Tag Archives: repentance

A Sermon Series on the Book of 2 Kings- Ch. 23

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 23. In 2 Kings 23 we about the king of Judah, Josiah, reading the Book of the Covenant to the people and renewing the covenant in the presence of the Lord (v. 3). The people pledge themselves to the covenant.

Josiah has all the idolatrous articles removed — and burned — from the temple. (v. 7). TIM KELLER’S COUNTERFEIT GODS.

He desecrated Topheth where child sacrifices were made and burned the chariots dedicated to the sun (vv. 10-11). He smashes and cuts down all the idolatrous items of Manasseh and Solomon king of Israel (!), throwing the rubble in the Kidron Valley, covering the sites with human bones (vv. 12-14).

He demolished the high place made by Jeroboam; ground it to powder, burned the Asherah pole. He burned human bones on the altar to defile it (v. 16).

He doesn’t touch the tomb of the man of God (who is that prophet?). (v. 18). He slaughters the priests of the high places, then went back to Jerusalem (v. 20). He ordered the celebration of the Passover which had not been celebrated in the days of the judges or the days of the kings (vv. 21-23). We read: 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.

But the Lord’s anger did not cease ‘coz of what Manasseh had done. The Lord promises to remove Judah as He had Israel from His presence and will reject Jerusalem (v. 27). King Josiah is killed in a battle with the Egyptians and the Assyrians.

Jehoahaz is made king. Reigns only 3 months; did evil in the Lord’s eyes. The Pharaoh put him in chains, imposed a levy on Judah. Eliakim is made king; named changed to Jehoiakim. Jehoahaz dies in Egypt. Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh what he demanded, reigned 11 years, and did evil in the Lord’s eyes.















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Posted by on March 8, 2023 in 2 Kings


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A Sermon Series on the Book of 2 Kings- Ch. 22

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 22. Here in 2 Kings 22 we read of Josiah becoming king at age 8 and reigning for 31 years. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

Josiah in his 18th year sent Shaphan to the Lord’s temple to get Hilkiah the high priest to give money to the repairers of the temple (v. 6). 7 But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.”

Hilkiah tells Shaphan he has found the Book of the Law in the temple. Shaphan tells Josiah that Hilkiah has given me a book which Shaphan read from it in the king’s presence (v. 10).

Josiah tears his robes when he hears the Book of the Law. He orders Hilkiah and others to inquire about what is written in the book. He says, “Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

They go to the prophet Huldah, the wife of Shallum, who speaks of the coming disaster because Judah has committed idolatry (v. 17). Furthermore she says, 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse[b] and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”

They then take their answer back to the king.


















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Posted by on March 7, 2023 in 2 Kings


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXV. Epilogue -Part 2 Ch. 42:10-17)

In a shocking conclusion, we read that God confronts Job’s three friends and declares their counseling of Job to be folly. He then requires them to offer a sacrifice, asking Job to pray for them. Job has indeed prayed, interceded really, for them so that God would not deal with them according to their folly. We then read the following in this epilogue:

An Accepted Prayer: Job prayed for his friends (did he include Elihu?), the Lord restored his fortunes (v. 10). The Lord gives him twice as much as he had before. If my calculations are correct, that means Job became the proud owner of 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 donkeys (cp. 1:3)! A “yoke” of oxen really means two oxen, so Job now has 23,000 animals in his possession!

A Re-Established Home: We then read that a great feast was held in his home with all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before attending. And they comforted and consoled him “over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him” (v. 11). Job’s wealth is restored from the gifts of silver and gold they bring to him.

Apart from his doubled livestock (v. 12), Job and his wife bring into the world seven sons and three daughters (the same number as he had at the beginning) (v. 13). Unlike the succinct account of his first set of children, here his three daughters’ names are given: Jemimah, Keziah, and Keren-Happuch. I wonder why the daughters are named? And why are the names of the seven sons not given? We are also informed that “nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters.” (v. 15). And, in what appears to be counter-cultural, we read that “their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.”

