God's grace
Week 29 is schedule for study July 11-17, 2022. Trust in God’s grace. Trusting in God in all things will make all the difference in our life, no matter what the topic may be that is in question.

Day 1

When Josiah heard the words from the book of the law, he responded in faith. How can you respond in faith to what you read in 2 Kings 17-25?

2 Kings 18-19 – I can stay true to the Lord during challenging times.

I have far too much to say for today than what will fit here. Please click the link to read the article

Hezekiah was put into a very uncomfortable position. Would he continue on and remain faithful to God, or would he be intimidated by the most powerful king on earth, who just happened to have 185,000 troops camped outside the city, ready to tromp all over his people? We won’t all be put into such grand predicaments in life, but all of us will be made to choose our loyalty at least once in life. To each of us it will feel like we are facing overwhelming odds, and that the words of intimidation designed to make us feel small and insignificant are doing their job. Enjoy the read. Make some time for this one, because it is long, but worth your time.

2 Kings 18-19 – Trusting God – Day 1

Here is a quote from Elder Uchtdorf from October 2013 general conference. The talk is Come Join With Us.

“… first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.

We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from

the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Day 2

When Josiah heard the words from the book of the law, he responded in faith. How can you respond in faith to what you read in 2 Kings 17-25?

2 Kings 19:20-37 – All things are in the Lord’s hands.

My comments on the verses in today’s lesson are mostly contained in the PDF file linked in yesterday’s lesson. I suggest you go back there and read today’s verses and commentary once again for a refresher.

The verses in today’s reading don’t demonstrate God’s confidence in Himself so much as they demonstrate His sure and complete knowledge of where He stands in comparison to even the most powerful man on earth. Sennacherib was the most powerful king around. No one could stand up to the Assyrian army. The Assyrians took what they wanted, killed who they wished to kill, and removed entire populations from one part of the map to another. This is why Sennacherib had such confidence that the little kingdom of Judah would pose no threat to him or his powerful army. Remember Rab-shakeh mocked the people saying that he would personally supply them with 2,000 horses, IF they could even find that many men to ride them into battle. Rab-shakeh had more than 185,000 troops in his army camp just a short distance away. What could the people of Jerusalem do against those overwhelming numbers?

As Rab-shakeh only thought with his head, so too do we oftentimes forget who it is that rules in the heavens, and our position of privilege before Him. We have made covenants with the ruler of the universe, and He has promised to help us fight our battles. As long as we are obedient to His commandments, He will not only protect us, but preserve and prosper us.

One of the most consistent and persistent patterns I am seeing as we read the Old Testament this year is God’s unwearying faithfulness to the covenants He makes. It doesn’t matter what we do, how we act, how much we betray Him, He is always consistent in upholding His end of the agreement. Somehow we often act like if we mess up badly enough, that cancels the contract with God. But God doesn’t see it that way. As an eternal being, once a covenant is made, it is forever. Our fickleness doesn’t cancel what He sees as His own obligations to us, just as our fickleness shouldn’t make us think that He is moved in His opinion of His contract with us. He is a rock, immovable and steady. We are the water that ebbs and flows against His firmness. We can dash ourselves against Him all we want. It won’t change Him.

Aren’t we blessed to have someone love us so much that they are willing to put up with us and all we do each day to put ourselves to shame? Christ will always forgive us. It is we who need to come back to Him. He hasn’t gone anywhere. He holds all of creation in the palm of His hands, for He controls them from hour to hour all day, every day. We can put all our faith in Him, for He never waivers or wanders. His paths really are one eternal round, without any shadow of changing. He has earned our trust and our confidence. Now whether we give Him what He deserves is up to us.

Day 3

When Josiah heard the words from the book of the law, he responded in faith. How can you respond in faith to what you read in 2 Kings 17-25?

2 Kings 21-23 – The scriptures can turn my heart to the Lord.

When was the last time you fell in love with someone from a movie you didn’t see? How about when you fell in love with that person in the book you didn’t read? I know, you fell in love with that person you never dated! These questions sound ridiculous because we all know we don’t care about the people we never met, and know nothing about.

