Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Awesome Jotham

Ever impressed by the insight of Oswald Chambers, I read this in My Utmost for His Highest yesterday:

Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to "let go." But any effort to "hang on" to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.

After writing, "I want this" on the side of this passage, I opened my Bible to 2 Chronicles, where I have been reading about the kings of Judah and Israel. I started at chapter 25, where I found out how not to have complete and effective dominion in my life (I realize these people were pre-Jesus, and didn't have the Holy Spirit...but hang with me here and you will get the basic idea). Here's what verse 2 says about King Amaziah:

"He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly."

Just like the kings before him (Rehoboam, Asa, Joash), Amaziah started off well, "He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but...", he ended poorly and full of himself. This happened because Amaziah "hung on" to more and more of his own power, and relied less and less on God's power. He would not listen to God, so God allowed Israel to attack Amaziah's kingdom, take hostages and vandalize the temple.

Chapter 26 also starts out well with Uzziah, the king of Judah. His bio states;

"He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success."

Uzziah was a pretty cool guy--very powerful, innovative and intelligent--everybody loved Uzziah. Even Uzziah loved Uzziah. Here's what else we learn about this fast starter:

His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful. But after he became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God...".

Another instance of great start, great pride, bad ending. How depressing.

But wait, look at Chapter 27 and Jotham. Jotham was righteous and successful. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD. And...I hesitate to read on because I think that he will be just like his fathers. But what's this? Jotham is not! Verse 6 of chapter 27 says,

"Jotham grew powerful because he walked STEADFASTLY before the LORD his God."

Jotham chose to make God famous and not himself! That is why he grew and remained powerful all the days of his life.

Those, then, are the keys: Selflessness, Steadfastness, and Saturation with God's ways--not the world's. Uzziah was not steadfast...nor selfless. Amaziah was not saturated with God's ways--only his own. But Jotham, Jotham was more concerned with God's reputation than his own. Jotham showed selflessness. Jotham walked steadfastly. Jotham was truly familiar--saturated--with the ways of God.

Jotham understood true dominion. Do you?

"Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. "
Isaiah 26:8

1 comment:

  1. This school year we have been studying the history of God's people by going through the Old Testament, specifically from a historical and chronological perspective. We just started Daniel yesterday. Over and over my kids have heard me read. "____ became king and ruled for ___ years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord." I am thankful for the few good examples who honored God. We have a book called "The Victor Journey through the Bible" which fills in the gaps and sometimes gives modern day context. We really like to follow up with it after our Old Testament readings.