There is also no mention of Job’s wife. Is this the same wife as the one who told Job to curse God and die? Has she repented of her folly? 

We then read that “after this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years.” (vv. 16-17).


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Posted by on February 12, 2023 in the book of Job


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXV. Epilogue -Part 1 Ch. 42:7-9)

We now come to the conclusion of the Job saga. He has suffered greatly. But he has also engaged in lengthy debates with his friends about the problem of evil and suffering. He has also had an audience with the Almighty Himself. And has been put in his place by the Lord. But how does this story end?

We first notice that the Lord is not done speaking. He now addresses Eliphaz, the first friend who rebuked Job, the one who had claimed that he had had a vision from God (ch. 4).

God’s Anger: Unlike His addressing Job, God describes His stance toward Eliphaz as anger. “I am angry with you . . .” (v. 7). What a shock those words must have been! Eliphaz and his friends were certain they were speaking the truth on God’s behalf. And instead of commendation, he receives censure.

The Objects of God’s Anger: Notice that God singles out Eliphaz “and your two friends” (v. 7). God doesn’t name Bildad and Zophar by name. And He completely leaves out Elihu!

The Reason for God’s Anger: God tells Eliphaz specifically why He is angry. He says it is “because you have not spoken the truth about me” (v. 7). Not speaking the truth about God — is there a greater sin?

And as if being rebuked by God for not speaking the truth about Him isn’t enough, the Lord uses a comparative statement in his chastising of the Three: “you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has (v. 7)! What an incredible statement by the Lord! Has Job spoken only truth about the Lord? Of course not. He has accused the Lord of unfairness, of not dealing with the wicked, of making Job His target. But God’s estimation of Job is that he has spoken the truth about God and his circumstances, and the friends haven’t!

The Requirements of God’s Anger: God’s anger needs to be propitiated (satisfied). And the way to do that is to offer a sacrifice. So the Lord tells Eliphaz to take seven bulls and seven rams and go . . . “to my servant Job”! (v. 8). We were introduced to Job in 1:2 where we read, “He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants.” These seven bulls and seven rams are not being given to Job who, as far as we know, is bereft of any livestock. These fourteen animals are to be offered as a burnt offering. DETAILS ON A BURNT OFFERING? SAME AS HE OFFERED FOR HIS CHILDREN?

The Lord then declares, “My servant Job will pray for you . . .” (v. 8). This is the Lord’s second reference to Job as “my servant.” And the Three needed Job to pray for them! This is the one the Three described as under God’s judgment, as facing the same fate as the wicked, as guilty of numerous social sins, as obviously estranged from the Lord. The Three now require Job to intercede for them.

What will be the result of Job’s praying for them? God says, “and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly” (v. 8). So some prayers are accepted — and others — aren’t!

What a shock those words must have been! These three friends had spent nine chapters lecturing Job about his estrangement from the Lord. [This isn’t counting the six chapters of the bombastic badgering of Elihu]. How upsetting to hear from the Almighty that their advice had been “folly”!

We read in Proverbs 11:14 says “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (KJV). There has been precious little safety in the multitude of counselors who have given Job their best therapy. In fact, it isn’t too strong to say that in that multitude of counselors there has been folly!

WORD STUDY ON “FOLLY!” God Himself defines what He means by “folly” when He declares: “You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” (v. 8). This is God’s second statement that Eliphaz and his two friends haven’t spoken the truth about me, “as my servant Job has.” Isn’t this one definition of BLASPHEMY — not speaking the truth about God and professing to do so when one is speaking?

The Response to God’s Anger: The Three do exactly what God told them to do. They are specified by their full titles: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. And we are told that they “did what the Lord told them” (v. 9). We are then informed that “the Lord accepted Job’s prayer” (v. 9). Some prayers are accepted and some aren’t. I wonder if Job was surprised that the Three asked him to pray for them. I wonder if Job forgave his friends before he prayed for them. [It’s hard to pray for someone you’ve not forgiven].






