Heed the Warnings

Posted: July 15, 2010 in 2 Kings

2 Kings 16-17, “Heed the Warnings”
—————-

Some chapters in the OT are filled with hopeful things & miracles & reasons to rejoice…other chapters are filled with tragedy. Guess which we have tonight? 🙂 We go from a truly evil king in Judah to the captivity & enslavement of the people of Israel (now known as Samaria). It’s not exactly a couple of chapters to go sing “Kum by Yah” to… Yet, these chapters ought to help us sit up & pay attention. The God we serve is indeed a God of love (as we studied in 1 John 4), but He is also a God of holy righteousness. God will not allow sin to reign unchecked forever. He has a limit to His patience for those in rebellion outside of Christ, and eventually He will show forth His justice. Even for those of us in Christ, God won’t allow us to continue in sin forever – God chastens those whom He loves, and if that chastening includes a trip to the holy woodshed for a well-deserved spanking, then God won’t hesitate to give it to us.

The challenge we face is understand when God is warning us & giving us an opportunity to repent BEFORE that chastening has to take place. Unfortunately, neither Judah nor Israel are going to listen in the next couple of chapters.

2 Kings 16 (NKJV)
1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God, as his father David had done. 3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel; indeed he made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

A. Terrible king! One of the worst in Judah’s history… His father was a fairly good king, yet the son was truly evil. …

B. How bad was he? Ahaz went so far as to engage in child sacrifice… … He was so bad that the author doesn’t even describe him as being like the kings of Judah, but rather of the “kings of Israel.” He was as bad as the foreign nations…

a. How bad is it when the people of God act the same as the pagans around us? …

5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to make war; and they besieged Ahaz but could not overcome him. 6 At that time Rezin king of Syria captured Elath for Syria, and drove the men of Judah from Elath. Then the Edomites went to Elath, and dwell there to this day.

A. Partial victory for Syria. They may not have been able to completely overthrow Jerusalem, but they were able to capture some of the cities. For the author, the results of this struggle could still be seen in the Edomites.

7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and save me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me.” 8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and sent it as a present to the king of Assyria. 9 So the king of Assyria heeded him; for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and took it, carried its people captive to Kir, and killed Rezin.

A. 2 Chronicles gives a different perspective of Assyria’s relationship with Judah – in 2 Chr 28:21, it states very clearly that the king of Assyria did not help Judah. 2 Kings gives the impression that Assyria does help…what gives? It seems that Assyria’s help is inconsistent. Ahaz hires Assyria to help with money from the Temple Treasury, and sometimes Assyria helps, while other times Assyria doesn’t care. Assyria is really the power player in the area; they just help Judah when it’s profitable to them.

B. The striking thing here isn’t so much what Assyria does, but what Judah does. Instead of seeing the attack from Syria & Israel as an event allowed by God to bring Judah to repentance, Judah ignores God altogether in all of this & hires out pagan help. Instead of seeking the Lord, Ahaz actually takes money that belonged to the Lord & used it to hire help from total pagans. Instead of repenting from all of his sinful worldly actions, Ahaz sought even more after the world than he did before!

a. This is the sign of a hardened heart!

b. How much of a lack of faith does it show, when people not only ignore the Lord God, but take the things that are to be devoted to God & give it to the world to get the world’s help? For example: the Christians that just ‘check their faith at the door’ & listen to advice from Oprah b/c Oprah is really “spiritual”… Or churches that spend tithes & offerings on business consultants & marketing strategies for growth rather than on the word of God…

10 Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the design of the altar and its pattern, according to all its workmanship. 11 Then Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. So Urijah the priest made it before King Ahaz came back from Damascus.

