Tag Archives: providence

A Sermon Series on the Book of 2 Kings- Ch. 19

Friends: I will be doing a series of three sermons on the book of 2 Kings in April for my friends at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel in South Plainfield, NJ. So I want to go chapter by chapter through this Old Testament book. With you! I’ll put the chapter in the post and give a few comments of my own under the text.  Comments always welcome! Let’s dive in!

My notes:

Here we are in 2 Kings 19. Here in 2 Kings 19 we read that King Hezekiah was greatly troubled by what he heard. He sent a group (wearing sackcloth) to Isaiah. They said to the prophet, “This day is a day of rebuke and disgrace, like the birth of a child and there’s no strength to deliver him (v. 3). It may be that the Lord will hear the ridicule of the living God by the king of Assyria and rebuke him. Pray for the remnant that still survives.” (v. 4).

Isaiah’s response: “Don’t be afraid of the blasphemous words of the king of Assyria. When he hears a certain report, he’ll want to return to his own country & I’ll have him cut down with the sword.” (v. 7).

Sennacherib has messengers say to Hezekiah to not let the god they depend on deceive you that Jerusalem will survive Assyria’s attack. Other gods couldn’t save the other nations. Where are those kings now? (v. 13).

Hezekiah reads that letters, spreads it out before the Lord in the temple, and prays a mighty prayer, asking the Lord to deliver His people (v. 19).

Isaiah tells Hezekiah the Lord has heard his prayer. The Lord’s word, says Isaiah, challenges Sennacherib’s ridicule and blasphemy. It was the Lord’s ordained plan that Assyria has turned fortified cities into piles of stone. Assyria’s insolence will lead to a hook in the nose and a bit in the mouth. (v. 28).

Isaiah speaks of the sign to be given to Hezekiah — a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will survive — The Lord’s zeal will accomplish this. And the king of Assyria will not enter this city; the Lord will defend this city for the sake of David my servant. (v. 34).

That night the angel of the Lord put to death 185,000 in the Assyrian camp. One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons killed him with the sword. Esarhaddon his don succeeded him (v. 37).










Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2023 in 2 Kings


Tags: , , , , , ,

With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXI. The Lord Speaks (Chs. 38-40:2)

Thirty-seven chapters — and the Lord has been silent. The only conversations the Lord has conducted have been those with Satan in volunteering His servant Job to be victimized (Job’s perspective) by the enemy of God. Now, the Lord speaks.

What do we see in Chapter 38?

First, the Lord takes the offensive against Job, asking “Who is this that obscures my plans?” (v. 2) This is an important point: God’s work in Job’s life was planned. It was not haphazard. It was not without meaning.

Second, the Lord challenges Job’s ignorance of the earth’s foundations, the boundaries of the seas, whether he has given orders to the morning or the dawn. Does he have the power to shake the wicked out of the earth (v. 13)? The gates of death have not been shown to Job (v. 17). He doesn’t know the abode of light or where darkness resides (v. 19). In great sarcasm God says, “Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!” (v. 21).

Continuing, the Lord queries Job about the storehouses of the snow and hail, the lightning, thunderstorms, the rain, ice, the constellations, and God’s dominion over the earth (vv. 22-38).

The Lord then moves to the category of the animal kingdom. By His questions the Lord indicates that Job has no role in satisfying the hunger of the lions (v. 39) or providing food for the ravens (v. 41).

Chapter 39: God continues His grilling of Job and his non-involvement in when the mountain goats give birth or when the doe bears her fawn (vv. 1-4). He has nothing to do with the freedom of the wild donkey or power over the wild ox (vv. 5-13). He has no power over the foolish, yet speedy, ostrich (vv. 13-18). He is not the one who gives strength or courage to the horse (vv. 19-25). The flight of the hawk or the eagle did not come about by Job’s wisdom (vv. 26-30).

The Lord abruptly ends His lecture to Job in chapter 40 by asking, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” (vv. 1-2).

Tentative Conclusions about the Lord’s Response:  What are we to conclude about this final speaking of the Lord? He has been silent throughout the book. Does He come to Job with words of consolation, sympathizing with him in his suffering? Does He console Job and let him in on the secret challenges God has issued to man’s archenemy Satan? No!

Instead we see that the Lord overwhelms Job with a series of questions related to creation. It is fascinating what the Lord does not say. He does not side with Job’s “friends” in accusing him of sin. He does not say that Job’s calamities have come as acts of discipline to keep Job from going down to the pit like the wicked do. Instead, He puts Job in his place, reminding him that he is the creature and God is the Creator. He is under no obligation to explain the whys of Job’s troubles. Confrontation, not consolation, is God’s response to His servant. How will Job respond to the Lord’s devastating questions?











