Dr. Brown looks at the lives of some well-known leaders in the Old Testament, including Asa and Hezekiah, drawing out important lessons for believers today, with some fascinating insights from the Hebrew text as well. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: May we hate sin in our own lives as ruthlessly as we judge it in the lives of others!
Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: He who began the work is the One who will continue the work, bringing to perfection. Lean heavily on Him!
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From the Water of Hezekiah’s Pool
If left to ourselves, we would surely fall. The points you made about the enemies ability to deceive, and our capacity for self deception, leaves us hopeless. These things reveal the need for the perfecting of God’s love in our hearts. Nevertheless at some point, sin must be dealt with, as we see in the life of Hezekiah, the dealings of God, are universal, without prejudice, on all nations and through all people. The text reads…
“And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.”
“Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth. In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spoke unto him, and he gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks. Moreover he provided him cities and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much. This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him that he might know all that was in his heart.”
“God fully answered the king’s faith; but the iniquity of the people’s heart was little changed, and the ways of God in judgment began to be manifested; and in such a manner as to make it evident that, in the midst of His judgments, and at the height of the enemy’s power, the faithful seed of David should be the infallible resource of His people. This is the lesson of chapter 32. This man is the peace of the people when the Assyrian enters the land. See, in Isaiah 8, the Assyrian’s entrance into the land, already called the land of Immanuel through the prophetic revelation of the birth of the virgin’s Sona revelation addressed to the unfaithful king, to Ahaz; see also, in the same chapter, the revelation of the terrible distress of the people, the law being sealed and entrusted to the remnant who would follow Christ as a prophet, until the people confess that a Son was born unto them. See also, in chapter 22 of the same prophet, the Spirit’s judgment as to the moral condition of the people, on the occasion of those events which are recorded in 2 Chronicles 32. Hezekiah himself did not render again to Jehovah according to the benefit done unto him; but his heart was lifted up. Nevertheless, as he humbled himself, he was allowed to see the peace of Jerusalem all the days of his life”.
But what was the benefit done to him? Was it the victory over the Assyria army; was it his recovery from the sickness, his prosperity or all of the above? Was the sin of the same kind, when the children if Israel treated with distain the manna from heaven, or when Moses struck the rock twice, failing to believe God’s Word concerning their Salvation, and they failed to Sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the children of Israel. But of course, all this is just speculation; the prophet does not expound on the benefit done to him, however we do read in 2 kings 20:8 that this benefit took three days to accomplish, a benefit he treated as common, something he could bargain with.
We should treat with all seriousness the Word of God, and the Salvation He brings, or truly as in Hezekiah, Babylon will come, the instrument of God’s wrath, which is prepared for the delusion of all those who reject the truth. Those who have rejected so Great a Salvation will find their day ends in darkness and in the shadow of bondage and death. But remember Babylon too will come in remembrance before God’s wrath upon it.
There is no other Salvation given among men, whereby we must be saved. This is the message that Satan wants to stop, and he would have already, if, it were not for the body of Christ. But he cannot! Destroy the body of Christ, of which we are a part of. We must preach the Gospel to those who are outside, we must open up the lower Water pool that they might be saved.
I hope that Dr. Brown does more shows focussed on the Old Testament. Although the part of the show I heard today was mostly “teasers,” he raised some interesting issues.
Although I have extensive formal training in the the bible, I still find much of the Old Testament an untapped well of wisdom.
Last year I spent a year (more, really) focussing on the “J” writings in the Pentateuch and it was so enlightening! Like most of you, I was taught many of those stories in Sunday School and have heard almost countless sermons on them since.
But they are so rich that the Holy Spirit can easily illuminate them afresh when I encounter them at different points of my life.
But, some of those stories are really challenging when I carefully read them! The way they get re-told in Sunday School often knocks off the rough edges.
I agree, I hope there is more to come. Dr. Brown, can you recommend any books or “secrets” to help people dig more and get more out of the Old Testament. I do love all of the Bible and think it is all relevant and needed. However, I do get more excited to read and study in the New Testament. I like some parts of the OT but I want to go deeper into it (even with the little time that I have as a mom with 2 busy little ones). And I feel bad for even “liking” and preferring one part of God’s word over the other. 🙁
>>And I feel bad for even “liking” and preferring one part of God’s word over the other.
