Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 5, 2015

“If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! … recognize the time of your visitation.”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Kings 8:7-15.

“7 Then Elisha came to Damascus.  Now Ben-hadad king of Aram was sick, and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” 8 The king said to Hazael, “Take a gift in your hand and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”  9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a gift in his hand, even every kind of good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ loads;  and he came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Aram has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”  10 Then Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he will certainly die.”  11 He fixed his gaze steadily on him until he was ashamed, and the man of God wept.  12 Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?”  Then he answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the sons of Israel:  their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword, and their little ones you will dash in pieces, and their women with child you will rip up.”  13 Then Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?”  And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will be king over Aram.”  14 So he departed from Elisha and returned to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?”  And he answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.”  15 On the following day, he took the cover and dipped it in water and spread it on his face, so that he died.  And Hazael became king in his place.”  2 Kings 8:7-15.

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Today’s Scripture, particularly verse 12, reminds me of the following Luke 19:41-44.  Like Elisha wept, Jesus wept.  Like Elisha prophesied, Jesus prophesied.  Like Elisha prophesied of destruction, Jesus prophesied of destruction.

“When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace!  But now they have been hidden from your eyes.  For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”  Luke 19:41-44.

We want peace, so we should know “the things which make for peace”.  We want to recognize the time of our visitation when God comes close to us, so to speak.  

“17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you in the way you should go.
18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments!
Then your well-being would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
19 “Your descendants would have been like the sand,
And your offspring like its grains;
Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence.”

20 Go forth from Babylon!  Flee from the Chaldeans!
Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, proclaim this,
Send it out to the end of the earth;
Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob.”
21 They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts.
He made the water flow out of the rock for them;
He split the rock and the water gushed forth.
22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.”  Isaiah 48:17-22.

“6 Seek the Lord while He may be found;
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
And let him return to the Lord,
And He will have compassion on him,
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.”  Isaiah 55:6-7.

“11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  Isaiah 55:11-12.

In summary, if we seek peace and well-being, then we should diligently seek the LORD by reading God’s Word and seeking to understand God and His works.  We should forsake our own ways, and seek forgiveness and God’s ways.  

But, there are superficial “Christians”.  They are satisfied with “Cotton Candy Christianity”.  They are content of receiving the most simple and superficial lessons from Scripture usually about something they should do to have a better life.  They don’t diligently study Scripture to learn about God and God’s Works.  In the parable of the sower, they are like:  “The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;  yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.  And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”  Matthew 13:20-22.

Reformed Doctrine can help!

Reformed Doctrine reveals God and His Works from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” to “Preservation of Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I” and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Reformed Doctrine causes us to trust ourselves less through “Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”.

Reformed Doctrine causes us to trust God more.

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