June 22, 2014 Series: The Old Testament
Passage: 2 Kings 22:8, 10-13, 18-20, 2 Kings 23:1-3, 24-25
What is it like to suddenly realize you’ve been really, really wrong?
EXPOSED BY GOD’S WORD
Why does it matter that the LORD knows that we are often clueless? Read 2 Kings 23:24-25. As this is a great case study in spiritual leadership, what does it mean to build what is good? And at the same time, what is it like to engage in the work of tearing down what is bad? How is the Gospel God’s work both to secure what is good and remove all that is evil?
Read 2 Kings 22:8, 10-13. What was Josiah’s starting place in this work? To have hope, read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 & 5:17 & 21. How does Jesus promise – to all who trust Him – to give us power for the fight? But why is it also significant that He has to remove all that’s wrong?
HUMILITY & GRACE
So how does this work of tearing down and building start within our own heart and character? Read 2 Kings 22:11-13 & 18-20. How did Josiah humble himself? How is he prayerful (v. 13)? How is he respectful of Scripture, and hopeful in God’s promises?
Read Luke 18:9-14. As it dawns on you that you’re worse than you ever imagined, what do you do? How does Jesus offer hope? How have you been made aware that you’re wrong (and how have you resisted admitting it)? Ask Jesus for mercy – that He would forgive you, but also soften your heart to turn away from your autonomy and turn back to Him to join Him in His mission.
BEING AN INSTRUMENT FOR REDEMPTION
Read 2 Kings 23:1-3. While everyone – anyone has an opportunity for influence (within your family, in marriage or parenting, at work, with His people at church, and in our city), how is love a move in the opposite direction from autonomy? How is the work of building good and tearing down evil a community project (“Are you with me in this?”)? How is it centered on and defined by God’s Word (see v. 2)? And how does it take an intentional plan (v. 3)?
God doesn’t make guarantees for an easy life!! Josiah stood as a high-water mark for character and influence, and then he died young, killed in battle. And his legacy was soon forgotten. So why is this work still a worthy pursuit, even if you faced a similar kind of fate?
Do not forget the “Now & the Not Yet.” Read 2 Cor. 4:1 & 5:4-7. In Christ we walk by faith, not by sight, secure in God’s power and wisdom to work resurrection through death. While the work of evil can be fierce and discouraging, we do not lose heart. We are not alone because of His indwelling Spirit and His Body the Church. We are not aimless because we have His Word, fulfilled in Jesus (the Word made flesh). And loving Him with all our heart is now actually possible because of His work to give us new hearts in Christ.
- Worship the LORD for His mercy – to make known to us our sin and move us to repentance. Praise Him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for His gift of hope in the face of evil because of His power, faithfulness and love!
- How have you been made aware that you’re wrong (and how have you resisted admitting it)? Ask Jesus for mercy – that He would forgive you, but also soften your heart to turn away from your autonomy and turn back to Him.
- Give thanks to Jesus for His compassion when we humble ourselves before Him. Thank Him that He not only truly humbles the exalted, but also raises up those who humble themselves.
- Who do you know that is clueless about their sin? Pray for them, asking the Lord to open their eyes to their need for Him (and that He would give you courage to love them enough to help them see the truth even where it’s hard).
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to seek Him more in prayer, and to help you seek the aid of other believers. Pray for the Spirit’s help in being revived in prayer and your readiness to be built up by and to build up other believers.