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The Thistle King (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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August 10, 2023 6:00 am

The Thistle King (Part C)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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August 10, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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He did some pretty good things for Israel, but he died a idolater. Prophet Jonah, we'll get to him in verse 25 briefly, ministered at this time, and this is why they had the successes. But the people were more interested in wine and circus and jobs and peace than they were of the character of holiness.

This is always a short-sighted approach to prosperity. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Second Kings.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick in the Book of Second Kings chapter 14 as he continues his message called The Thistle King. People, you know, don't like how God, they don't like their life. They think God is mean because he doesn't give them the successes that they see other people or perceive that other people have. The main reason God says that he considers himself good in the presence of sinners is because he doesn't destroy sinners but makes a way for them to go to heaven.

He doesn't have to do that, but he does. So I think he regretted sending those troops home in verses 9 and 10 of Second Chronicles 25 and harboring that resentment to strike out a god. He changes gods.

I'll take these guys. We see this in atheists. Some atheists are raised in a church. And something happened, I think this was Ted Turner's story, you know, his sister died and he prayed to God and she died and he just has this resentment towards God now.

Same idea, he's going to change gods. Paul writes about this to the Hebrews. He says, looking carefully, lest anyone fall short of the grace of God, the goodness of God. How do you fall short of that?

By rejecting him. He continues, Paul does, lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble and by this many become defiled. What we're looking at that happened right here in this 14th chapter of Kings. He fell short of the grace of God because he changed gods. He had no reason for this, no justification, no rational mind and that's what the prophet says.

You defeated them. God couldn't protect them. Why would you want that to be your God? He's not going to be the last one to do this. You want to come across another king, he defeats them, he sees their altar.

This is wonderful. Look at the artwork on this. That craftsmanship can't be found in Jerusalem. Let's bring it back and he sets it up there in Jerusalem. We'll get to him another time. Being led by the Lord as the prophet was to speak to this king will sometimes offend people.

Those who are shallow, those who are immature, those who are carnal. Christians, let me ask, pray about this. And then you say, oh sure, go pray about it. And you come back and you say, oh the answer is no. Oh boy, he just lost a friend sometimes. May that not be us.

If someone doesn't want to come to your birthday party, why give them a hard time? More cake for you. One Christian said, God has two dwelling places, heaven and the contrite heart. So has the devil, hell and the proud heart. The proud heart exalts itself over God, over others.

The world calls it arrogance, one part of it. Verse 8, then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, son of Jehoaz, the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying come, let us face one another in battle. Okay, so the story is continuing. He comes back, he defeats the Edomites, he brings their gods, he changes gods. But he gets word that the mercenaries he sent back to the northern kingdom have launched these raids and have taken much spoil. Because they wanted to go to war because they got to loot the cities that they conquered. That was their payment. And he took that away from them. We came all the way from the north, we're like 20 miles, come on. So they come and they're fine. And on the way home, they're angry.

God would have stopped that, I believe, if the people were righteous with him, as the prophet pointed out. But anyway, he's angry now. So he sends to the king in the north, you know, kind of the spirit of your people, your troops raided villages. I tried to give, you know, work with you, but it didn't work out.

That was uncalled for. So he sends this note to the king in the north. Let's have a civil war.

Let's fight each other. Second Chronicles 25 verse 13. But as for the soldiers of the army, which Amaziah had discharged so they would not go to battle with him, they raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth-horon, killed 3,000 in those cities, and took much spoil. And so this, of course, and I can understand the king saying, man, that is just an act of war.

I can understand thinking that way. But he removes God, Yahweh, he never says, well, you know what, I changed God's, maybe I did this, you know, maybe it is me. He doesn't do anything like that.

He picks a fight that he's going to lose. He had this thing, this king, Amaziah, for not asking God first. That's why the prophet had to confront him. I should read it anyway. Second Chronicles 25 verse 9 and 10.

No, let's back it up. Verse 6, speaking about the king, he hired 100,000 mighty men of valor from Israel for 100 talents of silver. But a man of God came to him saying, oh, king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for Yahweh is not with Israel, not with any of the children of Ephraim. But if you go, be gone.

You got to love the prophet. He said, well, fine, you want to go, go. He says, be strong in battle because you're going to lose.

That's the idea. And he says, even so, God shall make you fall before the enemy, for God has power to help and to overthrow. And Amaziah said to the man of God, well, what shall we do about the 100 talents which I have given to the troops of Israel? Which to them wasn't enough. They wanted that loot.

