September 23, Wednesday

Editor’s Note:  The AMI QT Devotionals from September 21-23 are provided by Kate Moon who serves as a missionary in E. Asia.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

2 Kings 22:3-4, 8-12: 

In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the LORD.  He said: 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the LORD . . . .” 8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it . . . 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.  11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.  He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant . . ..

23Fall is football season, and there are few sports in which the beauty of teamwork is more evident.  Marathons are by nature individual, basketball can be played one-on-one, but with football, you need a team.  Even before the quarterback throws the ball, he is only able to because he has teammates protecting him from getting tackled, giving him the time he needs to assess the overall situation on the field and make the best decision.  The quarterback could then run with the ball himself, but most of the time it’s more effective for him to pass it to another in a better position to run with it.  Teamwork is therefore essential and a great part of what makes the game enjoyable.

In today’s passage we see an example of a healthy team dynamic between a leader and his staff, all the more highlighted by the stark contrast of how his father died several verses prior (“Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace.” 2 Ki 21:23).  In Amon’s case, he is betrayed by those who should have been his chief sources of support and wise counsel.  In Josiah’s case, he has people who are on board with his spiritual leadership, working together with him for the common good.

King Josiah steps up to his role of setting the spiritual direction of the nation by giving orders regarding restoring the temple; and his faithful chief aides carry out his orders and communicate back to the king important developments found in the field—namely, discovering the Book of the Law.  Most impressively, we see the king listen to his staff and respond.  And finally, we see him make decisions and give orders to his staff based on the information they have provided to him.  In this way, the king led the way but at the same time relied on and worked together with his trusted council.

Whether we are leaders or people who carry out orders and turn intentions into reality, how can we work better with our teammates today?  Do we need to listen better?  Or obey better?

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for the team.  Help me to realize more and more what my specific position is and to fulfill it well.  Help me do my best to work with others today.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Timothy 6

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Lunch Break Study

Read 1 Peter 5:1-7: To the elders among you . . . : 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock . . . 5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”  6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Questions to Consider

  1. Who is Paul addressing when he says “one another” in verse 5? What is the main point of this verse?
  2. While it is relatively easy to understand how the younger are to submit to the elders, how are elders to “submit” and show humility towards those in their care (vv. 2-3)?
  3. When we humble ourselves before others, who are we really submitting to (v. 6)? What can keep us from submitting to others (v. 7)? Is there anything I am anxious about today that keeps me from submitting to those around me?

Notes

  1. One another = older and younger. Verses 5-6 can be seen as an echo of Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
  2. By being eager to serve them (v. 2) and not lording their “elder” positions over them (v. 3) (i.e., being “bossy” or giving orders just for the sake of enjoying telling people what to do).
  3. God. When we get anxious, it is because we are having a hard time trusting, which leads to a hard time submitting.  When we cast our anxieties on God, we can relax and not feel like we have to have things our way (under our control) all the time; we can submit and yield to others.

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Evening Reflection

How did I do today in terms of submitting to others around me, whether “above” (my leaders) or “below” (those I take care of or who serve me)?

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