2 Kings 15:1-7 – When Satan Is The Only One Doing The Talking

Posted: August 7, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 15:1-7

King Uzziah Rules in Judah

The gun violence in the past week that we have seen raises many questions but better gun control is only a part of the equation. It is not the full answer. Yes, we must figure out what is the most efficient way to keep guns, particularly assault weapons, out of the hands of people that are mentally unbalanced. How to do that and balance people’s right to defend themselves against criminals and against government tyranny is a question that this country has wrangled with for decades. The answer to this debate will continue for many years to come.

However, like I said, gun regulation is not the all-to-end-all solution to the problem (but is part of the solution). There are greater social issues that are part of the equation. The fundamental question is who are these people’s role models? What are their social influences? What was their family life like before leaving home? What are the influences as adults? I think that such blatant displays of pure evil point to a challenge to us as Christians. Instead of joining in the debate about whether people kill people or guns kills people, we must be more involved in a broken society. We must begin again to reach out to our communities in real and substantial ways. Right now, outside of our church properties, Satan is the only one doing the talking.

Reaching out beyond our church properties doesn’t mean that we stand on street corners or get on television and rail and complain about the evil in this world. It does not mean that we sit in our buildings and talk about them out there vs. us in here. Reaching out beyond our church properties means that we must be involved in the communities. It must not just be church initiatives at outreach where we join in with other members of our church to support either with occasional time and money to help those in need mentally, physically and financially in our community. It must be us as Christians taking the initiative on our own to impact the world within our own spheres of influence. We are never going to get rid of evil in this world until Jesus returns but we are called individually as Christians to love the world around us sacrificially.

Certainly, the local church should create ministries to allow us as Christians to work in our communities. Local churches should create opportunities for us to connect with our communities. Local churches should do the things as a collective team that introduce us as individuals to ways that we can help our communities. Local churches should create opportunities with special events also that point us to how we should be living our lives on a daily basis. However, when the events are over, the ministry opportunities set before us collectively are completed for the day, week, etc., we as Christian individuals should be living our lives in a sacrificial manner. Taking the examples that our churches set before in ongoing outreach ministries and one-time events and living that out in our lives on a daily basis.

Sacrificially living calls for us to live uncomfortably. Way too often, we as Christians are willing to do outreach ministries once a week and especially those one-time events. They make us feel good about reaching out. We pat ourselves on the back for reaching out. When I say, we, I include myself in that indictment. We are often willing to contribute money but not time. We are often willing to contribute time on a limited basis. But we are called to much more. We are called to live sacrificially. We are called to live uncomfortably. We are called to minister, each one of us. We are called to get into the lives of those around us. We are called to get messy. We are called to spread the gospel to a hurting world. We are called to be examples of hope and not just to each other.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read this passage about Uzziah and the examples that he had in his life. That got me to thinking about who the examples were for these two men in El Paso and in Dayton and all the other lone gunmen who have committed mass shootings. We condemn them for their evil and rightfully so, but it should make us examine ourselves as Christians. Do we know someone who needs a role model, a person who cares and loves them away from the brink? Can we be someone’s better example? Let’s read the passage now, 2 Kings 15:1-7, and see the fact that Uzziah spiritual examples were not godly. His fathers incorporated pagan worship into their kingdom or at least didn’t do anything about it. Why would we expect Uzziah to be any different from them? There was no one to intervene and show them a better way, a God-honoring way to live. Therein lies the challenge to Christian individuals when it comes to souls that are turning toward evil.

Chapter 15

1 Uzziah[a] son of Amaziah began to rule over Judah in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Jeroboam II of Israel. 2 He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem.

3 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, just as his father, Amaziah, had done. 4 But he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there. 5 The Lord struck the king with leprosy,[b] which lasted until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house. The king’s son Jotham was put in charge of the royal palace, and he governed the people of the land.

6 The rest of the events in Uzziah’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 7 When Uzziah died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. And his son Jotham became the next king.

In this passage, we see that, although Uzziah accomplished much (when you read this passage along with 2 Chronicles 26) during his reign, he failed to destroy the pagan shrines in Judah just as his father and grandfather had not. Uzziah imitated the kings he had heard stories about and observed while growing up. Although Uzziah’s father and grandfather were basically good kings, they were poor role models when it came to their spiritual lives. Often in life, we have poor role models to observe and we must rely on God’s Word to provide us with our ultimate role model in Jesus. No matter how you were raised you can move beyond those limitations by taking Christ as your example and consciously trying live as He did. Further, sometimes, the only way a person will be see Christ-like examples is through us getting down into the details and messiness of the lives of people. It is a call to us to push beyond living easy. It is a call to us to live sacrificially.

The tragedy of these twisted souls that commit these atrocities is we collectively as Christians must have missed opportunities to touch their lives. These are sensational displays for evil that pop up sporadically. But there day to day in every town in America, there are desperate people who are living lives under the influence of evil that need our help. That need us to get outside our comfort zone. That need us to live sacrificially. That need us to show them an example that there is a better way. To show them that life does not have to be this way. Our local churches can model ways to do this through outreach ministries and outreach events and YES we should as churches do these things. However, when it’s all said and done, our outreach ministries and events are simply models to spur us to live as givers to the world around us. Our outreach events and ministries should not be the end of outreach. We should take those ideas and live it out day to day. We need to be down in the mess of our communities so that we can be examples of Christ. 95% of the words of Jesus in the Bible were said out in the streets where He was in people’s lives.

That’s thing that I thought of when these shootings happened. Where did we fail these shooters? Where did they begin to think that killing was the solution. Wouldn’t have been great if there had been a better example in their lives. Wouldn’t it have been great if there had been a Christ follower that refused to walk away from their lives. Wouldn’t it have been great if there had been a Christ follower who battled the demons in that persons life? It may have made a difference. At this point, though, we will never know. The deeds are done. Let us be a people that gets messy in the lives of hurting people around us. Let us be a people that goes beyond the convenient and gets into the lives of those that are the difficult cases. Let us be examples of the better way, the hope, the peace that comes from Jesus to those who see nothing of love in this world.

Amen and Amen.

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