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banging the gavel June 29 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 2Kings 14:29; 2Kings 15:8-20; 1Chronicles 5:23-26; 2Kings 15:21-29; 2Kings. 15:6-7; 2Chronicles 26:22-23; Isaiah 6:1-13; 2Kings 15:32-38; 2Chronicles 27:1-9; 1Chronicles 5:11-17; 2Kings 16:1-9; 2Chronicles 28:1-21

Bringing Order Out of Chaos.

From time to time we experience some instances of chaos in our lives. Everything is confused. The wheels of our lives seem to come off, and we spin out of control. For most people these are short-lived instances, but for others living in chaos becomes a lifestyle. Sometimes it is caused by their own sins and poor choices, and other times they are affected by someone else's sins or poor choices. An attitude of rebellion against wisdom and a lack of discipline often lead to debt, drunkenness, violence, lies, and sexual immorality. These are some things that can cause continual chaos in our lives and the lives of our loved ones, but if we are wise we can mitigate or eliminate chaos.

Just before the northern kingdom of Israel was taken into exile she experienced much chaos. With a heavenly vision the prophet Isaiah began his ministry to warn the people, but they would not listen. There were many assassinations and the supplanting of many kings, and wickedness abounded. The southern kingdom of Judah experienced some goodness and order before she too became rebellious and went into exile. Proverbs 28:2 says, “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.” (NIV)

What caused chaos for Israel? The Israelites ceased to fear the LORD. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7, NIV). In the days of King Jeroboam, son of Nebat, Israel cast out her priests, whose duties were to instruct her in the ways of the LORD. Jeroboam set up idols in the towns of Bethel and Dan and instituted religious festivals in place of those in Jerusalem. He instituted priests in Israel, who had no Levitical origin, to service their new religious system (1Kings 12:26-33). After the nation of Israel divided, the northern kingdom of Israel continued in her sins for over 200 years and multiplied in wickedness. She did not listen to the prophets of God who spoke messages of judgment and mercy to try to turn her back to the LORD. Israel prostituted herself before gods of fashioned wood, stone, and precious metals, even though they were lifeless and unable to help her. Israel did not seek God's help but made unholy alliances with nations which were enemies of God. Israel became just like them. She was rebellious and had many leaders before she was finally exiled to Assyria (2Kings 15:8-31). To restore order we must consistently instruct and lead people to live righteously toward God and others. We must also stem the tide of ungodliness and chaos by stopping evil behavior.

Judah also had problems. After the godly reigns of Uzziah and Jotham, Ahaz reigned but did not follow their good example. In fact, he led the nation into extreme wickedness and idolatry. God punished the nation because of him. The Arameans (from Damascus, north of Israel) defeated Judah and took many captives back to their land. Then the Israelites slaughtered the armies of Judah, killing 120,000 in one day. They also plundered them and took 200,000 captives, leaving them decimated. By His mercy, God told the Israelites to return their captive brothers or they would also experience his wrath. Afterwards, Judah faced an attack by Edom, and they carried away captives. Ahaz tried to get help from King Tiglath-Peleser of Assyria, but he gave him trouble instead of help.

Are we rebellious toward God? Do we refuse to listen to the words of God spoken by his messengers? We will not experience God's blessings that way. Do we disobey the law? Unless the laws are against God, we are to obey them. The governing authorities are God's ministers for our good (Romans 13:1-7). We certainly do not want to end up in jail or pay heavy fines for our actions. Are you a rebellious husband or wife? Do you spend most of your money drinking or gambling? You could lose your job, your house and your home. You certainly do not want to do that. Let us choose to live in the fear of the LORD so that we will avoid chaos!

Has a life of rebellion already brought chaos to your life? How do you change it? Whether you or another person cause the problems leading to chaos, the answer for restoring stability is to confess sins with an attitude of genuine repentance. Seek the help of the LORD for forgiveness and restoration (more...). After that, receive the Word of God and obey it. This will lead to a disciplined and ordered life. Fear the LORD and walk in His ways, and He will bless you and help you avoid trouble.

If another person causes chaos, pray for that one and firmly confront him/her. If that person does not listen (and if it is possible), separate yourself from his/her influence or send that person away until there is genuine repentance. That is what God had to do with Israel and that is what you may have to do to bring some peace to your situation. This is not easy. The LORD bless you as you seek to live for Him to bring order out of chaos.

Lessons to live by: To bring order out of chaos

•  Parents, teachers and other leaders must consistently instruct and lead people to live righteously toward God and each other. We must also stem the tide of ungodliness and chaos by stopping evil behavior.

•  We must live in the fear of the LORD. The fear of the LORD involves living out a righteous life in reverence for His person and considering His judgment for our actions.

•  We must confess our sins and lead a disciplined life, receiving the Word of God and obeying it.

•  We must exercise tough love and insist on order, and (if needed and possible) remove the offender from the situation.

Today's Bible memory verse:

Proverbs 28:2 “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.” (NIV)

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