Friday, November 27, 2015

God’s wisdom covers our mistakes



2 Kings 18:13–19:37, Ephesians 2:1–3:21, Proverbs 8:19–26

Hezekiah was a godly king but when Sennacherib king of Assyria threatened, he “gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house. At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.” (2 Kings 18:15–16)

The Assyrians came back to the people and said, “Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us . . . .” but Isaiah the prophet told them, “Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land. ” (2 Kings 19:6–7)

Hezekiah also prayed, “. . . O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.” (2 Kings 19:17–19)
The Lord responded, “He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city . . . . for I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the Assyrian camp. Sennacherib went home and as he was worshiping in the house of his god, his sons killed him. (2 Kings 19:31–37)

God in His wisdom covered Hezekiah’s mistake of attempting to buy his safety with gold instead of trusting his God. He knows His people are frail and faulty and need His wisdom and grace.

Solomon says that the wisdom of God produces fruit better than fine gold or choice silver. Wisdom “walks in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love it, and filling their treasuries.” (Proverbs 8:19–21) Whether it is gold, silver, or my own ideas about life, God’s wisdom is superior. I cannot live without His wisdom or His grace.

In the NT, the Gospel is a grand display of how God’s wisdom covers my errors. As Paul says, I was once dead in trespasses and sins, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, living in the passions of my flesh, carrying out the desires of my body and the mind. I was by nature a child of wrath. Ugh!

But God, rich in mercy and because of His great love, made me alive in Christ! By grace I have been saved through faith. This was not my own doing. It is the gift of God, not my works, so I cannot boast. I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that I should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4–10) This too is the wisdom of God; He covers sin with the blood of His Son.

Even more amazing, particularly for the OT saints, is that God would unite Jew and Gentile by faith in Jesus. He says to the Gentiles, “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one . . . that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility . . . . you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God . . . .” (Ephesians 2:11-19)

That means that had both Hezekiah and the king of Assyria known and believed the Gospel, they would not have been enemies but brothers in Christ, united in His grace. 

As Paul says, God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” through the power of Jesus Christ whose grace and wisdom work amazing changes in His people!

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