Alright. I have a confession to make.
I listened to Stuart Olyott’s second sermon on Elisha on Saturday night…and didn’t tell you.
I’m sorry. But hey, I’m encouraging you guys to branch out on your own, too, so I hope you didn’t wait for me!
I do want to share a single sentence that has stuck in my head since then. Stuart Olyott preached from 2 Kings 2:15-25, and summarized that passage into one powerful punch.
“Behold, the goodness and severity of our God.”
So simple, and yet such hard-hitting truth. I feel like the hipster church of today doesn’t enjoy thinking about the severity of God. They claim that the “severe” God was stuck in the Old Testament, but the New Testament God is love, mercy, and acceptance.
I don’t know what God they’re talking about, but my God never changes. God is severe in His righteous, just punishment, but He is good in the deliverance of His people and even in the caring of unbelieving people. He is both/and, not either/or. We want to say, “That is not fair! How cruel!” and yet, God is not like us. God is all good, and He is also jealous. He is the only being who can be righteously angry. He does not sin. His wrath is pure, His punishment is just, even as His goodness is never ending and His faithfulness is sure.
Anyway, that sentence clearly stuck with me for good reason.
Today, I listened to the third sermon. It would have been sooner, but I can’t really listen to these at work right now… crazy conference paper writing going on.
Also, I didn’t write out any quotes for you guys… I’m sorry again. Just ran 7 miles and just felt like vegging in God’s word without worrying about catching quotes. I hope you understand.
I did catch this, though!
There are five truths to learn from the first three verses:
- V 2: God personally observes your wrongdoing.
- V 2: God records our bad deeds.
- V 2: God recognizes degrees of sin.
- V 3: God sees whether your reformation is partial or complete.
- V 3: God notes our continuance in sin. God knows, God knows.
You know, I think I forget this sometimes. God knows… we can’t hide anything, we can’t cover anything up, we can’t pretend it didn’t happen. God knows. But for those of us who are saved, God also forgives!