A. Despite Assyria’s apparent lack of interest in Judah, King Ahaz is still seeking to make political friends, so he goes to Damascus after Syria has been defeated in an attempt to meet up with the king of Assyria. There’s no mention of any meeting – but while Ahaz is in Damascus, he does find something he likes: the pagan idolatry. … Of all the things that Ahaz could have done, that’s what he chooses to export back home to Jerusalem…

B. To cap off the tragedy, Urijah the priest goes along with the idea! Granted, to refuse a direct order of the king could have cost Urijah his life – but (especially as a priest!) Urijah’s highest loyalty was to God Almighty; not the king. … The priest had a responsibility to stand up for the things of God.

a. Keep in mind we are a kingdom of priests. We are the people of God. If the CHURCH doesn’t stand up for the things of God, who will?

12 And when the king came back from Damascus, the king saw the altar; and the king approached the altar and made offerings on it. 13 So he burned his burnt offering and his grain offering; and he poured his drink offering and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar. 14 He also brought the bronze altar which was before the LORD, from the front of the temple—from between the new altar and the house of the LORD—and put it on the north side of the new altar. 15 Then King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “On the great new altar burn the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. And the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” 16 Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that King Ahaz commanded.

A. Not only did Ahaz & Urijah build the pagan altar, they took the sacrifices & worship that belonged to God & profaned them on the pagan altar.

B. No matter how hard some people try to do so, we cannot mix the true worship of God with the false worship in the world. It just doesn’t work that way. Those who really worship God worship Him in spirit & in truth (John 4)… We’re not going to be able to mix the gospel of Jesus Christ in with the smorgasbord of religions out there…

17 And King Ahaz cut off the panels of the carts, and removed the lavers from them; and he took down the Sea from the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pavement of stones. 18 Also he removed the Sabbath pavilion which they had built in the temple, and he removed the king’s outer entrance from the house of the LORD, on account of the king of Assyria.

A. Taking the Lord’s money wasn’t enough – profaning the sacrifices of God wasn’t enough – Ahaz kept destroying the things of God by taking apart the various Temple instruments, lavers, etc.

B. Ahaz’s problem? He had no fear of the Lord. He did these things “on account of the king of Assyria”…he feared Tiglath-Pileser, but not Yahweh-God Almighty.

19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 20 So Ahaz rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

A. 2 Chronicles 28 indicates that although Ahaz was buried in the City of David, he wasn’t really treated as a king in his death. The people understood, that Ahaz had not acted like a true king of Judah. (The perfect king of Judah won’t come until Jesus Christ reigns in Jerusalem!)

2 Kings 17 (NKJV)
1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king of Israel in Samaria, and he reigned nine years. 2 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel who were before him.

A. Back up north to Israel – Hoshea is the next king. Par for the course, he does “evil in the sight of the Lord,” yet he does not seem to be quite as bad as those who came before him. … Interestingly enough, this is when the captivity of Israel comes. Not during Ahab’s time (who was terrible) – not during Jehoahaz or Joash or Jeroboam II or any of the kings that were truly evil in the sight of God…but during the reign of a guy who wasn’t quite as bad as the others. [] We tend to hold ourselves up in comparison with other people (“At least I’m not as bad as ____”), but if that’s our standard for whether or not we’re displeasing in the sight of God, we’re going to find ourselves sorely disappointed. The standard is perfection – the standard bearer is Jesus Christ. That’s why all of our hope & faith must be in Jesus’ work alone for salvation…He is the ONLY one that is perfect. “Not as evil as the other guy” is still evil in the end – and it still falls far short of the righteousness of God.

3 Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him; and Hoshea became his vassal, and paid him tribute money. 4 And the king of Assyria uncovered a conspiracy by Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and brought no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

A. Apparently Hoshea’s kingdom was either so weakened by this point that he couldn’t put up a fight against Assyria, or he just didn’t have the guts to do it. Assyria comes against him, and the 1st thing he does is start paying tribute as a vassal state – then when Assyria finds some charges against him, Hoshea is removed from the throne & thrown into jail.

B. How to take over a country. Step #1: get rid of the leader. Step #2: get rid of the people…see vs. 5.

5 Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

A. It’s official at this point: Israel/Samaria has been taken off into captivity. The kingdom years for Israel are over; they are no longer a people in the land God gave to Moses & Joshua. By dispersing the people among the Assyrian empire, Assyria effectively eliminates the Samaritan nationality, forcing them to integrate among other nations & other people.

