2 Kings 3:1-3 – Grace Should Humble Us to Compassion

Posted: April 11, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 3:1-3

Joram Begins His Reign in Israel

Comparing sins. Seeing one sin as greater than another. Measuring ourselves against others based on comparing our sins to the sins of others. Isn’t always true that our sins are always less than those of others to whom we compare ourselves? My neighbor, my friend, my co-worker, and especially, the people I dislike, they all have far greater sins than what I commit, right? The comparison game with the deck always stacked in our favor! That’s the thing that I thought of this morning as I read 2 Kings 3:1-3. I can imagine King Joram thinking that he was so much better than Jeroboam because he did not commit sins to the degree to which his forefathers had committed sins. He probably prided himself in that.

How often do we act that way? There is such a danger in that when we have been Christ followers for a while. We can begin to think that we are better than those who seem to revel in their ongoing unrepentant sins as they shake their fist at us and at God himself. The thing that always comes to mind when I think about this subject is something that I say to myself which is “the only difference between me and the guy that does not know Jesus Christ as his Savior is repentance and grace.” As a person who has found salvation in Jesus Christ, I am secure in His hands for eternity. However, because I still camp out in this flesh of humanity that I am being perfected daily through the action of the Holy Spirit in my soul. That battle continues daily. I am a man of flesh so I sin daily. I commit sins of commission and omission daily and sometimes even without realizing it. I am a flawed man because of my flesh. I am in that process, in theological terms, known as sanctification. Since salvation, the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in me and He is doing his work in me. He causes me to see who I really am and He works in me to change me to be more and more like Christ each day, but this process is not complete on this side of heaven. It is a lifetime of work and revelation. The things that I used to accept as OK the Holy Spirit reveals to me as sin and drives me to the cross to repent of them. All of us have sins that we commit regularly that are easily revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and easily repented from. There are others though that it takes the Holy Spirit a long time to chisel away at in us to reveal them to us for what they are. That’s the hard work of the Holy Spirit, those sins that are hard for us to give up. But the Holy Spirit does give us hope in that He helps us see where we came from and not just how far we have to go. The man I am now compared to the man I was at the day of my salvation revolts me. The man I was just a decade ago, the man I was just five years ago compared to the man the Holy Spirit has molded me into as of today is a world of difference. I thank God for the ability to see where the Holy Spirit has taken me so far.

There is also the humility to know that He still has a long way to go in molding me into greater and greater Christlikeness each day as I walk further and further down the road with Christ. I thank God for the reality that sets in when I think of where I am today vs. where I was when I accepted Christ as my Savior. I thank God for knowing that He still has much work to do in me and that I have not arrived and won’t until I get to heaven. I thank God for the reality of knowing that the only difference between me and those who do not know Him is the wonderful grace of Jesus Christ. I thank God for knowing what I have been saved from. The real difference between a saved and an unsaved person is that we, the saved, know what we have been saved from. We know that man stands at the precipice of hell with rocks crumbling beneath our feet. We know the eternity in hell is real and that we actually deserve it. We know that our first sin in our lives condemns us there without question. Then, pile on the lifetime of sins that we commit, we are by rights doomed to eternity separated from a very real God. It is only through grace that we are secure in our eternity with God.

That reality and the reality that we are still sinners each and every day and each one sin alone is enough to separate us from God is what should drive us to humility before Jesus and drive us to not grade sins. It should drive us to compassion for those who are still outside the freely given grace of Jesus Christ. We should not think that we are better by any means. We are just sinners saved by grace. We are pardoned sinners who in and of ourselves are no better than those who are far from God. It should drive us to tears of compassion and the deep seated desire to open their eyes not condemn them. We were once where they were. We have no elevated position over them in our salvation and sanctification. Let us mourn for them and be motivated to meet them where we used to be before we met Christ as our Savior.

I know these are three short verses but they spoke loudly to me this morning. Let us read the verses now:

Chapter 3

1 Ahab’s son Joram began to rule over Israel in the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twelve years. 2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not to the same extent as his father and mother. He at least tore down the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had set up. 3 Nevertheless, he continued in the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had committed and led the people of Israel to commit.

In this passage, we see that the sins of Israel’s kings are often compared to the sins of Jeroboam, the first ruler of the northern kingdom. His great sin was to institute idol worship throughout the kingdom, causing people to turn away from God (see 1 Kings 12:25-33). By ignoring God and allowing idol worship, Joram continued the sins of his forefathers.

There are no grades of sins. One sin. We are done. No sins greater than others. One sin. We are done. We are sentenced to eternity without God by our first sin. Not to mentions the mounds of sins we commit after the first one. We can claim a momentary lapse of reason before our Righteous Judge. We are habitual sin criminals. All of us. We deserve the ultimate sentence for our lifetime of sins. Then, Jesus steps in the courtroom and says, Father this one is mine. He has humbled himself before me realizing what he really deserves and has made me Lord and Savior of his life. I grant him the grace of having borne the penalty of his sins on the cross. Let us never forget that we are sinners operating in grace. Let us always remember that we have never arrived. Let us remember that we have reprieve from the penalty of our sins, past, present and future only through the grace of Jesus Christ. Let us always remember that one sin by itself is enough to damn us forever. Let us remember the pardon we are living under ourselves. In that way, it should drive us not to grade sins of one person vs. another. Let us be driven to compassion for all who are far from God because the only thing that separates us from those who do not know God is repentance and most of all, grace!

Amen and Amen.

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