Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 1, 2015

Three Elements of Trust in God: “and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers”

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

I quote only the following verses.

“1 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah.  2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem;  and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.  3 Abijah began the battle with an army of valiant warriors, 400,000 chosen men, while Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 chosen men who were valiant warriors.

4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel:  5 Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?  6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master, 7 and worthless men gathered about him, scoundrels, who proved too strong for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when he was young and timid and could not hold his own against them.

8 “So now you intend to resist the kingdom of the Lord through the sons of David, being a great multitude and having with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made for gods for you.  9 Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites, and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of other lands?  Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, even he may become a priest of what are no gods.  10 But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him;  and the sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests, and the Levites attend to their work.  11 Every morning and evening they burn to the Lord burnt offerings and fragrant incense, and the showbread is set on the clean table, and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening;  for we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken Him.  12 Now behold, God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you.  O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.”

13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to come from the rear, so that Israel was in front of Judah and the ambush was behind them.  14 When Judah turned around, behold, they were attacked both front and rear;  so they cried to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets.  15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, then it was that God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.  16 When the sons of Israel fled before Judah, God gave them into their hand.  17 Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter, so that 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain.  18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers.”  2 Chronicles 13:1-18.

——————–

In today’s Scripture, we see three elements of trust in God.  

First, there is a recognition of being chosen.  “Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?”  Verse 5.

Second, there is attendance to the things of God.  “Every morning and evening they burn to the Lord burnt offerings and fragrant incense, and the showbread is set on the clean table, and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening;  for we keep the charge of the Lord our God …”  Verse 11.

Third, there is an expectation of reward.  “Now behold, God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you.  O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.”  Verse 12.  See also Hebrews 11:6.

Other doctrine may have one or two of these elements, but this is not sufficient trust in God.

There is doctrine that has quite an elaborate and detailed liturgy that they continually and faithfully follow.

There is also doctrine that focuses on personal prosperity as if one could achieve it just be believing harder.

But, Reformed Doctrine has all three elements. 

Reformed Doctrine people believe that they are chosen.  They don’t believe that they are chosen because of any personal merit.  They are humble believing that they are naturally  people of “Total Depravity”, but God unconditionally elected them to salvation.  “Sola Gratia” (Grace Alone) is one of the Five Solas of the Reformation.

Reformed Doctrine people also attend to the things of God.  They believe in the Regulative Principle of Worship, that Scripture alone prescribes how we are to worship God and that we cannot add our own elements of worship no matter how much they may be “seeker sensitive” or otherwise wise to us.

Reformed Doctrine people also believe that there are rewards from God to those who seek Him.  However, in sharpest contrast to only temporary and earthly riches of the Prosperity Gospel, these rewards are eternal and heavenly.  “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;  and these whom He predestined, He also called;  and these whom He called, He also justified;  and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:29-30.

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