B. The Babylonians will later attempt the same tactic with the kingdom of Judah. It is nothing less than a supernatural miracle of God that a racial nation of Jews continued to exist throughout the period of the Captivity, came back into the land with Zerubbabel/Ezra/Jeremiah, was again forced from the land by the Romans, and now exists today as the nation of Israel! No nation in history has EVER survived such a thing. The very existence of the Jews today should scream out the validity of the Bible!

C. Why did God sovereignly allow Israel to be taken into captivity? Scripture is clear on the matter – see vs 7…

7 For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, 8 and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the LORD had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. 9 Also the children of Israel secretly did against the LORD their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves sacred pillars and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger, 12 for they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”

A. Questions: Was it sad that Israel was taken into captivity? Sure. Was it wrong of Assyria to engage in brutality (which is historically what they were known for)? Of course. Was Israel’s defeat by Assyria outside of the will of God? Absolutely not. The Bible makes it perfectly clear here that what happened to Israel/Samaria was not a mere accident of history; it was the firm discipline of the hand of Almighty God. Israel “did wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger” – the people “had sinned against the LORD their God.” Israel had willingly engaged in a covenant (contract) with the Lord God – they had affirmed it under Moses, Joshua, and others. Yet Israel had broken that covenant time & time again, and although God had repeatedly shown them patient mercy, the time for mercy was over & the time for judgment had begun.

B. Did they know what they were getting into? Absolutely. The covenant had proclaimed blessings upon obedience & curses upon disobedience. Deuteronomy 28:63-64 (63) And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess. (64) “Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone. [] God had told them what was going to happen if they disobeyed, and they ignored His voice in the Scripture. And it wasn’t just the written word; it was the spoken word – see vs. 13…

13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” 14 Nevertheless they would not hear, but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them.

A. In addition to ignoring the covenant given them by Moses – in addition to casting of the word of God in the Scripture, the people had repeatedly ignored the verbal & written warnings given by God to them from the prophets. Men like Amos, Micah, Hosea, Ezekiel, Elijah, and Elisha had repeatedly called the kings & people to repentance, and all their warnings were cast aside & ignored. In their stiff-necked stubbornness, Israel rejected the covenant of God & made themselves like the nations whom God had originally cast out of the land by Joshua. If God had judged those people through Joshua, surely God would do no less with the people whom He Himself had placed in the land.

– The list of Israel’s crimes…
16 So they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, made for themselves a molded image and two calves, made a wooden image and worshiped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17 And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger. 18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone. 19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

A. Of all the things Israel did, the crime that always tops the list is their continued idolatry. It took place in all sorts of forms – they worshipped: statues, images, the stars, demonic forces & false gods. They participated in all sorts of pagan wickedness: child sacrifice, witchcraft, prostitution, and more. They thought they were appeasing other regional deities, but the only thing they were doing in actuality was provoking the real God of the universe to anger.

a. Question: what makes idolatry so bad? Why aren’t other things that were in the law (such as showing compassion to widows & orphans, etc.) included in the list? It’s not that Israel was perfect in all other points of the law except paganism (just read the minor prophets – they excelled in wickedness!); it’s that no matter what else they did, when they turned away from worshipping the True God, everything else hinges upon that. When stating the greatest two commandments to love the Lord & love others as yourself, Jesus told us that “on these two commandments hand all the Law and the Prophets.” (Mt 22:40). Even in the book of Deuteronomy (“2nd Law”), the command to love the Lord is repeated at least 9 different times. Our relationship with the Lord hinges upon our love for Him – and out of that love flows love for our neighbors & fellow believers in Christ. When Israel neglected to love God, everything else faltered as a result.

