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Unwasted Scripture (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 8, 2023 6:00 am

Unwasted Scripture (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 8, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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Cross Reference Radio
Pastor Rick Gaston

Scripture judges them, judges their ways, their lusts. That's why everybody likes quoting Shakespeare, you know, or Homer, or one of these other folks, or someone new, Johnny-come-lately, because it doesn't do what the scripture does.

The scripture carries its own credentials to the heart. When you hear it, you can say, I can't, I'm, that's me. I can't get away from that. And that's what you're faced with. And that's what you're faced with. That's what you're faced with. It says here in verse 6 that they may count the money which has been brought into the house of Yahweh.

Well, I've already commented on that. He says, which the doorkeepers have gathered from the people. So again, the priests stationed themselves at the temple gates. They collected the funds. The people would give the funds.

They'd put it in the box. Maybe this is where churches get the practice of passing the offering plate. And that's not a sarcastic remark.

It is just a plain remark. We don't have to do it that way. But that is one way to do it. When we started this church, we bought the little pouches for the collection and never took them out of the box. God just said, I don't want you to do it that way. I want you to do it this way. And so we have the boxes available for the people. Because tithing is a personal thing. And it's, if you forget the tithe, you will remember the tithe if your heart is right with the Lord.

I ran a check this month. You go back to the screen and you realize I missed it. You scramble to make it up.

This is a personal thing. So anyhow, just because we do it this way does not mean we're criticizing other people. We have other things to criticize them for. Anyway, I mentioned that they would close the doors if necessary. Acts chapter 21 is the story of Paul's arrest, another arrest at the temple. When the brujah began, we pick it up in Acts 21 verse 30, and all the city was disturbed and the people ran together, seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple and immediately the doors were shut. Well, it's these priests that were the gatekeepers that were closing the door and saying, well you ain't bringing it in here.

So that's who these men are. A high tradition. Imagine if you were a priest in Judah and you were a gatekeeper, you belong to a high tradition and hopefully not wasted. Anyway, verse 5 says to repair the damages of the house.

Well, one of his first acts of the Reformation was to purge the land and then restore the temple. All that follows grows out of this. When we get to discovering the word of the Lord, it's growing out of the men and their integrity, even if they didn't have all of their scripture. And then once they get the scripture, again, it is not wasted.

They do something with it. And so in connection with this heart for God comes the discovery of the book of the law, and you know God is the one that orchestrated that. God could have kept that law hidden, but they found it during the renovation of the temple. And thank God none of the pagan Jews found it.

They probably would have destroyed it. Verse 7, however, there need be no accounting made with them of the money delivered into the hand because they deal faithfully. So as I mentioned, the integrity is just that they had this trust. They were operating off of the other man's word, which is, you know, try that. Go to the bank and say, look, I promise I'll pay you back.

That's not going to happen. Although, a few years back, I had a loan. We first got here and pretty much broke, and the bank agent said, you know, I'm just going to approve this. I'm just going to do it. And I went, no, I didn't. And I just remember that that was old-fashioned banking.

Well, I don't know if you can, you know, banks have bad reputation. Anyway, I need to move on away from that. So these workers evidently, the evidence, when I say evidently, according to the evidence from the record, they embraced the sacred work of the temple. This is very important, I think, especially for men somewhere in their 30s and 40s. There are some men in that age category that lack a sense of the sacred. They think it's not cool to say that, you know, some things you just don't mess with and they become sloppy. And one way to illustrate that is when I first became an usher back in 1740 something, the head usher had that attitude where he wanted to be a cool Christian. See, we don't, you know, we don't have an organ.

We have guitars and we don't have to wear a coat and ties at Calvary Chapel. And when we were, one morning we were preparing the communion articles and he started munching on the bread. And I was, you know, right away all the alarms were going, this is just not right. And it wasn't my place at the time to say anything. God just, you know, marked it.

