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Showing posts from August, 2014

Pride Lines

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It’s a curious statement—until you check out the details behind it.

In 2 Kings 15 we have a brief summary of the reign of Azariah (or Uzziah), king of Judah. He became king at the age of sixteen and remained king for fifty-two years. Verse 3 tells us: “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done.” All good, right?

But here comes the curious statement. “The Lord afflicted the king with leprosy until the day he died, and he lived in a separate house. Jotham the kings’s son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land” (15:5).

Azariah, or Uzziah, was one of the good guys. So what happened that the Lord brought this affliction down upon him? The book of Kings doesn’t give us the details but a parallel account in 2 Chronicles 26 does. Uzziah, as he is called in Chronicles, was a great king. It was recorded that: “…his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful…he was greatly helped until he became pow…

The Legacy

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Over the past few months two giants in the history of our movement have passed away. One, Murray Heron, was one of the pioneers who moved to Northwestern Quebec to do ministry among the francophones of Rouyn-Noranda, Val d’Or, LaSarre and Malartic. He, and others were persecuted and imprisoned during those early years but they faithfully continued their ministry despite the challenges. The story of those years continues to inspire others to serve the Lord with diligence. The other, Roy Lawson, served in youth and pastoral ministry for many years but perhaps is best known for the years he gave as General Secretary (now “President”) of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada. He left a mark on the movement and on the present leaders of the movement that will not soon be forgotten.

As I read 2 Kings 13 this morning, the story was told of another man who left his mark. Elisha, the prophet of the Lord, faithfully proclaimed the word of the Lord during the spiritual ups and…

Let the Fire Come

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The scene is set. Eight hundred and fifty pagan priests (1 Kings 18:19) a whole lot of ambivalent people (18:21), an extremely annoyed king (18:16) and a vicious queen (18:4), gathered on the top of Mount Carmel to face one weary prophet named Elijah. He’d been on the run from Jezebel (the vicious queen) for at least three years. You remember the event. The four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal were invited to prove that Baal was God (18:21). They built their altar and pleaded with their god to respond with fire. The heavens were silent (so was the hell from which their god came). They wailed and shouted all day, cutting themselves to impress Baal with their religious fervour.

Nothing.

Then Elijah stepped up. He ordered the altar to the Lord rebuilt, covered it with wood and the sacrifice, and then doused the whole things several times with water (18:33-35). Any boy scout knows that water and fire don’t mix. Then Elijah spoke to the One who had sent Him on this suicidal mission: “A…

Sins of Silence

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“You can’t fight City Hall.”

I suppose that many of us have heard that phrase before.

It appears that the people of Israel heard something similar. Or perhaps they really didn’t care about the issue anyway which might have accounted for their actions—or the lack thereof.

In any case, King Solomon loved his ladies and gave in to their every whim—including the ones that dictated that they worship their own gods. We already know that he shouldn’t have married these women in the first place (1 Kings 11:2) but he not only allowed them to worship as they pleased, but he also “aided and abetted” their worship by building altars to some of the most detestable of their gods (11:7, 8). To add insult to injury, he participated in the worship of these gods (11:5).

And the people followed him, apparently without protest—after all Solomon was “City Hall.” There is no Biblical record that anyone said anything about Solomon’s choices. Where were the prophets, the priests, the righteous people who wer…

When You Don't Ask For Enough

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Solomon is king over Israel.

But the man purported to be the wisest man that the world has ever known made at least one fatal mistake: He didn’t ask God for enough, nor did he ask soon enough.

In 1 Kings 3 we have the record of Solomon’s prayer to God when he asks the Lord to give him wisdom.

Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (3:7-9)

That prayer was a smart one. God responded to it by blessing Solomon with extraordinary wisdom—so much wisdom that Solomon’s fame spread throughout the world of that day, and continues to be a much quoted example today.

But Solomon had already made a fatal mistake, one that he wo…