Lessons from Strange Scripture…

Last week we looked at a very strange passage in 2 Kings 8:7-15. This text is loaded with lessons for contemporary readers. Let’s look at a few of them: First, we are reminded that God is sovereign and omniscient and is the “Revealer of Secrets.” (Daniel 2:47) He knows everything that will take place as well as those things that could have been. God is never caught off guard by circumstances. Whenever I find myself wishing that things had turned out differently, I must remember that God knows exactly why things turned out the way they did and what would have resulted if they didn’t. It is obvious that we had best entrust our past as well as our future to God’s hands rather than living in the twilight zone of “if onlys” and “might have beens.”

Second, the passage reminds us that God knows the heart of every single human being who has ever walked the face of this earth. He knows your heart and mine. “When I sit down, when I rise up; you perceive my thoughts from afar; you discern my going out and my coming in and are familiar with all my ways; even before a word is on my tongue you know it completely.” Ps. 139:1-4 He is the Revealer of the secrets of the human heart. He knows what you watch; he knows what you think about when no one else does; he knows your secret life- ambitions, desires, mask, camouflage, etc. There are no secrets with him. It is time to come clean even about those things that happened years ago. 

Finally, this passage reminds us of one of the most terrifying truths of the Word of God: Our sin merits God’s wrath. The anointing of Hazael as king of Syria set into motion a series of events that manifest God’s wrath on His disobedient people. In the final chapters of the Book of Deuteronomy (chapters 28-32), Moses warned the Israelites of the judgments that would come upon them if they disregarded God and disobeyed His commandments. During the days of Elijah and Elisha, God brought various forms of adversity upon the Northern Kingdom of Israel to get their attention and to turn them from their sins. He brought various droughts and famines, as well as attacks and sieges from the armies of surrounding nations. In spite of all these warnings and opportunities for repentance, Israel persisted in her sin. Though God had patiently warned His people of the consequences of their sin, they ignored His rebuke. Finally, payday arrived.

As I recall, it was Robert G. Lee, one of the great preachers of a bygone era, who delivered the famous sermon, “Payday Someday.” Certainly we must acknowledge that it was now payday for Israel. Time after time, God had sought to get Israel’s attention, but no evidence of any real and lasting repentance was ever found. Could it be that God is warning some of you of your need to repent and turn to him lest you face payday for your sin. You may be able to hide your secrets for awhile, but they will be revealed. Just look at all the famous people and politicians whose house of cards collapsed around the revelation of some dark secret long past. 

Now is the time of repentance. You may pay a great price for coming clean, but with God there will always be refuge and forgiveness for you. That refuge and place of safety is Jesus Christ, the Man of Sorrows– see him on the cross, see him writhe with pain, for you- dying for your secrets. 

Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood- sealed my pardon with his blood Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Guilty, vile and helpless we, spotless lamb of God was he – Full atonement can it be. Hallelujah, what a Savior!

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