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Posted by on February 10, 2023 in the book of Job


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (XXIV. Job’s Response to the Lord -Ch. 42:1-6)

Job has been taken on an extremely fascinating nature tour by the Creator. And God’s multiple questions seem to have a double goal: to humble Job and to eradicate his desire to prosecute God for His actions in Job’s life. God hasn’t given Job any explanation for the trials. But Job gets one last opportunity to respond to the Lord. And he does so in six verses.

In his response, Job acknowledges God’s omnipotence in bringing about His purposes (42:2). He confesses that he has been guilty of obscuring the plans of God (42:3) and speaking of things of which he had no understanding.

God told Job to listen — and he did. Job refers to two of his senses when he says, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (42:5). This overwhelming vision of God drives Job to one and only one conclusion: “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (42:6). Repent of what? His insolence? His charging God with allowing the wicked to prosper and the righteous to suffer? Repent of condemning God’s silence in the face of his friends’ accusatory and condemning speeches? Has Job been disrespectful, irreverent, even blasphemous toward the Lord? Job has certainly charged the Lord with wrongdoing, with unfairly making Job His target, with callously refusing to give Job his day in court.



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Posted by on February 8, 2023 in the book of Job


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (√VI. The Zingers of Zophar: Round One (Chapter 11)

Job has now endured the “counsel” of two of his closest friends, Eliphaz and Bildad. Eliphaz asked the question, “Who, being innocent, has ever perished?” He couldn’t mean that godly people never die. He is obviously saying that Job is wicked and that those who sow evil in this life, in Eliphaz’s opinion, reap judgment in this life. He’s even had a vision from God to challenge Job’s claim of innocence.

Bildad is angry because he sees Job charging God with perverting justice. It is obvious to Bildad that God brought judgment on Job’s children. And he challenges Job to repent and be restored before the Lord.

Job responds to both friends, but there is a third with his lecture ready to give.

VI. The Zingers of Zophar: Round One (Chapter 11)

Zophar takes off the gloves of nicety and directly challenges Job as merely a “talker” whose mockery needs to be rebuked! (vv. 2-3).

Zophar wishes for God to speak and to tell Job the truth — that He (God) “has even forgotten some of your sin” (v. 6). To Job’s claim of innocence Zophar essentially says, “You’re not getting half of what you deserve!” He then resorts to what theologians call the ineffability of God. Ineffable means “incapable of being expressed or described in words; inexpressible.” God’s mysteries are beyond finding out, and Job should simply bow before the Lord. In Zophar’s words, “If God comes along and confines you in prison and convenes a court, who can oppose him?” (v. 10).

Zophar then promises Job that if devoted his heart to the Lord, and “put away the sin that is in your hand,” you will be “free of fault” and “life will be brighter than noonday” (vv. 13-17). Zophar says, you will be secure, take your rest in safety, and many will court your favor (vv. 18-19). But, Zophar warns, escape will elude the wicked and “their hope will become a dying gasp” (v. 20). Don’t be like the wicked, Zophar is advising.

How Job responds to such advice will be the subject of our next post.

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Posted by on January 3, 2023 in the book of Job


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With Friends Like These . . . Job’s Friends and Religious Foolishness (√IV. The Badgering of Bildad: Round One Ch. 8)

Job has held his own in this first round of exhortations from Eliphaz. He has defended himself against the accusation that he is under God’s discipline. And he has not caved in to Eliphaz’s claim of a supernatural vision that gives him godly wisdom. But Job’s despair continues. He wants to die. He sees himself as God’s target. Now a second friend begins his lecture.

IV. The Badgering of Bildad: Round One (Ch. 8)

Bildad is outraged at the words of Job, categorizing what Job says as “a blustering wind” (v. 2). He is angered that Job is accusing God of perverting justice, of violating what is right.

Bildad then uses words that must have deeply stung Job when he says, “When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.” (v. 4) What evidence did Bildad have for such an accusation? He simply drew that conclusion based on the horrific death the children died.

