April 14

2 Kings 12-14, Psalm 104

We as a nation, and we as individuals withhold the full blessings of God due to our unwillingness to remove those things which God cannot bless. We mistakenly believe that God will be impressed with our compromise as though He sees the world in some morally relativistic fashion. God, in His Word, is uncompromising on His stance towards sin, in fact, He, and He alone decides what is sin and what is not sin. We don't have that right. God's absolutes are just that, absolutes. In our nation the political rhetoric and posturing is unbelievable on both sides, especially when one considers that most won't consider dealing with those areas which God has so clearly spoken about and deemed an abomination. If we read the words of John the Baptist's ministry and the words of the beginning of Jesus ministry, they are the same: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 3:2, 4:17). Repent means to re-think or to turn from our ways and accept and agree with His ways. There can be no middle ground or compromise concerning sin.

We read in 2 Kings 12:2-3, "Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the Lord all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him. But the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places." Though many worshipped at the high places and many would have complained to the king if he destroyed them, God's Word was uncompromising in this area, as we read of the Word of Moses spoken earlier in Numbers 33:51-52, "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all of the inhabitants of the land before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places'." In his first year reigning the kingdom of Judah he commanded money to be collected to repair the damages and dilapidation of the temple. We read in 2 Kings12:6, "Now it was so, by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, that the priests had not repaired the damages of the temple." For 23 years his edict was ignored. Such is the problem when we allow sin to live side by side with the things of God. Because Jehoash's reforms were incomplete, corruption seeped in and a downward spiral took place. When evil is allowed to coexist, it will pollute everything which is good.

When we reflect on our own lives, what are the "high places" that we refuse to destroy. The gospel message cannot be added onto our pre-existing philosophy. The gospel message is not one of many roads, but is The Road. Unless we take Jesus' Words to heart and repent and empty ourselves of self and sin we compromise our ability to experience His message of salvation. Jesus can only use empty vessels, not ones that are already full of self. Just like the government who is afraid to confront evil for what it is, we must confront the evil in our own lives. If we try to keep one foot in the world and one foot in the things of God, it will not work. God cannot bless divided loyalty. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters;...".

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster