My Interests vs Christ’s Interests

Daily Scripture readings for November, set #19:

2 Kings, chapters 12-13
Psalm 119:145-152
Luke 5:33-39
Philippians 2:19-30

2 Kings 13:23 is an encouraging reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness to his promises… BUT… I want to comment on a couple other things in today’s 2 Kings chapters, things I’m not totally clear on. First off, did the young king Joash have a name change mid-story? In chapter 11 he’s “Joash,” and in chapter 12 he’s “Jehoash.” Also, were there TWO Jehoash’s? “In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoaz began to reign in Israel in Samaria, and he reigned sixteen years” (13:10). It appears that one was king over Jerusalem (Judah) and one was king over Israel (Samaria). It’s not the same Joash/Jehoash in both kingdom’s, right?

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise” (Ps 119:147-148). I once had a guy tell me that these verses were proof texts that we should all have our daily devotions before the sun comes up. I’m not gonna lie… that feels like a stretch, exegetically.

Jesus’ “old vs new wineskins” parable in Luke 5 is probably familiar to you, but here’s a good explanation of it’s meaning if you, like me, have never really understood it. On another note, Jesus is right that “no one after drinking old wine desires new,” but in the case of most conservative evangelicals, the reason is not that “old wine is good” but rather that they don’t think they’re allowed to drink wine at all.

I mentioned in my comments on the previous Philippians reading that God’s pleasure and our pleasure are not mutually exclusive. Paul again mentions this issue in Phil 2:21, though he himself seems to disagree with my statement: “They all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” Are the two interests (my own and Christ’s) mutually exclusive, or can they be compatible somehow?

Daily Scripture readings for November, set #20:

2 Kings, chapters 14-15
Psalm 119:153-160
Luke 6:1-16
Philippians 3:1-9

“And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord… nevertheless, the high places were not removed” (2 Kings 15:34-35). I’m amazed at how often this story is showing up in 2 Kings. Either the kings do evil in the sight of the Lord, or they do what’s right… but not quite all the way. The instinct let some good in one’s actions justify the overlooking of some bad in one’s actions is a strong instinct.

Psalm 119:153-160 seem pretty scattered and randomly connected, but this phrase stands out to me: “The sum of your word is truth” (vs 160).

“But he knew their thoughts…” (Luke 6:8). What a helpful reminder, both in resisting temptation and in my daily prayer life and communion with God. Nothing that I do, say, or even THINK is hidden from the Lord.

Springboarding off of my Philippians 2 comments, consider Paul’s words in Philippians 3, verse 8: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” I think this is the key to interpreting Paul’s “conflicting interests” statement in 2:21. Christ is the TRUE joy, and when I seek his interests I am also seeking my own best interests. Christ’s interests might not match my flesh’s interests, but my flesh is not to be trusted anyway (cf Rom 8:7-8).

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