Call to Worship: Isaiah 25:9 “In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Songs: He Is The Lord - Kevin Prosch
Shout to the Lord - Hillsong
Everyday - Hillsong
Scripture: 2 Chronicles 23:1-11
Song: Alive in Me - JJ Weeks Band
Sermon: “The Kings Son Shall Reign”
Closing Song: Praise to the King - Steve Green
Benediction: Psalm 20:1 “May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. 4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. 6 Now this I know: The LORD gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 9 LORD, give victory to the king! Answer us when we call!” 2 Chronicles 6:40 “Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 41 “Now arise, Lord God, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests, Lord God, be clothed with salvation, may your faithful people rejoice in your goodness. 42 Lord God, do not reject your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David your servant.”
I chose this song because I love the words, but loving the words is not enough, nor is singing about something that isn’t happening. The good news is we believe God at His word that being clothed with power will happen once again just as God said it would. This is why we can sing the song. It is a little despairing to know that people are singing about something that isn’t happening nor are they making the changes necessary for it to happen again. The reality is that when a person hears or sings this song they should be asking where is that power? Think about this for a moment. In this song we are talking about Pauls’ prayer here. Paul said Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
This power we just sang about is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Look at the power that happened just as he died and was raised from the dead. Matthew 27:50 “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” 1 Peter 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” That must have been truly amazing not just for those raised but for those who received them back. 1 Corinthians 15:54 “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:3 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” Luke 24:33 “They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
When Jesus was alive Matthew 4:24 “news about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Jesus told John’s disciples Luke 7:21 “At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” This power then continued with the disciples. Acts 5:12 “The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Luke 10:17 “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” Acts 6:8 “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.”
I think you get the picture of this gospel and the power that is supposed to be alive in us. The song we sang about is this gospel but the words of this song are not happening. There is no power but only a form of godliness that denies the power. The power most think they have is simply going to church. But the question is always what have you been saved into? Most do not test the spirits and my people parish for lack of knowledge. We must follow the true gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:2 “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.” Just singing a song about power is not enough even if the words are good. What should happen when we sing is to ask where are all the wonders just as Gideon asked. Take for example another song called Heart of Worship. The lyrics say “'ll bring you more than a song For a song in itself Is not what you have required. You search much deeper within, Through the way things appear, You're looking into my heart, I'm coming back to the heart of worship, And it's all about you, It's all about you, Jesus I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it When it's all about you, It's all about you, Jesus.” Then the song became famous, more songs continued to be written but did the church really get back to the heart of worship and follow God’s word wholeheartedly. That feeling of worship people love is just too good to pass up on to get right with God. No one wants to call their worship wicked and so they do not turn from it as we are told to do. 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. This is the heart of worship not songs about it. Simply going to church is not enough. What does it mean when the song said it is all about you. People don’t actually know. They are saying with their hands raised it’s all about you yet they are attending and listening to false gospels and don’t know the difference.
If we want to be part of true worship, we must know the truth. We must follow God’s word and get rid of everything false. This takes discernment and trust and the understanding that there will be a war in doing so. So just like 1 Chronicles 5:20 “They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.” God will save us from our enemies but we must continue to call out to him and trust him.
Yesterday we saw the power of the enemy was no match for God’s power. We read at the end of Saturday’s blog. Psalm 7:6 “Arise, LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. 7 Let the assembled peoples gather around you, while you sit enthroned over them on high. 8 Let the LORD judge the peoples. Vindicate me, LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. 9 Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts. 10 My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.” It may appear that the enemy has prevailed but God promised that would never happen. Will the enemy take captives and take the land, yes but the promise to David will always stand until the end of time.
In our scripture reading we read the account of Jehoiada showing his strength. Here is a little behind the scenes. 2 Chronicles 22:10 “When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Because Jehosheba the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of the priest Jehoiada, was Ahaziah’s sister, she hid the child from Athaliah so she could not kill him. 12 He remained hidden with them at the temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.” It would appear from all accounts that all hope was lost but it wasn’t because the King’s son shall reign and that is still the promise to us from God. You see we are not waiting for Jesus to take the throne; he already has. God is waiting for us to bow before his throne. When we do, he will turn his face to us and the power of God will once again rise up and defeat our enemies. Yes they had to live in the land while Athaliah ruled. As Jehu said to King Joram 2 Kings 9:22 “How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?” Jehu was the one who also killed Athaliah’s son Ahaziah. Just as God kept his promise with Jezebel, he kept his promise with Athaliah also. After Jezebel was killed Jehu said 2 Kings 10:10 “the Lord has done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” Athaliah thought she was ruler and that the line of David was cutoff but she failed because what the Lord promised took place. 2 Chronicles 23:11 “Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; they presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him and shouted, “Long live the king!” 12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and cheering the king, she went to them at the temple of the Lord. 13 She looked, and there was the king, standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and musicians with their instruments were leading the praises. Then Athaliah tore her robes and shouted, “Treason! Treason!” “21 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword.”
