Week 41 Tuesday

Lessons Learned

Today’s scripture selection: Second Chronicles 16-20

Key verses: Second Chronicles 17:3-9

King Jehoshaphat, the fourth king of the kingdom of Judah, was on to something.  His people were biblically illiterate.  So first he got rid of all the false idols they followed.  Then he instituted nationwide religious reform.  And, for awhile, all went well.

Then, he arranged for his son to marry.

The problem was, the wedding was to be with the daughter of a wicked King by the name of Ahab.  And, along with the wedding plans, came a devastating military alliance between the two countries.

As bad as that was, his own people eventually were influenced to forget all the lessons of faith that Jehoshaphat had originally instituted.  And, when he died, and his daughter-in-law became Queen; she brought back all the old religious practices from before. The people were once again plunged into darkness.

Some lessons are learned well; some are forgotten – and when those lessons are of a spiritual nature – that can have tremendous consequences.

Now, I don’t imagine that you sit around worrying over the likes of Jehoshaphat or his daughter-in-law Athaliah.  After all, it was a long time ago.

But the principle still holds.

We need to value deeply the spiritual lessons we can learn from our faith.  And we should never either neglect them or toss them aside for personal (or for that matter, national) reasons.

We need to consider them not just “lessons learned” but “lessons to be lived.”

We need to get out our Bibles – and if they are dusty from sitting on the shelf un-opened, do something beside dust them and put them back on the shelf.

I know – that’s very “preacher-like” of me to say.

But I also know it’s true.  The lessons we learn from the Bible are the ones that can sustain us for a lifetime…an eternal lifetime.

Prayer: Lord, cause my mind to stir when I think of your Word.  And, may I take to heart the lessons I find there.  AMEN.

 

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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