Sunday, December 20, 2009

 

When You're Right With the Lord, You Make Good Decisions

I am at my parents' house so blogging will be sparse for a while. In the meantime check out this passage (2 Chronicles 26: 1-15) which illustrates the way I think God works in history:
1 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, [a] who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 2 He was the one who rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah after Amaziah rested with his fathers.
3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years. His mother's name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem. 4 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear [b] of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.

6 He went to war against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh and Ashdod. He then rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal and against the Meunites. 8 The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.

9 Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them. 10 He also built towers in the desert and dug many cisterns, because he had much livestock in the foothills and in the plain. He had people working his fields and vineyards in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil.

11 Uzziah had a well-trained army, ready to go out by divisions according to their numbers as mustered by Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the direction of Hananiah, one of the royal officials. 12 The total number of family leaders over the fighting men was 2,600. 13 Under their command was an army of 307,500 men trained for war, a powerful force to support the king against his enemies. 14 Uzziah provided shields, spears, helmets, coats of armor, bows and slingstones for the entire army. 15 In Jerusalem he made machines designed by skillful men for use on the towers and on the corner defenses to shoot arrows and hurl large stones. His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.
So of course the writer attributes Uzziah's (initial) success to his obedience to the Lord's ways, but an atheist could say, "No that had nothing to do with it. Look the guy was a smart military commander and even spent money on R&D for advanced weaponry."



Comments:
I find that last phrase rather intriguing ... "he was greatly helped until he became powerful" ... is that "until" really a "so that" or did something go wrong once he had lots of power?
 
Where being a Christian helps is with the elusive quality of wisdom. It's even hard to define, but many people recognize it when they see it. People can be well educated, even have a PhD, but still lack wisdom. Of course, the best combination is education and wisdom, but those people are rare.
 
I like this quote...

"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of face within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity."--
Calvin Coolidge
 
Nice quote from Coolidge. I would add that wisdom has a moral quality to it, also. It includes a deep concern for the truth regardless of the consequences and honesty.
 
Anon,

Something went very wrong. If you click on the link and change the verses to show what happens next you can see.
 
So perhaps wisdom would decree that the accumulation of power is a bad thing for humans ...
 
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But let's continue:

"16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall."
 
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