiah: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:…” (5:21). “And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers” (7:13,25,26).

“For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do: but they did them not” (11:7,8). “But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction” (17:23). “To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;…” (26:5).

“Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD” (29:19). “And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction” (32:33). You may also see 35:14,15 and 44:5. Indeed, the warnings have gone unheeded… for 900 years….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What did Paul mean, he ‘robbed other churches?’

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #4

Sunday, April 26, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

Although the God of the Bible is regularly charged with being “hasty in meting out punishment and eager to pour out wrath,” the Scriptures actually portray Him as the opposite: He is longsuffering, patient in His dealings with sinners. For many centuries, He sent innumerable messengers to warn His people Israel to turn around and quit their wickedness.

Read 2 Chronicles chapter 36: “[14] Moreover all the chief of the priests, and the people, transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen; and polluted the house of the LORD which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. [15] And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: [16] But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”

The LORD God was willing to let the Jews remain in His land—provided they abandon their pagan idolatry (returning to the Mosaic Law). He commissioned preachers to call them to repentance, a change in mind, that they walk in His ways. What happened? Did they heed those admonitions? No. They “mocked” (ridiculed) His messengers! They “despised” (hated) His words! They “misused” (abused) His prophets! It was not accidental; it was deliberate. When He spoke to them, not only did they not listen, they also made no effort whatsoever to hear Him! Instead of leaning their ear toward Him, they ignored Him time and time again. This is a major theme of the Book of Jeremiah. For example, notice Jeremiah 7:24: “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.”

Let us see the many other verses that demonstrate God’s incomprehensible longsuffering and man’s obstinate sinfulness….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is ‘Jeshurun?’

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #3

Saturday, April 25, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

The First Commandment of the Mosaic Law is: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me(Exodus 20:1-3). Over 1,500 years later, the Lord Jesus is asked: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Matthew chapter 22: “[37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment.”

Coming up through the centuries following Israel receiving the Law at Mount Sinai, it is unmistakable that she completely disregards that covenant. Her chief sin is violating the First Commandment, this resulting in her breaking the other nine. The LORD had given Moses prophetic insight, seeing Israel’s idolatry long after his decease.

Deuteronomy chapter 32: “[5] They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation…. [15] But Jeshurun [Israel] waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. [16] They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. [17] They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. [18] Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee…. [21] They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities [idols]: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.”

Between Moses’ time and Jeremiah’s time, God has commissioned preachers to call Israel back to Him. They have been overlooked….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is a ‘Christian?’

Neither Hearkening Nor Inclining #2

Friday, April 24, 2020

And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear (Jeremiah 25:4 KJV).

We will scrutinize today’s Scripture to find out just how stubborn sinners are….

The Old Covenant—also known as the Mosaic Law—was God’s agreement with the nation Israel. Since they insisted on being His people if they obeyed Him, He, in turn, gave them an extensive list of rules and regulations for them to follow. This was not because He knew they could “measure up” to His righteous standards—He knew they could not. Rather, He had to prove to them they could not measure up.

Read Exodus 19:3-6: “[3] And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; [4] Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. [5] Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Now, continue with verses 7 and 8: “[7] And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. [8] And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.” The Israelites actually believed they could do all that the LORD hath spoken!” Meeting such strict demands was just as impossible for the sinner then as it is today, but sin deceived Israel and, at Mount Sinai, God’s grace (His efforts) was cast aside in favor of man’s efforts (religion).

Some 900 years after Moses, the Prophet Jeremiah reprimands the Jews for not paying attention to God’s preachers. Israel is defiant in her failure to observe God’s rules….