2 Kings 24 … Consider Him Who Commands Calamity

Originally posted: 3/25/2020

Surely at the command of the Lord it came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also for the innocent blood which he shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; and the Lord would not forgive, (24:2-4).

And what came upon Judah? Destruction according to His warning and His Word.

The Lord sent against him bands of Chaldeans, bands of Arameans, bands of Moabites, and bands of Ammonites. So He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken through His servants the prophets, (24:3).

Everything is reeling out of control. A once powerful kingdom is being toppled with distress and suffering. From every side disaster and affliction assail, and who can stop it? No one; for Calamity has come at His Command.

Calamity: “a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering; a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss; grievous affliction; adversity; misery.”

Surely at the command of the Lord it came upon Judah… (24:3).

Consider Him Who Commands Calamity.

For hundreds of years, the LORD had faithfully revealed Himself, offering opportunity upon opportunity for His people to dwell with Him in the place He chose to establish His Name. He had sent His prophets through numerous mighty acts, displaying His power and deliverance. And from His chosen people, He rightfully expected their allegiance and obedience.

And in His mercy, He had warned them, repeatedly, with His ongoing appeals to return in repentance. Until… enough was enough.

And we don’t like to think of Gracious God Commanding Calamity. But the truth is, He is the Almighty and Sovereign God Who fulfills His Commands according to His Word. He is the Almighty and Sovereign God; and there is no other.

“I am the Lord, and there is no other;
Besides Me there is no God.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me;
That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun
That there is no one besides Me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the Lord who does all these,”
(Isaiah 45:5-7).

He has told us, He is the Creator Who forms light and creates darkness; Who causes well-being and creates calamity. Only God; there is no other. And He Commands Calamity for His purpose and His glory.

  • And He Commands Calamity that we would recognize Him.
    • But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment,
      And the holy God will show Himself holy in righteousness,
      (Isaiah 5:16).
  • And He Commands Calamity that we would repent and return to Him.
    • “O sons of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were unfaithful to the Lord God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror, as you see. 8 Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the Lord and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him,” (2 Chronicles 30:-69).
  • And He Commands Calamity that His Word would be fulfilled.
    • “Thus I will punish the world for its evil
      And the wicked for their iniquity;
      I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud
      And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless,”
      (Isaiah 13:11).

How do we respond to Him Who Commands Calamity?

We all know that life breeds Calamity, and there are times we are caught in the crossfire of a disaster which we truthfully had nothing to do with. But then there are those times, when sadly, we experience consequences of our own making; and in a very real sense we invite Him to Command Calamity as His children in need of His discipline.

Let us learn well the lessons of the kings who persisted in their rebellion and rejection of Him as their King. Let us not be stiff-necked, but rather seek to Cooperate with Him Who Commands Calamity.

  • Let us Adhere to His Commands
    • “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets,” (Matthew 22:36-40).
    • “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments,” (John 14:15).
  • Let us Accept His Compassion
    • “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent,” (Revelation 3:19).
  • Let us Agree with His Criticism
    • If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us, (1 John 1:8).
  • Let us Ask for His Cleansing
    • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, (1 John 1:9)
  • Let us Amend our Conduct
    • Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you, (James 4:7-10).
  • Let us Abide in His Company
    • “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing… 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full,” (John 15:4-6, 7-11).

Oh, that we spend all that we are seeking to Adore Him Who Commands Calamity.

“Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes… 16 So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer. 17 For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe… 20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. 21 He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen,” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 16-17, 20-21).

Let’s Grow Together!

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