Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

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20 Obvious and Observable Obedience

2 Chronicles 27:1-6

“1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. His mother was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. 2 Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight. He did everything his father, Uzziah, had done, except that Jotham did not sin by entering the Temple of the Lord. But the people continued in their corrupt ways. 3 Jotham rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord. He also did extensive rebuilding on the wall at the hill of Ophel. 4 He built towns in the hill country of Judah and constructed fortresses and towers in the wooded areas. 5 Jotham went to war against the Ammonites and conquered them. Over the next three years he received from them an annual tribute of 7,500 pounds of silver, 50,000 bushels of wheat, and 50,000 bushels of barley. 6 King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.”

2 Chronicles 27 starts with a simple but singing statement about king Jotham, ”he did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight.” What a tremendous testimony, here is a man that made it his mission to please His heavenly Father instead of feeding his pride. A life of obedience has a point of origin, a beginning. There was a point in King Jotham’s life when he decided not to follow in his families footsteps and repeat their race of of starting well and failing at the finish. Unlike his father who faltered at the finish, as he become puffed up with pride, Jotham chose to faithfully follow the Lord and finish well. A walk of faith begins with obedience, it’s about the choices that we are faced with every day. Which way will we go, will we follow God’s Will or the way of the world? Who will we conform to, Christ or our community? Will we bow to heaven or bend to the expectations of earth and live out what others want? Romans 12:2 reminds us “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good pleasing and perfect will.” There was a point in Jotham’s life when he said, “I’m not going there and I’m not doing that.” What about you who are you living to please the Prince of Peace or people? Jotham’s life points to a powerful truth, you don’t have to cater or cave to peer pressure. Jotham didn’t forget the lessons he learned from his family, he observed the obedience of His father, “just as his father Uzziah had done,” and mimicked the good that he modeled.  Jotham saw early in his father’s reign what living a life of obedient faith should look like. He saw how the favor of God rested on his father while he remained obedient to God. He saw both the good and the bad. A walk of faith can be strengthen by others faith fight of success as well as their faith failure. What lessons are you learning as you observe the faithful obedience of others in God family, and what truths are you teaching and training others through your life of obedience? When we see the “faith success” of others who are living lives of obedience to God, it strengthens our resolve to live obedient lives. Jotham modeled the good and sidestepped the mistakes. When his father became powerful, his pride clouded his calling and led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to God, choosing to enter the temple and burn the incense on the altar, a job that was reserved specifically for the priests who served God. Uzziah did what he wanted not what God had commanded. He deliberate disobediently God and discovered that disobedience is always destined to disappoint. Jotham learned from the mistake of his father, he paid attention and saw how power and success had seduced and strangled his father. Jotham learned not just from the fruit of his father’s faithfulness but also his failure. He saw the ruinous result of rebellion, how his father’s throne was ripped from him on the day of his disobedience. Jotham didn’t just observed the disaster of disobedience he made the decision not to repeat his families failure. 2 Chronicles 27:2 says: “but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the LORD”. Jotham had some of the same success as that of his father but he chose not to follow in his foolishness but remained a faithful and humble king. He allowed his father’s faith failure to strengthen his walk of faith instead of strain it. Why would you repeat your family rebellion when you could learn from it? The sins of the father can be passed from one generation to the next but they don’t have to be picked up. Unfortunately while Jotham learned from the bad example of his forefathers, his people failed to learn from his faithful one, Verse 2 says: “But the people, however, continued their corrupt practices.” What is even more remarkable about the revelation that “Jotham did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight” is the startling statement that he did this in spite of the way others we’re living their lives. In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, King Jotham forged ahead with a life of faithful obedience to God. Not only did he not follow in his father’s footsteps, but he did not allow the prevailing culture of the day to persuade him in his walk with the Lord. What a powerful message in light of the day in which we live. You don’t have to cave to the crowd; you can keep on living right regardless of others rebellion. A life of obedience will set you apart, make no mistake you will stand out if you stand for the Savior. But we are not called to blend in or bend to the culture, we are called to conform to Christ. We are called to live as lights for the Lord, and so must shine for the Savior. Obedience should be visible, readily observable for all to see. Is your life of obedience obvious and observable, just like a light in the darkness? Are you standing out in the darkness or being dimmed by it? Will the statement about Jotham be your story, will the life you live say “but unlike the world, who continued in their corrupt practices, I did what was right in the eyes of the Lord?” Living a life of obedient faith will set you apart from the rest of the world and cause you to serve God and others. It says in verses 3 that “Jotham rebuilt the upper gate of the Temple of the Lord. He also did extensive rebuilding on the wall at the hill of Ophel.” When this passage reveals what Jotham put his energies into during his reign we discover that one of the first things he did was to repair the temple of the Lord. Jotham chose to serve God not self, he went to work for God making His holy house the priority. Instead of pridefully entering the temple like his father and trying to do what he was never called to do, “he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord” He used his time, talent and treasures to serve God, he made God His priority not the power. He repaired and rebuilt God’s house, what are you building, His kingdom or yours?  A life of obedient faith will not only cause you to surrender to God but you will want to serve Him. But he didn’t stop at serving God, verse 4 says that “He built towns in the hill country of Judah and constructed fortresses and towers in the wooded areas.” He made God’s people a priority. He took his calling as king seriously and served the people. He used his power to provide places for them to prosper as well as providing places of protection form raiders and robbers. How are you serving God and His people? The position of a king is not one of prominence but one of privilege and with great privilege comes great responsibility. Why was Jotham serving God and his people, why was he concerned for the safety of others, and for the sanctity of God’s temple, because a life of obedient faith will cause you to care about that which concerns God.  Verse 6 says that “King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to live in obedience to the Lord his God.” The power that he had not only came from God but he chose to return it to God. What will you do with the strength that God gives you, will you serve Him and share it with His people or will you selfishly squander it?