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Connect the Testaments

June 5: When Words Are Enough
2 Chronicles 11:1–13:22; Titus 2:9–2:15; Psalm 96:1–13
It’s not often that words change the course of history. But Shemaiah, a little-known prophet, was given such an opportunity. We can easily pass over these life-altering moments if we’re not looking for them.
Rehoboam had assembled 180,000 chosen “makers of war” to fight against Israel in hopes of restoring his kingdom. He was prepared to destroy a portion of God’s people in order to gain a temporary victory. Then Shemaiah—a “man of God”—came along (2 Chr. 11:2).
When Shemaiah spoke for Yahweh, Rehoboam backed down; he sent the 180,000 men home (2 Chr. 11:1–4). You can imagine Rehoboam trembling in fear as he told this enormous number of warriors, “Thanks for coming out today, but Shemaiah just told me that Yahweh doesn’t approve, so we can start fortifying this city instead (see 2 Chr. 11:5–12), or you can just go home if you want.”
Trust goes both ways in this story. Rehoboam trusted that Shemaiah spoke the true word of Yahweh, and Rehoboam had the trust of his men, who chose to listen to him instead of independently heading into battle. All of the parties decided to trust Yahweh, whether directly through His oracle or indirectly through following the words of their leaders.
When things seem out of control, we expect God to show up. But we often make that request without regard for the foundation we should have laid before—when things were calm. Times of rest and waiting are not times to be stagnant; instead, they are times to get to know God better so that we are prepared for what’s next. Shemaiah prepared for this situation by knowing God—the best kind of preparation.
How can you establish the foundation for your future ministry experiences now?
John D. Barry


 Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.

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