Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 13, 2015

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Kings Chapter 13.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+13&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel at Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years.  2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin; he did not turn from them.  3 So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael.  4 Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them.  5 The Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly.  6 Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel sin, but walked in them;  and the Asherah also remained standing in Samaria.

22 Now Hazael king of Aram had oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.  23 But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now.

24 When Hazael king of Aram died, Ben-hadad his son became king in his place. 25 Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken in war from the hand of Jehoahaz his father.  Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel.”  2 Kings Chapter 13:  Verses 1-6 and 22-25.

———————————-

Israel sinned.  “So, the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram …”.  Verse 3.

“Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the Lord, and the Lord listened to him;  for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them.   The Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans;  and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly.  Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins …”  Verses 4-6.

In summary, Israel did not deserve such mercy;  Israel continued to sin.

But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now.”  Verse 23.

The word “But” gives us hope too!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:4-8.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man;  though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  Romans 5:6-10.

Our hope is not based on our alleged free-will, that we will comes to our senses and stop sinning.

“Total Depravity”, the “T” of “TULIP”, describes our natural condition.  We were dead in sin, hostile to God, enslaved to sin and Satan.

Our hope is based on God’s work:  “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” through “Preservation of Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

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