And the man of God answered, Yahweh is able to give you much more than this. And then he discharges the troops. He stays bitter.

The troops are bitter. The only one that is really even keel is the prophet. And so there he acted without counseling the counsel of God.

Later, he's going to get the counsel from his own men without the prophet. Verse 9, so Jehoash, king of Israel, sent to Amaziah, king of Judah, saying, the thistle that was in Lebanon, sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, give your daughter to my son as wife. And a wild beast that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle.

This is the thistle king. The king in the north gets the letter from the south, we're going to go to war. And he says, don't do this. Why bring all the sorrow on everybody?

You're going to get your clock cleaned. Well, he's feeling strong. He just defeated the Edomites because God gave him the victory. Well, so did the king in the north. He had victories against the Syrian powers. He's equal.

So he's going to, he's roasting Amaziah at this point. He's calling him a thistle, a thorn bush. And he's referring to himself as a mighty cedar. If you've ever seen these trees, they're beautiful.

Anyway, I'm sure you've seen them, but there's some variety. Lebanon gives the story this romantic touch because the cedars of Lebanon were notorious for their beauty. The wild beast doing the trampling of the thistle, Amaziah, the thistle is Jeroboam's, I mean, Jehoiash's army. Both the cedar and the thistle thrived in Lebanon. And I'm told in my readings that wherever you found this mighty cedar, you would find these thistles and bramble bushes.

They would thrive also. The noble with the ignoble, good people mixed in with bad people, thriving side-by-side. Sounds like life. Sounds like some churches. Sounds like some homes. Some work in a shop or office with thistles and some are cedars.

Sometimes you fly on the same plane, share the same road with them. This is a great lesson from that wherever the cedar grows, so do the thistles. And of course these things poke and stick as emblems of sin going back to Eden. There are people like the cedar who have strength and dignity and beauty and contribute to their environment. And then there are people who are like the thistle, they just stick it to you.

Condense it to you have people who are generators of good things and blessings and friendship and peace. And then you have those who drain those things, take them away. They drain a church, they come into a church and just drain fussing, complaining, getting others to fuss and complain about you, nothing. And they're so unloving.

What evidence do you have of that? Well, low-roaders, they ride the low road, arrogant, shallow, mean, critical of everybody except themselves, backbiting, contemptible. They're ludicrous to everybody except themselves. And this is what we're talking about Sunday, 2 Thessalonians chapter 3.

Fits right here. Pray for us, Paul said, that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men. Well, this was an unreasonable and wicked person. In the youth, you have to learn how to deal with these things in Christ. Even at an early age, you're going to come across other kids that are going to make life difficult.

They're going to be thistles in your life. The apostle Paul says, Satan has sent a messenger to buffet me, a thorn in my side. See, Satan can harass us.

I think Paul was referring to just the disrespect he got as an apostle. Imagine if God was working in your life, I've had this happen, God is doing something, you're saving souls, you're teaching people, and then someone comes along and says, well, where's your certificate? Well, I don't have one from you people. I've got an invisible one. And, looky here, I've got a knuckle sandwich.

Would you like a bite? Anyway, okay, that's not righteous. But it does reflect the irritation.

Some people can just stick it to you. And they're doing nothing. They're doing nothing. What are you doing for Christ? Absolutely nothing.

But you can come along and you can just challenge somebody. And that's what they were doing with Paul. They're not doing anything for the kingdom of God except questioning him with doubt. Anyway, in the kings from the north response, he sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, that's the king in the north, saying, give your daughter to my son. So the thistle, the lowest and most disrespected in the forest, because nobody wants to be around these things.

You've done the devil's walking stick that grows around here, this rod with all these giant thorns on it. Nobody wants that. Anyway, that's what he's saying to him. He's saying, your request, you are making a request as though you're my equal. Like, you can marry my daughter. You're not on this level.

That's what he's roasting him with this. We have an equality issue. You're too low class.

Not low class as in poor, low class as in indecent behavior. And at the bottom of verse 9, and a wild beast was in Lebanon passed by and trampled him like it was nothing. And my army is just going to trample you like you're nothing. And that's what's going to happen.

Well, we need to move on. I see we're only in verse 10. You have indeed defeated Edom and your heart has lifted you up.

Glory in that. Stay home. For why should you meddle with trouble so that you and Judah with you. He's just saying, listen, don't do this.