B. BTW – note Judah is not exempt here. Judah didn’t do much better than Israel in keeping the commandments of the Lord & worshipping Him alone (as seen in Ch 16 with Ahaz). Their time for captivity is coming, though the results will be a bit different due to the covenant God made with David (the promise to bring the Messiah through his bloodline).

a. That fact alone ought to give us a lot of hope in our own relationship with God. None of us loves the Lord God perfectly – we certainly don’t love each other perfectly. God may discipline us from time to time, but why aren’t we completely cast out of relationship with God? Because of the covenant we have with God. Our covenant is based upon the blood of Jesus Christ – and because of Jesus’ finished work at the cross, our hope is not in our own abilities/inabilities; it is in Jesus Christ alone!

20 And the LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them from His sight. 21 For He tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the LORD, and made them commit a great sin. 22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, 23 until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away from their own land to Assyria, as it is to this day.

A. The summary of it all: God cast them out. Because of Israel’s flagrant rejection of God, God “rejected all the descendants of Israel.” Israel was ripped away from the house of David, meaning David’s descendants (the kingdom of Judah – the Jews) would be the primary ones brought back into the land to see the promised Messiah & the fulfillment of promise (and of course, the Jews would reject their own Messiah). That does NOT mean that the other 10 tribes were “lost” – some surely migrated to the Southern Kingdom of Judah & God knew where the rest were in the Dispersion. In any case, we see ALL of Israel during the Great Tribulation time (Rom 11, Rev 7). [] Whatever your end-time belief system, this much is plain: because Israel rejected the repeated warnings of God, God rejected Israel.

B. The lesson? Heed the warnings!! Don’t ignore the warnings of God! …

a. Believers reject the warnings of God when we think that because of the grace of Jesus Christ, God will never allow us to experience the consequences of our sin. Not true!

b. Unbelievers reject the warnings of God when they reject Jesus Christ as their personal Lord & Savior. Don’t make that mistake! Every morning God allows you to wake up & breathe oxygen is another display of the mercy of God. He WANTS you to turn from your sin & trust Jesus as Lord…God’s desire is that you wouldn’t perish, but receive everlasting life. God has warned you again & again to flee to Jesus Christ for salvation & forgiveness – and He’s given you yet another opportunity tonight to do exactly that. To pass up that offer is to ignore the warnings of God…and you do so knowing the consequences of what you’ll face.

24 Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities. 25 And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them.

A. Assyria attempted to breed out the people of Israel. 1st, they took the children of Israel & scattered them throughout the Assyrian empire. Next, they took Gentile people from around the empire, and brought them into Samaria. Anyone that was left would intermarry & gradually the Hebrew influence would be “bred out” of the land.

B. Problem: they may have conquered the borders of the land, but Assyria did not own the land. God had given the land specifically to the people of Israel to be governed under a specific covenant. When the new inhabitants of Samaria started their normal pagan practices, they incurred the wrath of God. (It’s kind of hard to ignore that sort of thing when man-eating lions start showing up on the city roads…)

26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have removed and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the rituals of the God of the land; therefore He has sent lions among them, and indeed, they are killing them because they do not know the rituals of the God of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Send there one of the priests whom you brought from there; let him go and dwell there, and let him teach them the rituals of the God of the land.” 28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.

A. How to deal with the lions & the displeasure of God? Find out how to please God. The Assyrians allowed one priest of Israel to go back & teach the people how to fear the Lord. It won’t work out perfectly, but the idea behind it was sound.

B. Note: even the new Gentiles recognized the hand & wrath at God at work & realized they needed to do something about it. The children of Israel had been in the land for hundreds of years & simply ignored God & His discipline. But the Gentiles didn’t take long to recognize they needed to do something to please God.

a. It’s pretty sad when the pagans understand the basics about God better than the Church. Pagans at least understand that if someone is truly born-again by the Holy Spirit that their life ought to change & reflect the love & power of God through Jesus Christ. … Yet it seems like a foreign concept to many people claiming the name of Christ…

29 However every nation continued to make gods of its own, and put them in the shrines on the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities where they dwelt. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared the LORD, and from every class they appointed for themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of the high places. 33 They feared the LORD, yet served their own gods—according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.

