Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 36, Hosea 4, Acts 20
In these days when “knowledge has been increased” and many “run (travel) to and fro” [as we read in Daniel 12 v.4] we think of the dedication of the Apostle Paul, as we read today in Acts 20, who “did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. “ [Acts 20 v.27] Paul was speaking to the elders from Ephesus who were then “sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.´[v.38] to set him on his way to return to Jerusalem.
It is Paul’s words to them, we read in v.32 that we should also take to ourselves. “I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” What an example Paul had set them – and everyone else, “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable … of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” [v.21]
Let us fill our minds with “the whole counsel of God” and “things” that are “profitable.” All around us people only think of profit in monetary terms, we must think of it in spiritual terms and of the “inheritance” which those who embrace in their minds, “the whole counsel of God” will receive – and how soon now!?
In contrast to our Acts reading the final chapter of 2nd Chronicles tells us of the dismal end of the Jewish nation and of Jerusalem when “all the officers of the priests and the people likewise were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations” [v.14]
Our Hosea reading paints a similarly distressing picture – and without any difficulty at all we can see the parallel to life today. He declares, “the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants …. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God …there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds …” [v.1,2] What a privilege to know “the whole counsel of God” – let us embrace it with all our heart, especially as the promised “inheritance” now appears to be so near.