The “High Places” Are Alive & Well

II Kings 11-12 describe a revival that took place in Judah under Jehoiada the priest, and Jehoram the young king who was under his influence. But the scriptures relate that the revival was not complete. Verse 3 of Chapter 12 says: “only the high places were not taken away”. This is a common statement regarding the state of religion in Israel. Even in times of revival, the “high places” were not taken away. What were these “high places”?

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And The City Was Quiet

II Kings 11 describes the tumult which happened in the land of Judah, as Athaliah, the wicked queen, was deposed, and Jehoiada the priest led a “revival” in the land which saw young Joash made king. The people renewed their covenant with God and the king (:17), and then in verse 20 it says: “So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet.”

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Honoring the Godly

Psalm 15:4 says that those who may fellowship with God will despise the reprobate, “but honors those who fear the LORD.” There are “two sides” to this “coin”: we are indeed to despise those who live perverse lifestyles, which we explored in the devotion on this Psalm yesterday. But the positive side of this is that we should HONOR those who fear God.

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Admiring Wicked Men

Psalm 15 speaks of those who are able to stand in the fellowship of God, and verse 4 includes an interesting quality: “In whose eyes a reprobate is despised”. Here we find one of the symptoms of the compromised Christianity of our century: even the people of God today do not despise the reprobate in our midst. Continue reading

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All You Have To Do To Get To Heaven

Psalm 15 opens by asking the question everybody wants answered: “O Lord, who may abide in Your tent; who may dwell on Your holy hill?” In other words, how can we get to heaven, to be where God is — the ultimate goal of mankind? But the answer is more than daunting!

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“Four Surprising Signs of Wickedness” (Psalm 10:3-11 sermon)

(Preached at First Baptist, Pauls Valley, OK on Sunday evening, July 20, 2014)

When most of us think of “wickedness”, we tend to think of certain specific “evil deeds.” Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was in the news recently for having murdered numerous babies who were accidentally born during botched abortions, may come to mind. They reported that just before he killed one baby, he joked to his assistants that the child was “big enough to walk to the bus.” Thankfully, he was indeed convicted of murder. What he did was absolute wickedness, make no mistake about it!

But that kind of picture of wickedness also misses the point somewhat, because in many of our minds it serves to excuse US from any kind of responsibility for wickedness — surely none of US have been involved in that kind of evil, right? But in fact, if the truth be known, each of us does indeed manifest wickedness every day.
I want us to turn to Psalm 10, where it speaks of “the wicked” in :3. Following that verse, we see a description of some of the qualities of the wicked person. Some of them are what we might expect. But others may be more surprising — and some of us would have to admit, after studying this scripture, that we are much more wicked than we realized. Let’s look together for a few minutes at “Four Surprising Signs of Wickedness.”

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Not A Coincidence

In II Kings 8:1-6 we find the story of how the Shunnamite woman, whose son Elisha had raised from from the dead, had been gone from the land of Israel for 7 years during a famine, but was returning to appeal to the King of Israel for the restoration of her property. What happened when she returned was no “coincidence.”

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