A. The Samaritan syncretism. I.e. – the attempt to mix a whole bunch of religions together in one big ball of wax. The new inhabitants of the land learned to fear the Lord God (a bit), and then just mixed in their newfound fear of God with their worship of other false gods (not unlike what Israel had been doing all along).

B. True Christianity doesn’t work this way. Just as with King Ahaz & Urijah the priest in Judah, the people of the land tried to mix everything together – but God alone is God & God is a jealous God. He will not share His glory with anyone, nor can we expect to worship Him & attempt to worship something else at the same time. The 1st Commandment is to have no other gods before God – the Great Commandment is to love the Lord with everything that we are. To truly worship God, we must worship God ALONE – anything else is idolatry.

a. What does this look like today? People will say, “Oh, I believe in Jesus – and I believe in a bit of karma as well.” Or “I believe in Jesus – but I better have my priest say certain things over me, or I won’t go to heaven.” Or “I believe in Jesus – but I’ve got to plant some seed-faith money over here for God to really bless me.” All these things are “Jesus+”…they are additions to the true gospel, which make them a FALSE gospel. To worship God alone, we go to Jesus alone in faith alone, and rely upon His grace alone. Jesus+ nothing…

34 To this day they continue practicing the former rituals; they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances, or the law and commandment which the LORD had commanded the children of Jacob, whom He named Israel, 35 with whom the LORD had made a covenant and charged them, saying: “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them; 36 but the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. 37 And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods. 38 And the covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”

A. This was the covenant God gave the children of Israel – this is what they should have obeyed. (And likewise, this is what the new inhabitants of the land should have kept, but didn’t.)

40 However they did not obey, but they followed their former rituals. 41 So these nations feared the LORD, yet served their carved images; also their children and their children’s children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day.

A. The Samaritans never stopped. Not in the author’s day – not even in Jesus’ day. The woman at the well was still asking Jesus about a false worship structure when He told her about worshipping God in spirit & truth. (Sin has lasting consequences…)

Conclusion:
Do you heed the warnings of God? King Ahaz didn’t – he ignored the word of God spoken to him through Isaiah, Hosea, and other prophets…and Judah is on borrowed time at this point, anyway. The nation of Israel surely didn’t. From their 1st king (Jeroboam I) down through their final king (Hoshea), virtually all of them to a man ignored the Lord, ignored the Scriptures, and ignored the prophets. Over & over again, God called them to repentance – chastened them as sons – gave them opportunity to seek forgiveness & restoration. And all of God’s mercies were cast aside. In the end, God did what had to be done: He gave them over to the results of their sin.

If it sounds sobering, it ought to be. After all, are we any better than rebellious Israel? How many times has God made us aware of our own need of repentance & we ignored Him? How many times have we run headlong into sin, and ignored the voice of the Holy Spirit? How many times have we worshipped “stuff” & “position” in place of the one we call “Savior”? There is but one thing that is different between the rebellious northern kingdom & us: the Lord Jesus Christ. And praise God for Him!!

Understand, it would be very easy for us to look back over history & sniff our noses at those who failed to follow God…but it’d be wrong. Save for the grace of God, we would all be in that place ourselves. In fact, before we encountered the grace of God through Jesus Christ we WERE in that place ourselves! We were the rebellious ones given over to our sin…but Jesus Christ reached out to us & saved us by His grace! We are kept in the covenant of God by the grace of God in Christ. And for that reason alone, we can praise Him!

But though we are forgiven, let us take heed unless we also ignore the warnings of God. God would keep us from the consequences of sin – but many times we just don’t listen. God would save us from heartbreak, and family breakups, and other tragedies – but many times that’s exactly what we experience simply because we ignored the clear warnings in God’s word. Take heed. We WILL reap what we sow – be sure you’re listening to God now, so you’ll reap blessings later.

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