2 Kings 15 & Titus 1

2 Kings 15

    In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Nevertheless, the high places were not taken away. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. And the LORD touched the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and he lived in a separate house. And Jotham the king's son was over the household, governing the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And Azariah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Jotham his son reigned in his place.

    In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria six months. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, as his fathers had done. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him and struck him down at Ibleam and put him to death and reigned in his place. Now the rest of the deeds of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. (This was the promise of the LORD that he gave to Jehu, “Your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” And so it came to pass.)

    Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned one month in Samaria. Then Menahem the son of Gadi came up from Tirzah and came to Samaria, and he struck down Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria and put him to death and reigned in his place. Now the rest of the deeds of Shallum, and the conspiracy that he made, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. At that time Menahem sacked Tiphsah and all who were in it and its territory from Tirzah on, because they did not open it to him. Therefore he sacked it, and he ripped open all the women in it who were pregnant.

    In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem the son of Gadi began to reign over Israel, and he reigned ten years in Samaria. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart all his days from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. Pul the king of Assyria came against the land, and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that he might help him to confirm his hold on the royal power. Menahem exacted the money from Israel, that is, from all the wealthy men, fifty shekels of silver from every man, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back and did not stay there in the land. Now the rest of the deeds of Menahem and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? And Menahem slept with his fathers, and Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.

    In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned two years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin. And Pekah the son of Remaliah, his captain, conspired against him with fifty men of the people of Gilead, and struck him down in Samaria, in the citadel of the king's house with Argob and Arieh; he put him to death and reigned in his place. Now the rest of the deeds of Pekahiah and all that he did, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

    In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin.

    In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and he carried the people captive to Assyria. Then Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah and struck him down and put him to death and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. Now the rest of the acts of Pekah and all that he did, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

    In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, Jotham the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done. Nevertheless, the high places were not removed. The people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of the LORD. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? In those days the LORD began to send Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah. Jotham slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

(2 Kings 15 ESV)

Titus 1

    Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;

    To Titus, my true child in a common faith:

    Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

    This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

    For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

(Titus 1 ESV)

Something to Consider

Titus 1: In order to be protected from culture’s attacks against our faith, we need a firmly established gospel-centered perspective by which we view the world. We need a shepherd who is willing and able to lead us in the gospel way of life.

In examining our own lives, do we currently find ourselves under the guidance and care of a spiritual shepherd? Or are we wandering around through life on our own? Many of us have bought into our Western individualism that preaches “You can make it on your own.” However, what if God never intended for you to make it on your own? What if He even warns us against such an idea?

Think about this: If you’ve ever watched a nature documentary, how do lions usually seek to attack their prey? Usually, they attack by first attempting to isolate their prey from the rest of the herd. And then once they’ve got their victim out on its own they can outnumber it, overpower it and eventually kill it. 

Attempting to walk through this life alone will leave us vulnerable to the world’s attacks on our faith and knowledge of God. And if given the opportunity, the world will seek to kill your confidence in the God you claim to believe.

Perhaps you have experienced this. Life and circumstances are crushing your confidence in God. Examine and ask, are you trying to make it on your own? Or are you faithfully facing the trials of life with someone leading you through the valleys and into the still waters of spiritual refreshment?

Perhaps it would benefit us to understand that faith and our knowledge of the gospel go hand in hand and are utterly inseparable. There’s no real faith without accurate knowledge and understanding of the gospel. A correct and sincere knowledge of God and what He has done for us delivers us from errors and misconceptions about God that can be confusing and cause us to stumble. For example, if we fail to understand why and how Christ was willing to suffer the wrath of God that we were meant to suffer then we’ll likely be more susceptible to question God’s love in the midst of suffering. 

If we don’t understand God’s love for us in the midst of His suffering then we’ll have a hard time understanding His love for us in the midst of our own suffering. A faith without knowledge and reason has no power to transform anybody. Only a faith firmly rooted in a solid understanding of the gospel will begin to transform us into faithful people who fully trust the love of God.   

So, if we’re serious about growing in our faith then we'll seek out a shepherd to help nurture us in that faith.