Maybe you could console yourself by remembering that you are in very good company!
Martin Luther famously didn’t like the book of James.
I have had the privilege of having known and studied under some amazing modern Christian leaders and they all seemed to have their favorite parts of the bible.
I’ll confess to not liking the book of Revelation.
It’s not the book, itself, but its association with a time in my life when I naively bought into Hal Lindsay and that whole end-times fad which led to such bad theology and politics.
I know there are Cessationists that falsely claim everything is new age. However there is a real lack of discernment in the Charismatic on the new age christ or the new age jesus. Just because a book or a person says Jesus does not mean it is the same Jesus preached in the bible.
In fact there are a lot of ministers who have begun to preach the “christ within” that sounds an awful lot like christ consciousness. They make it about self-realization of your divinity and it concerns me.
The church knows the obvious forms of new age like psychics, tarot cards and Ouija boards, but we seem completely oblivious to the forms of new age that promotes self-help, self-empowerment and self-divinity. It concerns me that no one within the Charismatic really talks about this, so I am looking forward to your thoughts on the Jesus Calling book and really any thoughts on the things I’ve mentioned. Thank you.
Greetings Dr. Brown!
I want to start by saying that by GOD’s grace and design you have been a blessing to the Body of Christ…including me. Thank you for your faithfulness to GOD and the ministry He’s entrusted to you.
My comment is in regards to your response to a call from Carol in Virgina at 41:33. Let me start by saying that this is in no way a means to justify ANYONE who is enslaved to pornography. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 5:27-30 that how we deal with the sin of lust has eternal consequences, and as Dr. Piper says is therefore more serious than a nuclear attack. I think that we would all agree on this. I also appreciate how faithful you were to exhort towards reconciliation whenever possible.
But the issue comes with your statement that a woman had grounds to divorce a man based on heart adultery. I would like to argue against this view and encourage you to change your stance on this. Here’s why:
First, is a man and woman “married” by thinking of each other in certain ways, or is it by the actual “physical” consummation of the marriage? Since marriage involves the “physical consummation” for the union of the 2 becoming 1 to take place, then it is only right to believe that the marital covenant is “broken” by a physical act as well. The male and female physically acting in sexual union are joined together as husband and wife – and by the physical act of a sexual union with another it is broken. This is adultery that GOD allows divorce for.
There is no doubt that pornography is sinful (which ALWAYS means it is dangerous and destructive). There is no doubt that it is harmful to a relationship and hurtful to a spouse. But it IS NOT biblical grounds for divorce since no physical consummation has taken place with another.
Dr. Brown, by GOD’s grace and obvious working of His Spirit in your life, I know that you are humble and love truth more than any opinion (including your own), can you see how this is just not right to tell someone, even when we pity the condition she is in with a man who does such things? The marital covenant is established ONE way, and is broken when it is done with another. Pornography and lust will be judged as sins…it is every bit as evil in GOD’s eyes, but it IS NOT how covenants are made or broken.
I welcome your feedback Dr. Brown if you feel it would be beneficial to the Body or just to myself. You are far more learned than I am, but I am convinced that this is the standard we should uphold. May GOD through His Spirit continue to make you fruitful and effective for His Names sake everywhere you go!
Bo, if you’re following any of the conversations lately I hope you check in. There’s a great link concerning the archaeological evidence for various people mentioned in the Bible. You might want to bookmark the page.
Of course, most of you would probably be interested in reading it! There’s a free e-book article too.
“50 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically”
I guess if pornography is grounds for divorce, then lusting for your neighbors ox/car is grounds for being put in jail for stealing and also the one doing the lusting should also have to pay restitution to his neighbor. The only grounds for divorce in the scripture is physical sexual sin during the betrothal period. After consummation of the marriage Messiah says, “What YHWH has joined together let no man put asunder.” Of course Moses and Paul say the same things.
According to Paul and Messiah, a man may not put away his wife and a wife must be reconciled or stay single if she leaves her husband. Anyone that marries the estranged woman is in a constant state of adultery in the physical sense.
Thanks, I’ll put it in my arsenal 🙂
I agree wholeheartedly! That is precisely the point I was trying to make to Dr Brown. Thank you for adding something concise and clear to the conversation to further the point 🙂
I thought it might come in handy!
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