I've never forgotten it. And it was just this immaturity and this lack of reverence. Yeah, it doesn't mean that, oh, this is holy bread. You can't eat it. It's not the idea to understand the things that are sacred.

It is by consent, not demand. The communion cup, the articles for the cup, the grape juice. I will never drink it in the house, oh Lord, unless I'm having communion. I want to have lunch and say, hey, there's some left over from last week.

I'm going to grab some. Not that it would be a sin. Well, it would be for me because it's my conscience now. And so when you come across some young men, they can just be a little silly. And they want to show you how cool they are and they don't have to be reverent. That is a trap and it is immaturity. And hopefully they'll figure it out.

Hopefully some of the older brothers can just nudge him into the right direction. And I see it from time to time. There are just some things that they need to be in a separate category. The sanctuary here. Do you think we should have bingo in this room or any other room in this church?

Well, if you're Roman Catholic, you won't have a problem with it, but we're not Roman Catholic. So anyhow, these men here, they were serious about their faith. This is God's house.

We're not working on a, you know, a garage or something for somebody. Not that we should do shabby work. But this, their head was just where it needed to be. And I think this is one of the reasons why the historians are telling us this story. They're saying to Christians, look at these men. What was their motivation? They were a self-motivation because of their maturity in the faith. You could hear them saying, I'm so grateful we've got a man like Josiah on the throne that is upholding what we believe as a people, even though they did not have the Bible knowledge that they should have had.

They had enough. And so here's a word that I would like young men to grab hold of. Devout. It means to be devoted to. It means that some things are in a separate category. And there's a reason why they are there. And there's a reason why they should be there. And that, no, that we're not making idols out of them.

We just have a deeper understanding. Because I consumed your word. It got in me.

And when it did that, it created things in me that would not have otherwise been there. So don't be embarrassed by holiness. It's okay to say to somebody at the water cooler, no, I'll be in church. You don't like it? No, don't say that part. This is so easy to get in the flesh, right?

But for you, not for me. Anyway, he says, because they deal faithfully. Accountability based on integrity and reason. Not just integrity. There's more to it. I would like that to be said about all of us. Who wouldn't, what Christian would say, no, I don't want that. I don't want to be known as one who deals faithfully.

It's hard. Because the flesh is so, the flesh is always up to no good. Well, anyway, verse 8, then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan, the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Yahweh. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan and he read it. See, these two guys, devout, a devout priest and a devout scribe.

You could even stretch it, dare I say, a devout politician, not devout, a devout believer who was a politician. This, there's still a few good men around the king. And as men renovated the temple, Yahweh is renovating their hearts.

And they're not yet picking up on that, but they will. What a great story this is when you think about all the other kings we've had to deal with. The nation, as I mentioned, infested with idolatry for decades, Manasseh and Ammon, through their reigns. And during that time the temple was defiled, it was desecrated, it was damaged. You can read that in 2 Chronicles 34.

Just how Josiah goes in, he's breaking down the idols and cutting down the incense altars and he just turns it into a chop shop to get this stuff out of there. And yet, neither king nor priest knew the whereabouts of Moses' writings. It was oral tradition, much of it passed to them, but that is so fragmented. It's an inferior knowledge. It's knowledge, but it's inferior to what they could have. And the people of God lost the word of God in the house of God.

They were aware of the existence of these scriptures and they lived without them. And this was an imperative section of scripture that they're going to find. Likely, some inspired saint saw that if I don't hide this word, these idolaters are going to get it and destroy it. And you know, you just can't tuck it into your vest, these scrolls.

I mean, you can't walk out with it and get caught and they'll destroy it. So, some saints or saint, they hid it to keep it safe for future generations. And now God is bringing it to the light. The fact that the scripture was lost by the people called to be God's people would be unbelievable if we didn't see it in our own days. The Bible is, this is being repeated, the Bible being insignificant in so-called churches who have no use for God's word. And it's been this, it's not new.

