2 Samuel 11, 2 Corinthians 4, Ezekiel 18, Psalm 62-63

2 Corinthians 4:13
In 2 Corinthians 4:13, Paul quotes a portion of Psalm 116:10 which says, "I believed, even when I spoke: "I am greatly afflicted."  You will notice, Paul does not include "I am greatly afflicted."  

When reading the Bible, do other passages come to mind?  As that happens, you gain insight into both portions of Scripture.  When a New Testament writer, carried along by the Holy Spirit, uses quotes from the Old Testament, it will increase your understanding of both passages if you will examine the quoted OT passage. 

An excellent example is found in Luke 4:16-21.  While visiting the synagogue in Nazareth, Jesus read aloud from Isaiah 61:1-2.  Quoting Isaiah, Jesus described His ministry and purpose.  But by examining the passage in Isaiah, you will find Jesus stopped short.  He did not read the concluding phrase in Isaiah 61:2, which says "and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn."  In Luke 4:21 Jesus said, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."  If he had read the complete passage, that statement would not have been accurate since the "day of vengeance of our God" was not the purpose of His coming to dwell among us.  At His second coming, He will fulfill the "day of vengeance of our God."

The writer of Psalm 116 experienced what Paul is describing in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.  He, too, suffered persecution almost to the point of death.  But when he cried out the LORD heard and saved him.  Even as the words "I am greatly afflicted" were coming from his mouth, the psalmist believed the LORD would save him.  After asking how to express his gratitude to the LORD in verse 12, the psalmist determines to display all his thankfulness in the presence of all God's people.  The same God who saved the psalmist and who raised Jesus from the dead will raise up those who believe in Jesus and bring them into His presence.  Just like the psalmist, Paul would live his life for the glory of God thankfully proclaiming salvation in Jesus Christ his Lord. 

Father, what great treasure we hold in these jars of clay!  You have chosen in Christ Jesus to give us the light of the knowledge of Your glory.  Please use us to glorify Yourself before all the people You bring into our lives.

Ezekiel 18:2 
"The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge."  The people of Israel were using this quote to absolve themselves of any personal guilt.  In essence, they were saying, "our parents sinned against God, and we are suffering because of their guilt, not our own."

In verses 25 and 29, the people accuse God of being unjust by punishing them for their father's sins.  The LORD responds by telling them, "I judge each individual by his deeds.  If a righteous person changes his ways and does injustice, he will die.  Equally, if a wicked person corrects the course of his life and does what is right, he will live."  

In verses 5-19, the LORD gives an example of three generations of a family to prove His point.  If the man, his son or his grandson obeys God's instructions, he will live.  Son's do not share the guilt of their father's sins.  In all likelihood, the son will experience the consequences of his father's sin but not the guilt.  The basis for each man's judgment is his actions either to life or death.  God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  His desire is for each man to consider his ways and repent. 

The last sentence in Psalm 62 is a perfect summary for Ezekiel 18; "For you will render to a man according to his work."

LORD God, I must confess that like my father Adam, I tend to shift the blame for my sins to someone else.  The Israelites are not unique in blaming their ancestors.  Jesus, thank You for my new heart and spirit!  I could never save myself from my sin and rebellion.

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