Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | November 23, 2015

So, what does it mean to order your ways before the LORD your God?

Today’s Scripture comes from 2 Chronicles chapter 27.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+27&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.  And his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.  2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done;  however he did not enter the temple of the Lord.  But the people continued acting corruptly.  3 He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord, and he built extensively the wall of Ophel. 4 Moreover, he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and he built fortresses and towers on the wooded hills.  5 He fought also with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed over them so that the Ammonites gave him during that year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kors of wheat and ten thousand of barley.  The Ammonites also paid him this amount in the second and in the third year.  6 So Jotham became mighty because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God.”  2 Chronicles 27:1-6.

————————–

We remember a similar verse in the preceding chapter.  “He continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God;  and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him.”  2 Chronicles 26:5.

Some doctrine would be content to rest here.  “Do good, and it will go well with you.”  “Obey the Law and prosper.”

But, Reformed Doctrine does not rest in man’s ability to obey the Law even though the Law is good and obeying it makes perfect sense.  “Total Depravity” of man, the first point of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation, humbles man and makes Reformed Doctrine always look to God for hope and deliverance such as is declared in the rest of the points of “TULIP”:  “Unconditional Election” to “Limited Atonement” to “Irresistible Grace” to “Preservation of the Saints”.

So then, what about the Law? 

“… the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.”  Romans 7:12.

But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind;  for apart from the Law sin is dead.  I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;  and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;  for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.”  Romans 7:8-11.

But, there is hope!

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.  For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:4-6.

“Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God?  May it never be!  For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.  But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”  Galatians 3:21-22.

“Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:24.

“The Law came in so that the transgression would increase;  but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Romans 5:20-21.

“What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?  May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?  Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;  for he who has died is freed from sin.”  Romans 6:1-7.

“But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin?  May it never be!  For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ;  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”  Galatians 2:17-21.

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you;  and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”  Ezekiel 36:26-27.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are:  immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”  Galatians 5:16-23.

So, what does it mean to order your ways before the LORD your God?

“In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”  Psalm 5:3.

“22 “Now consider this, you who forget God,
Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.
23 “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me;
And to him who orders his way aright
I shall show the salvation of God.”  Psalm 50:22-23.

In summary, to order our ways before the LORD does not mean that we will try harder to obey the Law.  To order our ways before the LORD means that we will first humble ourselves.  “… God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6.  1 Peter 5:5.  Reformed Doctrine helps us do that through its teaching of “Total Depravity”.  Second, we look to God for deliverance from “A” to “Z”, from “Unconditional Election” to “Preservation of the Saints”.  As stated in the above Psalm 5:3, as in the morning order of the day, we pray to God in the morning and eagerly wait for His salvation.  As stated in the above Psalm 50:22-23, we do not forget about God.  Rather, we give thanks to God.  As stated in the above Galatians 2:20, we “live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Finally, today’s Scripture gives us a hint that our hope is not based on the Law.  We note that Uzziah “did not enter the temple of the Lord”.  Verse 2.  No wonder!  He considered what happened to his father in the previous chapter.  And yet, today’s Scripture summarized that “He did right in the sight of the Lord” and (Verse 2) and “he ordered his ways before the Lord his God.” (Verse 6).  Of course, this is no excuse for us to skip attending church.  But, it should help us consider what it means to truly order our way before the LORD our God.  It is not about attending church or trying harder to obey the Law.  It is about humbling ourselves and living by faith in Christ.  “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  Romans 7:4.


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