Posted by on February 2, 2023 in the book of Job


Tags: , , ,


The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Providence)

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 27, 2022 in Calvin & Hobbes




The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Providence)

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 27, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes



The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Perspective)

PERSPECTIVE! When you get right down to it, what do you and I have that we have not received? God, the maker of all good things, graciously bestows everything we need to live!

The very next lungful of air that you or I breath is a gift of God! Why wouldn’t we want to serve Him?

Leave a comment

Posted by on May 9, 2020 in perspective


Tags: , ,

Jonah: Belief Contradicted by Behavior (Part 11)

Let’s continue thinking about Jonah’s first orthodox statement:  “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.”  Like the rest of us, what Jonah says he believes is very orthodox.  But his professed beliefs are contradicted by his behavior!

“I am a Hebrew” — Jonah does not hesitate to identify himself as one of God’s covenant people.  He is proud, it seems, instead of being ashamed that he is betraying his heritage and refusing to do his part in fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant of being a blessing to all people (Gen. 12).

“and I worship the Lord . . .” — What is worship?  Is it merely ceremony, rituals performed to placate a sometimes angry deity?  How could he say “I worship the Lord”?  How can we say we worship the Lord when we don’t do what He tells us to do?

“the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” —  This is the Creator God!  This is the One who is responsible for this lethal storm.  This is the One who fashioned the dry land (which these sailors were longing for about right now).  We Evangelicals make a lot out of God as Redeemer, and rightly so.  But, I wonder, have we ignored much of the Bible’s witness to God as Creator?

This is no deistic-designed universe.  God is personally involved in sustaining His world. And He sustains His servant long enough for him to identify himself theologically.  But even pagans can see through such hypocrisy (to be continued).



Leave a comment

Posted by on August 11, 2017 in Jonah


Tags: , , , , ,

Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord: Psalm 136

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-6-31-56-am
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11 and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12 with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.

13 to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
14 and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15 but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.

16 to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.

17 to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18 and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20 and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21 and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22 an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.

23 He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24 and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25 He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 4, 2017 in God's love


Tags: , , , ,

Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 104)

Psalm 104

Praise the Lord, my soul.screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-5-45-29-am

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 15, 2017 in creation


Tags: , , , , ,

Loving the Lord with Our Minds — The Apostle Paul in Acts 17 (Part 8)

We continue with our study of Acts 17, Paul on Mars Hill.  I’m looking forward to Emmaus Bible College’s “Christian MInistry screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-5-57-12-amSeminars” on February 6-7. My theme, “Anti-Intellectualism Isn’t Spirituality,”  will pursue several topics.  We will look at Acts 17:19-34 to see how the Apostle Paul used his mind to reach five different groups.

screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-6-19-05-amBeginning with a compliment, Paul proclaims the “unknown god” to the Athenians.  Let’s notice verses 24-28.  As Paul moves into PROCLAMATION, he speaks clearly of Christian doctrine!  Notice that he credits this “unknown god” with creation (He “made the world and everything in it” – v. 24) and providence (caring for His creation) (“he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else” – v. 25).  Paul makes it clear that this true God is independent of His creation (He “is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands . . . and . . . is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything” – vv. 24-25).

Wow!  That’s a lot of Christian doctrine!  Paul goes on screen-shot-2017-01-19-at-6-29-18-amto talk about man’s creation (“all the nations” – v. 26) being intended by this God to “inhabit the whole earth” (v. 26).  Both man’s relationship to time (“marked out their appointed times”) and their geography (“the boundaries of their lands”) are covered in verse 26.

And this Creator-God is not content with simply making stuff.  He wants a personal relationship with human beings (“God did this so that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for him and find him” – v. 27).

Question:  Are we presenting the true God of the Bible as One who wishes for a personal relationship with each of His creatures made in His image?

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Acts 17


Tags: , , , , ,

Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 74)

Psalm 74

A maskil of Asaph.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-6-16-33-am

O God, why have you rejected us forever?
    Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
    the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—
    Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
    all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
    they set up their standards as signs.
They behaved like men wielding axes
    to cut through a thicket of trees.
They smashed all the carved paneling
    with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
    they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!”
    They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.

We are given no signs from God;
    no prophets are left,
    and none of us knows how long this will be.
10 How long will the enemy mock you, God?
    Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the sea by your power;
    you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
    how foolish people have reviled your name.
19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
    do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
    may the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;
    remember how fools mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries,
    the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 5, 2016 in desperation


Tags: , , , , ,