I mentioned in yesterday’s lesson that this time through the Old Testament I am struck with the constancy of God. Once He made a covenant to protect and shepherd Abraham’s family, we have story after story of His everlasting love and constant devotion to Abraham’s posterity. They turn from Him, they ridicule Him, they chase after gods that don’t even exist, but He is still there. God has been here and honoring His commitment to Abraham for thousands of years. Not once has He abandoned those He promised to do all in His power to bless, protect, and save. No matter how bad mannered we are, or how often we stray from our family obligations to Him, He is still there, willing to accept us back when we choose to repent.

How do I know these things? I know them because I have been reading, and rereading the scriptures. I have been pondering what I have read. And I look for instances where God’s promises have been honored, once again. Secretly I have expected to find at least one time where He got so fed up with our faithlessness and lack of gratitude that He has cut us loose and promised we would all just burn. But I haven’t seen any indication yet that His patience has a limit, that His love has a limit. The only people I know who even remotely approach God’s attributes and consistency of love are those who have steeped themselves in His written word and live their lives by what they have learned of God in His scriptures.

There is power in His written word. The personality of God is in there. We learn of His constancy, His tolerance, His passions, anger, forgiveness, and His desires to bless us and exalt each of us. You simply cannot come to love God without first experiencing Him through what He has had written for the express purpose of revealing Himself to His children. Feeling lost in life? Turn to the scriptures. Looking for answers in life? You’ll find them in the scriptures. Have questions about how spiritual things are supposed to work? They are in the scriptures. There is true power in the written word of God. The more time and effort we pour into living in the scriptures, the more our hearts will turn to God and the more we will experience His love and tenderness. This is why He had them written. This is their intent, their promise.

FHE/Personal Study

God’s grace is sufficient

I sat and stared at the four topics in the study section of this week’s lesson. But no matter how long I stared at it, and reread them, nothing came to mind. Suddenly, an urgent thought sprang into my head – Go to sleep. Okay, thought I. I had been up early, and had already been working for a couple of hours. So I went back to bed for 30 minutes. When I woke up the title of today’s study section was running through my head. I guess I just needed to get rid of the cobwebs in my mind.

What does it mean that God’s grace is sufficient? Sufficient for what? We know His goodness is enough to cover whatever sin we need to repent of. His grace is sufficient to empower us to change our life in whatever way it needs to be changed. His “enabling power” can change our heart to help us have a better attitude when our attitude is getting in the way of personal relationships, or when we are bucking against a doctrinal point we don’t agree with or don’t understand. Funny how in our moments of greatest obstinacy He can sooth our mind and spirit and create within us a willingness to cooperate where it wasn’t there a few moments or days before.

Because of God’s grace, His enabling power, our trials in life are able to be met and overcome with some semblance of grace (you can substitute the word finesse here), instead of our own clumsy attempts at powering through our difficulties alone. His grace becomes a teaching tool to give us strength when we are afraid, humility when we are feeling stubborn, and at peace when we are troubled about something. If there is a cosmic pixy dust that enables us to fly to Neverland, God’s grace is the closest thing I can think of that is real and in never ending supply.

How does God’s grace apply to the three other topics in this week’s lesson? Look at each of the titles. Staying true during challenging times can be difficult, but with God’s grace we can exercise the faith in Him and His agenda and remain faithful until we see His salvation come to pass for that trial. Exercising faith that all things are in His hands allows us to see the beauty in life when everything else might otherwise look too bleak for us to see anything but despair and woe. And by immersing ourselves in the scriptures we come to appreciate better the inestimable value of God’s love for us as His children, and for the Savior’s sacrifices to help us return to the source of all love, our Father. God’s grace truly is sufficient to do whatever we need it to do in our life. In God there is no lacking.

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print a PDF copy of the article.

OT29-2022 – He Trusted in the Lord God of Israel

Week 29