Friday, April 03, 2020

The Vision (4.3.20): For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel

Image: CRBCers participating in last Sunday's livestream.

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on 2 Kings 14.

For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel (2 Kings 14:26).

Most Bible readers will not testify that 2 Kings 14 has the most stirring of spiritual content. There are a few gems in this chapter, however, that will richly reward those who find these truths and meditate upon them.

One key theme found here is the compassion of the LORD for his people. It begins to be articulated most clearly in v. 26a: “For the LORD saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter.” The historian then adds that there was not “any helper for Israel” (v. 26b).

In v. 27, the historian continues: “The LORD said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven.” This recalls the time during the Exodus when Israel worshipped the golden calf, and Moses intervened for them (cf. Exod 32:31-33).
But at the time of 2 Kings 14 Israel had no Moses, and they had no godly king like David. They had no helper, and yet the Lord condescended to save them even by means of the ungodly king Jeroboam (v. 27b).
I read one commentator on 2 Kings who said that it seems all through 2 Kings, it is as though the Lord is “looking for another David” to help his people in their spiritual oppression (Davis, 2 Kings, 208).
Consider how that search was only fully satisfied in the Father sending forth his own dear Son. Consider what a greater thing that the Lord has now done through Christ. He has looked upon our precarious state, our bitter affliction in sin, and saw that we had no one to help us. And he sent not another Moses, godly as he was, and certainly not another Jeroboam, ungodly as he was, but he sent to us the best of the best, the purest of the pure, the most righteous of the righteous, even our Lord Jesus Christ to take on flesh, to live a sinless life, to lay down that life on the cross, a ransom for many, to be gloriously raised from the dead, to appear to his disciples, to ascend in glory with the promise that he will come again, to send forth the Spirit to convert and to teach, to save us, and to preserve us, to keep us saved, so that all who are in him will never have their names blotted out of the Lamb’s book of life.
Christ is our one and only hope, our Helper, in all times, including in times like these.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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