You're going to get your clock cleaned. Your people are going to suffer because of you. Cut it out. But he's unreasonable and wicked, verse 11. But Amaziah would not heed. Therefore, Jehoash, king of Israel, went out. And so he and Azariah, king of Judah, faced one another at Beth Shemesh which belongs to Judah. This is the first time there's a civil war in Israel in a hundred years. Verse 12, and Judah was defeated by Israel and every man fled to his tent. It takes one fool. It takes one Vladimir Putin to bring so much horror so unnecessarily so. Verse 13, then Jehoash, king of Israel, captured Amaziah, king of Judah, the son of Jehoash, the son of Azar.

And see, this is why you just wish they'd stop it. Try reciting this out loud 20 times. Anyway, at Beth Shemesh, and he went to Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem in the gate of, where am I?

I lost my spot. The wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, 400 cubits. So 600 feet of wall. And these walls of giant stones. This is not just like his little bricks.

This is some major damage. Verse 14, and he took all the gold and silver, all the articles that were found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasuries of the king's house, and hostages, and returns to Samaria. Those hostages were going to be slaves.

So whatever gain Amaziah got from defeating the Edomites, he lost it all, because he just could not listen to the man of God. He is taken captive. We know he's taken captive back to Jerusalem, from Beth Shemesh back to Jerusalem. And likely the king is saying, tell him to open the gates or we're going to cut your throat.

And that's what's likely going on there. And he probably leaves him in Jerusalem because he's no use to him in the north. Verse 15, now the rest of the acts of Jehoash, which he did, his might, how he fought with Amaziah, king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Verse 16, and Jehoash rested with his fathers and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then Jeroboam, his son reigned in this place. This is so confusing.

You know, all these names repeated over and over, like come on. But to them it was not confusing. So he joins his ancestors in death. That's what it means by he rested with his fathers. This is the king in the north, not Jerusalem area. He reigned for 41 years, the longest reign of a northern king.

During his time, Hosea and Amos ministered. We'll come to that in the end. Within 60 years of his death, the northern kingdom will be no more. The Assyrians will come and take them all away. Verse 17, Amaziah, the son of Jehoash, king of Judah, lived 15 years after the death of Jehoash and the son of Jehoias, king of Israel.

So, more names. What's happening here is it gives us a time stamp. He lives for 15 years after the death of Jehoash, which means his assassination did not immediately follow his apostasy. As it would read if you're not careful, you would think that, you know, he followed the other god, was defeated and they killed him. But no, some time went on and evidently there were those that also harbored resentment for him and probably blamed him, rightfully so, for their losses. When the king came and took people away hostage and looted the kingdom, they suffered loss and eventually they had an opportunity to kill him.

There was enough sentiment and they did. Verse 18, now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, back to the king in the south, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah, which covered them in verse 3 when I mentioned the contrast between he and his father or the similarities. Verse 19, and they formed a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem and he fled to Lachish, but they sent after him to Lachish and killed him there. He runs to the north and it was probably 10 or 11 years after his defeat at the hands of the northern king. Verse 20, and they brought him on horses and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David. So someone cared enough to give him a royal send-off.

Verse 21, and all the kings of Judah took Azariah who was 16 years old and made him king instead of his father, Amaziah. So there we go again. Azariah, Amaziah, I mean it's just, it's like a lot of work. After 30 years I have to pay attention or you just get tripped up. And I catch commentators, good commentators, getting mixed up sometimes. I can't blame them. I read it and go, whew, man, you got that one wrong.

I'm so happy about that. Anyway, this name Azariah, 28 men in the Old Testament have that name. This is King Uzziah.

So he's called Azariah in kings, but the prophets Hosea and Amos and Isaiah call him Uzziah. And it's like there's more confusion. Well, so don't be frustrated. That's why I'm pointing it out. I'm not going to bring it up when I get to heaven because it's going to end ugly. No it's not.

It'd be so far from anybody's thought. Anyway, King Uzziah is going to be a good king. 52 years on the throne.

Here's the one that is when Isaiah said in the year King Uzziah died I saw the Lord high and lifted up a train of the robe, filled the temple. This is that king. He's a good king. He makes some mistakes.

Again, big surprise. Anyway, verse 22, and he built Elath and restored it to Judah after the king rested with his fathers. Well, he fortified Jerusalem, Uzziah did. He did good things. This is all the way down to the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Verse 23 now, in the 15th year of Amaziah, the son of Joash king of Judah, Jeroboam, the son of Joash king of Israel, became king in Samaria and reigned 41 years. So we go back in the story again, more of the names, no chronological order. It's just that they're getting the facts in. I really believe that there's the shortage of paper. It's like, you know, you made a mistake. You should have put that in chapter 12. You didn't have chapter divisions. It even made it more complicated.