Bildad then challenges Job to seek God and repent. If he does, Bildad promises, God will restore Job’s prosperity (vv. 6-7).

Bildad then employs what I would call an argumentum ad seniorum (an argument from age). He is certain that former generations will agree with him (vv. 8-9), that those who forget God will be like reeds withering without water (vv. 11-13). Bildad warns Job that he might well perish with the godless (v. 13).

Bildad continues with his analogies from nature, comparing the godless to those who lean on a spider’s web (v. 14). They are like a well-watered plant which, when torn from its spot, is disowned by the place where it grew, a place which even says to that plant, “I never saw you.” (v. 18).

Bildad then pontificates on the ways of God. God does not reject one who is blameless (which Job obviously is not). Then Bildad promises a restoration of laughter and joy when Job repents before the Lord (vv. 21-22).

How will Job respond to this second friend? That will be our discussion in our next post.

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Posted by on December 30, 2022 in the book of Job


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

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Posted by on November 25, 2022 in Calvin & Hobbes



How Concerned Are You About Your Sin? (A Look at Psalm 38)

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Posted by on July 4, 2022 in Psalm 38


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Focus! Keeping Your Eyes on Jesus in a Near-Sighted, Distracted World! (The Blind Man in John 9 – Part 13)

The Pharisees are brutal with the man born blind. They grill him on how he got healed because they want reasons to reject Jesus. And the interrogation continues . . .

In this series of blog posts on FOCUS I want to examine my own vision and ask if my spiritual eyesight is getting dim, distracted, or damaged by choices I make. We will be looking at a number of key biblical passages which emphasize this sense of sight. I am particularly looking forward to pondering the healing miracles which turned blind people into sighted people.

Summary of the Scuffle: The man born blind uses sarcasm to criticize the Pharisees for not even knowing where Jesus is from. He then gives them a theological lecture (“Prayer 101”) about the person God hears and the person God doesn’t hear. Next he reminds them that nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. Then he concludes: “If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” (v. 33).

A Pathetic Response: To the man born blind’s logic the Pharisees could only bring out their club in response. They first make a pronouncement about the man born blind’s sinfulness: “You were steeped in sin at birth!” (v. 34). But, wait a minute, weren’t each of us “steeped in sin at birth”?

34 ἀπεκρίθησαν καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ· Ἐν ἁμαρτίαις σὺ ἐγεννήθης ὅλος, καὶ σὺ διδάσκεις ἡμᾶς; καὶ ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω.

34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

This expression “you were steeped in sin” is technically “you were wholly born in sins.” One translation (The Complete Jewish Bible) translates this verse as: “’Why, you mamzer!’ they retorted, ‘Are you lecturing us?’ And they threw him out.”Mamzer is Hebrew (and Yiddish) for “bastard.” In common parlance, mamzer is a very derogatory reference to a difficult or unpleasant individual. But in Torah, mamzer refers to a Jewish person who was born into a certain situation and is therefore disallowed to marry most fellow Jews.” (

Other translations of John 9:34 have — “You misbegotten wretch!” (Phillips), “You illegitimate bastard, you!” (The Living Bible), “You’re nothing but dirt!” (The Message). So the Pharisees resort to an ad hominem argument (an argument against the person) and then move to the argumentum ad baculum argument (an argument of the club) we mentioned in our last post. They “threw him out.”

How Should They Have Responded? Instead of ridiculing his birth and rejecting his statements, how should the Pharisees have responded? They should have agreed with his logic, they should have said “Of course! We were all steeped in sin at birth!”, they should have repented of their rejection of Jesus, and they should have praised God for this man’s healing! But this isn’t the end of the story . . .

Today’s Challenge: The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat the truth of our sinfulness and need of a Savior. Self-righteous religion is no substitute for the faith and repentance God requires to get right with Him. Pray for someone today that you know who needs God to deal with their sin issue.


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Posted by on September 12, 2021 in focus


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