It's been happening since the beginning of the church. It happened in Israel. And so this is very much believable. It says in Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan and he read it. Man, you've got to like this guy even more, Shaphan. This is, Hilkiah is that noble high priest who found the book and he knew what he had. And he knows what to do with it. He doesn't say, oh, I'm going to put this in my home.

This will be a wonderful thing, you know, a showpiece or something. He gives it to a man close to the king. He already knows he's got a righteous king. He knows Shaphan is a righteous man. It's likely, again, either all the books of Moses, the five books, or it certainly is Deuteronomy.

It's in there and that'll come out. Anyway, verse nine. So Shaphan, the scribe, went to the king.

Pause there. Remember, he read it. He doesn't take it and so he just blindly goes to the king, look what I got. He takes it and he reads the word of God.

And you can imagine, he's saying, oh, this is incredible. I've got to get this to the king. So some time must pass. How long does it take to read Deuteronomy?

In one sitting. Verse nine. So Shaphan, the scribe, went to the king, bringing the king word, saying, your servants have gathered the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of those who do the work who oversee the house of the Lord. So Shaphan goes in and he's keeping to court protocol. Old business first.

I would have gone in and said, I've found the book of the law. He doesn't know what he does. He goes to the king and he keeps court protocol. He's not emotional.

Well, I mean, there's emotions there, but he's not out of control. And now he takes care of old business and now on to new business. Verse 10. Then Shaphan, the scribe, showed the king, saying, Hilkiah, the priest, has given me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.

This man is just, you know, just an admirable believer. He no doubt read selected passages. As I mentioned, most likely from Deuteronomy, we all get that because of the king's reaction and comment that is made by Huldah, the prophetess. And it is noteworthy that the people were living or attempting to live faithfully when the scroll was discovered. And it is also noteworthy that a remnant of the king's court is trustworthy enough to handle the scripture and not destroy it. There are some other things that come out. Verse 11. Now, it happened when the king heard the words of the book of the law that he tore his clothes. And we mentioned that, of course, that is an outward display of inward distress. But I'm thinking it was a selling feature with the clothing in those days to offer clothes with a pre-tear feature.

I don't get it. I mean, if I tried to tear my shirt, I'd be struggling and that would kill the whole moment. It'd be so embarrassing. You couldn't get the garment torn. So, what are they wearing like? I don't know.

I could rip my buttons open. But, you know, anyway, back to being serious, if we have to. 2 Chronicles 34, 19. Thus, it happened when the king heard the words of the law that he tore his clothes.

It's emphasized there, but it's almost like he's pulling the fire along. What he heard has caused this. What the word of God said, it got inside of him deep and it changed everything. If any of the books would yield this reaction to a Jewish king, it would be Deuteronomy, gauging by his reaction. And the commentators are unanimous.

They're unanimous. This is Deuteronomy chapter 28 and 30. When we look at verse 16 of 2 Kings 22, we read, Thus says Yahweh, behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read.

Well, that's Deuteronomy 28 through 30, the curses and the blessings section. His reaction reveals his ignorance, that he didn't know this, but that doesn't mean he's now, Oh, I didn't know that. I'm innocent. That's not his reaction. I didn't know this. I'm guilty.

That's his reaction. That's what happens when we come to Christ, is it not? We realize I am a sinner. It's not I am a sinner, but, you know, I didn't know.

It's I am a sinner and I need forgiveness. And you're often accompanied with tears and great joy at the same time. Remember, he's only 26 years old. It is profound.

When I gave my life to Christ, I was about 26 years old. We do not read of him saying, Well, how do I know this is the word of God? Well, the content did to him what nothing else could do. And this is true to this day. One thing the Bible does, unlike anything else on earth, is it lays bare the roots of our nature. When I say that, you know, you dig down to get to the roots of your nature.

It uncovers them. There is no moral mirror that comes close to that of the Bible. What else are you going to read that can cut like the Bible does?

Shakespeare? I mean, this is the reason why men don't like scripture and seek to set it aside or attack it or destroy it or belittle it. One old pastor, Arno Gebielen, he said, Men do not trouble themselves so much to discover and point out flaws and discrepancies in Homer or Herodotus or Aristotle or Shakespeare. No, but scripture judges them, judges their ways and their lust. That's why everybody likes quoting Shakespeare or, you know, or Homer or one of these other folks or someone new, Johnny-come-lately, because it doesn't do what the scripture does. The scripture carries its own credentials to the heart. When you hear it, you say, I can't, that's me. I can't get away from that. And that's what you're faced with. Acts 24, verse 25, when Paul reasoned with Felix about righteousness and judgment to come, we read, Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control and judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, Go away for now.

When I have a convenient time, I will call for you. The word of God living in power, sharper, powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword. Now I'm going to quote D.L.

Moody in a minute. I've used this, quoted this before, but it's just so appropriate for this section. France, and I'm not quoting him yet, France thought that the Bible stood in the way of their progress, especially during their reign of terror, and they threw it overboard.

Psalm 11, verse 3, If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? Well, here's Moody preaching on this very thing. It is said that a century ago, now remember Moody is in the late 1800s.

That's when this was preached. It is said that a century ago, men were spending millions every year in France, in the publication and distribution of infidel literature, Voltaire would be one of them. What has been the harvest, has France reaped?

Mark the result, the Bible was suppressed, God was denied, and hell broke loose. Half the children born in Paris were bastards. More than a million of persons were beheaded, shot, drowned, outraged, and done to death between September 1792 and December 1795. Since that time, France has had 13 revolutions in 80 years, and in the Republic, there has been an overturn on an average once in nine months. One third of the births in Paris are illegitimate.

10,000 newborn infants have been fished out at the outlet of the city sewers in a single year. Well, we're not around to get where Moody's sources were, but we do know that France just lost it all, and that is enough of history to attest to this. And so, what we're talking about is what happens when there is not God's word, because men have outlawed it.

We're looking at attempts in this country. But let's go back to one phrase Moody says, the Bible was suppressed, God was denied, and hell broke loose. How many times has that happened, even in the Book of Kings? Josiah will bring the reform to the people, but they had swung already too far to be retrieved.

As he gets rid of a lot of this, there will be a righteous remnant, there will be those that will be made righteous, but overall, they're too far gone. And they're the ones that are going to bring the judgment through Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah 3, 10. And yet, for all this, their treacherous sister Judah has not turned to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, says Yahweh. A lot of prophets could see these people are just acting like they're righteous because of Josiah, but in reality, they love their idolatry.

Some people do put on their best behavior only when they go to church, unless you step on their toe. Verse 12, then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahaiakam the son of Shaphan, Akbor the son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, Ahaiah a servant of the king, saying. Okay, so this is the detail that's being dispatched to the prophetess. This is what Josiah says. When he hears the word preached, he's got to do something. He says, Go inquire, verse 13, of Yahweh for me, for the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of Yahweh that is aroused against us because of our father, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book to do according to all that is written concerning us. And so he is saying this is God's word. It is real. His judgments.

He's not playing around. We need to do something. And so the man of God moves men into action.

And whenever this happens, it's going to yield a testimony. That's fruit. But we can think of fruit as being something, you know, very pleasant and wonderful to the flesh. When the fruit can come in the way of persecution, of martyrdom, of death, the fruit of the life of the apostles, you know, they all died. Of course, maybe one did not. But they all died through persecution.

That's righteous fruit. They stood their ground giving testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the king heard the word of God, there was no debate or discussion about it being trustworthy.

Well, ancient manuscripts say there was none of that. 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 2 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 2 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 / 2023-09-08 07:26:20 / 2023-09-08 07:35:40 / 9

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