But it's almost humorous. But the truth is, it's all there. All the knowledge is there. Nothing is lost. It's there. It just makes you work to get it out, sort of like any precious gem beneath the surface.

You've got to work for it if you want it. Well, these northern kings, none of them exalted Yahweh in a meaningful way, but not all of them were bad as far as civil matters went. Non-spiritual affairs, some of them did well. And Jeroboam II, he did very well.

This is the second man king to hold the name Jeroboam. The first one was the one that introduced calf worship after Solomon. He did some pretty good things for Israel, but he died a idolater. The prophet Jonah, we'll get to him in verse 25 briefly, ministered at this time, and this is why they had the successes. But the people were more interested in wine and circus and jobs and peace than they were of character, the character of holiness.

This is always a short-sighted approach to prosperity. Hosea, the prophet, writes, the land has committed great harlotry by departing from Yahweh. And he ministered during this time and gives us an idea of what was going on. Verse 24, and he did evil in the sight of the Lord, Jeroboam. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nabat, who made Israel sin. So two Jeroboams at work there, separated by a couple of hundred years.

Not quite that much, but a long time. We've commented enough on the first Jeroboam. This king was just a big hit with the people because, you know, he just didn't care about the Bible. He just wanted people to be happy. Amos the prophet writes about these times, God speaking through him, I raised up some of your sons as prophets and some of your young men as Nazarites.

Is it not so? Oh, children of Israel, says Yahweh. But you gave the Nazarites wine to drink and commanded the prophets saying, do not prophesy. So Amos comes along and says, let me tell you how it was in the days of this Jeroboam the second. When you had a righteous person trying to obey Christ, they would look to stumble them any kind of way.

The Nazarites took a vow, I'm not going to drink anything from the vine, grape juice or alcohol, I'm not going to have it. And he said, well, come on, and get them to drink. Then the prophets, such as Amos, would come up and say, thus says the Lord. And they said, why don't you shut up?

We don't need your Bible thumping around here, just go find somewhere else to do it. That's essentially what they told Amos. And he kept on drilling the truth home. The wealthy lived in luxury, the poor were oppressed, and they were robbed of their rights and their possessions by the wealthy and the courts.

That's how corrupted it had become. Verse 14, he restored this Jeroboam, here's his civil victories, he restored the territory of Israel from the entrance of Hamath, the Sea of Arabah, according to the word of Yahweh God of Israel, which he had spoken through his servant Jonah, the son of Amitei, the prophet who was from Gath-Hefer. Now, so this is the same Jonah who wrote the book of Jonah who was swallowed by the goldfish.

It wasn't a goldfish, but it was a fish. And anyway, he was very much helpful to this king taking back territory. And so what we see is the sovereignty of God saying, I know he's a rotten king, but I still have to protect my people. And that is what was achieved. And that's why we have a people for Messiah to come and fulfill the prophecies spoken in relation to the children of Jacob, the children of Israel.

Anyway, this is the one that runs to the sea, to the Red Sea, sorry. Verse 26, for Yahweh saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter, and whether bond or free, there was no helper for Israel. So that's why he sent Jonah to help the people. Verse 27, and Yahweh did not say that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam, the son of Jehoash. So the sovereignty of God is saying, I have a rotten king, but I'm going to save my people nonetheless, lest they be wiped out. Verse 28, now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam and all that he did, his might and how he made war and how he recaptured Israel from Damascus and Hamath, what had belonged to Judah, are they not written in the books of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel? We don't have that book. Verse 29, so Jeroboam rested with his fathers, the kings of Israel, and Zechariah his son reigned in his place. This son, Zechariah, is not a righteous man.

He reigns only for six months and is assassinated. And so just the blessings God blessed in spite of the people, but nowhere near what he wanted, how he wanted to bless. And I think we all consider that in our own lives. Lord, I don't want to, I don't want to clog the pipeline from your throne to my life. And the born again Christian is on top of it.

The shallow and disgruntled may not be. Thanks for joining us for today's edition on Cross Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We trust that what you've heard today in the Book of Second Kings has been something to remember. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series, go to crossreferenceradio.com. Once more, that's crossreferenceradio.com. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too, so you'll never miss another edition. Just go to your favorite podcast app to subscribe. Our time is about up, but we hope you'll tune in again next time as we continue on in the Book of Second Kings. We look forward to that time with you, so make a note in your calendar to join Pastor Rick as he teaches from the Bible right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-10 07:29:24 / 2023-08-10 07:39:44 / 10

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