So even though for a while the enemy ruled, the royal family was not completely destroyed. The same applies to our day. While the church lies in desolation we know from scripture that the Kings Son reigns. It doesn’t matter how bad it looks, how evil it is, God’s word will prevail. Jeremiah 20:11 “But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.” Isaiah 54:17 “no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.” I like what one writer said about this verse that “it (the enemy) shall not have final and ultimate prosperity. It might be permitted for a time to appear to prosper - as persecutors and oppressors have done; but there would not be final and complete success.” So like Jezebel and Athaliah, their time of reign came to end. This is how it will also be with our enemies as we take the land in the authority of Jesus name and clothed with the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the course of time, order was restored and the covenant renewed. 2 Kings 11:4 “In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the Lord. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the Lord. Then he showed them the king’s son.” 12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!” 17 Jehoiada then made a covenant between the Lord and the king and people that they would be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. The king then took his place on the royal throne. 20 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace. 21 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.”
Unfortunately this account of Joash does not have a happy ending. In Judges we see people obeying and then disobeying God’s word. Judges 2:10 “After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.12 They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14 In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. 15 Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress. 16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.” Even though Joash repaired the temple he turned away from the truth. Take this as a warning to continue to worship wholeheartedly and remain steadfast even after we take the land. 2 Chronicles 24:13 “The men in charge of the work were diligent, and the repairs progressed under them. They rebuilt the temple of God according to its original design and reinforced it. 14 “When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and with it were made articles for the Lord’s temple: articles for the service and for the burnt offerings, and also dishes and other objects of gold and silver. As long as Jehoiada lived, burnt offerings were presented continually in the temple of the Lord. 15 Now Jehoiada was old and full of years, and he died at the age of a hundred and thirty.” But then look at what happened. 17 After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. 18 They abandoned the temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and worshiped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger came on Judah and Jerusalem. 19 Although the Lord sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him, and though they testified against them, they would not listen.” I will be talking about this pagan worship starting on Wednesday.
Then it gets even worse. Remember what Jehoiada did for Joash. He installed him as king. 2 Chronicles 24:20 “Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the Lord’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.’” 21 But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 22 King Joash did not remember the kindness Zechariah’s father Jehoiada had shown him but killed his son, who said as he lay dying, “May the Lord see this and call you to account.” 24 Although the Aramean army had come with only a few men, the Lord delivered into their hands a much larger army. Because Judah had forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, judgment was executed on Joash. 25 When the Arameans withdrew, they left Joash severely wounded. His officials conspired against him for murdering the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they killed him in his bed.”
So what do we learn from Joash. The first thing to know is that God will always keep his promise to David and the kings son shall reign. So as we wait do not be dismayed. Revelation 11:15 “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He will reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 12:10 “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah.” No matter how bleak it looks around us, no matter how desolate the church is the remnant Isaiah 37:31 “will take root below and bear fruit above.” God will turn his face to shine on us once again, free the captives and take the land and continue to destroy the work of satan. Isaiah 42:7” to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” The Apostle Paul was told Acts 26:17 “I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
When we take the land we must tear down and smash the altars of Baal and Asherah and keep covenant with the Lord. We are not talking about the idols outside the church but the ones inside. Judges 6:25 “Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord.” We must get rid of all the false gospels that are in the church and turn away from them. The Lord said he would go before us so we have nothing to fear. We must adhere to the word of the Lord and not turn from it. When Josiah was king, they turned back to the Lord. 2 Kings 23:23 “Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.” Remember there was no one like Josiah. 2 Kings 23:25 “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”
So yes we can sing about the power of God. We can sing “The very same power that healed our hearts The very same love that sets us free The very same Spirit that conquered death is alive in me You're alive in me You're alive in me.” We can sing about coming back to the heart of worship and saying it is all about God but is it really. We can sing that everyday we will live by his word and it’s you I live for but if we do not we will continue to be conquered and remain in captivity and we will not see the kingdom of God. 2 Chronicles 7:19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All[c] who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” But if we turn from our wicked ways we will take the land, the temple of God will stand strong and the work of satan will be destroyed. 2 Chronicles 7:17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.” The king’s son continues to reign. As we return to God he will return to us and that is a promise. Just singing about “It's already won, so whatever comes I know where I place my hope and trust I can overcome, 'cause of what's been done 'Cause of what You finished on the cross,” is not the answer. The church stands in desolation since the cross not because God is powerless but because the church like Joash after Jehoiada died turned away. The church like Judges turn away. Just like Joash the enemy invaded the land.
During this time of Lent we return to the Lord and wait for his plan to unfold. Ezra 9:13 “What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this.” Ezra 9:8 “But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage.” Ezra 9:15 “Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.” Romans 11:5 “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.”
As we prepare to take this land we are Ephesians 6:10 “strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” I like what God said to Jeremiah as he was sent out. Jeremiah 1:17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” The truth of God’s word will tear down, smash and destroy the false.
As we go out, we do not need to be afraid. God will do as He said and free the captives. He will go before us and defeat our enemies. David said Psalm 27:3 “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. ” The King’s son shall reign. 1 Chronicles 29:10 “Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. 11 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. 13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”