April 15

2 Kings 15-17, Psalm 105

As we continue through the short stories of the various kings of Israel and Judah, it’s easy to start paying a little less attention to detail, and viewing them as lists. Realize, as we come to the end of the nation of Israel as it is carried into captivity by Assyria, it has been approximately 250 years from the time of King Rehoboam, when the nation of Israel was divided into Judah and Israel, to the captivity (realize that is around the same amount of time that the USA has been a nation). We have seen this nation spiral continually downward to the depths of depravity (partially outlined in 2 Kings 17). We have seen a complete departure from God’s ways including idol worship (2 Kings 17:7-12), witchcraft, child sacrifice (17:17) ripping open the abdomens of pregnant women (2 Ki 15:16), cannabilism (2 Ki 6:29), mass murders, mass beheadings, etc. All done by a nation who was originated under the hand of God. As we live in our world now, and read of school shootings, suicide bombings, severe persecution, etc. we realize that the tools have changed, but the same evil that is present now was present then. A world outside of God is capable of all forms of evil.

It is amazing how patient and how loving God is. We know that God being completely just and fair does not overlook sin. Yet, he continued to extend His love to this unlovable bunch. He even extended His grace to Ahab and Jehoahaz, totally evil kings. So many see the God of the Old Testament as one of wrath, and the God of the New Testament as one love. But we know that God is 100% love.

As we celebrate all that Jesus did for us during this season where we celebrate His resurrection let us realize just how unlovable and unworthy we are in light of a perfect God. Though we can not completely understand the love He extended to us by dying on the cross for our sins, since His ways are so much higher than our ways, let us stand in awe at what He did for us. As we read Isaiah 52:13-53:12, Phillipians 2:5-11, along with the Gospel accounts detailing the final week of Jesus’ ministry, it gives a glimpse into just what He did and what He accomplished. But as Paul stated in Romans 11:33, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” As we continue in The One Year Bible may we step back and appreciate just what true love looks like. May we never forget that what Jesus did for us on the cross, He did for love.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato