Monday, October 9, 2017

THE 3:16 VERSES OF THE BIBLE, PART 10: "GENERAL GRACE, SAVING GRACE"

He said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’  For thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts. (2 Kings 3:16-17a)
The incredible thing about our loving Heavenly Father is how long He will put up with rebellion and rejection and then turn around and help those who hate Him with a passion. The Bible tells us that God "causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous". (Matthew 5:45b. 

You know the routine - the majority of the richest, wealthiest and most powerful people in the world are atheist. The biggest persecutors, dictators and rulers of God's people all through Judeo-Christian history lived well and prospered. This continues, regardless of the lessons of history. Their children lived high on the hog and on and on. While they do not acknowledge the God Who gave them breadth, the ability to gain and hold on to their temporal wealth and property, He still grants them His general Grace. He did send God the Son - Jesus - to give His life for ALL (John 3:16), so He knows no one is beyond redemption. They just choose to reject God's gift.


This general Grace however, is only for this short lifespan on earth. This is because, while God is really so good to ALL people at ALL times, His Saving Grace is only for those whose sins are forgiven and put their complete Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Lord and Master. Those who are reap the rewards of the good life reap them now. Like the rich man in Hell, who Jesus talked about, he enjoyed the good things only in his life on earth. The Saved, Redeemed and the Elect of God's reward is laid up ahead as we persevere and keep Godly perspectives while the wicked reign on this earth.

In this passage of 2 Kings Chapter 3, we see the three regional kings - the king of Edom (descendants of Esau), the King of Israel (the pagan northern kingdom) and the King of Judah - Jehoshaphat coming together to fight against the King of Moab, a powerful and rich man. Of these three kings, only Jehoshaphat was a follower of Yahweh, everyone else in this picture is full of pagan idolatry. After a while, the army and supplies of this combined army ran out of water for all their horses and were suddenly in dire straits.


Jesoshaphat knew enough of the Ways of the Lord and sought a minister who could approach the Lord for His help. The spiritual son of the great Elijah, Elisha, was now the main prophet of Israel. So Elisha was sent for and he was not amused. This tells me that this joint venture was not the Will of the Lord. Elisha was hesitant about going to meet with the three kings until he heard that the well-regarded Jehoshaphat, who lived in Jerusalem, was one of them. 

It was at this point, as we come to this 3:16 verse, as Elisha approached the Lord God of Heaven Who responded mightily, because His prophet Elisha asked. What God did was miraculous. He did not send rain to fill up creeks and rivers with running water. He told Elisha to have the kings dig trenches and wide areas which were then miraculously filled with literal pools of water from the springs out of the direction of Edom! The water was so plentiful coming out of the East that it looked like a lake....and led eventually to the victory of three allied kings.

What we see here  the following in this wonderful passage from John's 19th.- the General Grace of God on display...for the Glory of God! The enemy who all three kings went up against - the King of Moab- misread the sun shining off the brand new "lake" and thought it looked like blood and rode straight to his and his army's defeat. The Lord made the victory again. The question of us, who are reading this - are we under this General Grace of God only or have we been saved by Grace alone, through Faith in Christ alone for the Glory of God enough? The choice is entirely up to each one of us!
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