Living Water Community Church

Living Water Community Church

We are a spiritual hospice for redeemed sinners. We seek the joy of the Lord Jesus Christ through the balm of His word applied to our broken hearts. Join us as we drink deeply of the Living Water of Jesus Christ.

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Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Episode 104: 2 Kings 17:1-23 God Exiles His People
2d ago
Episode 104: 2 Kings 17:1-23 God Exiles His People
We worked through the first half of 2 Kings 17. Here we see the judgement of God being poured out on the 10 northern tribes for their unfaithfulness. Again and again the point is made how this is happening because of the unfaithfulness of God’s people. They had adopted the customs of the people who were driven out before them. They rejected the one true God who had delivered them from Egypt and slavery and had given them the land. They embraced idolatry with zeal. We spent a good deal of time looking at the idea of customs and how God had given them many things which would have made them a peculiar people. They had the sabbath observance, the feasts of the Lord, the freeing of slaves and resting of land every 7 years and the forgiveness of debts and return of property every 49 years. They clearly had God ordained customs which should have set them apart and been a constant reminder of God and His grace. But they turned their back on these things and did not practice them but instead adopted the customs of the nations around them and the ones which had been driven out of the land. We reflected on how easy it is to cast judgement on the people we are looking at but we should be careful to consider what we are ignoring which God has asked us to do. We reflected on tithing and how the national average for tithing is less than 1%. Are we actively seeking to keep a sabbath to the Lord? Or have the pressures of life and the burdens of bills driven us to ignore these things or push them off to a later time. How are we dealing with the issues we face because the customs God calls us to are no less important before God than the ones Israel faced.
Episode 103: 2 Kings 16:1-20 God Patiently Waits and Calls
4d ago
Episode 103: 2 Kings 16:1-20 God Patiently Waits and Calls
We worked our way through chapter 16 dealing with the rulership of king Ahaz of Judah. There is a lot of detail about his life especially when we consider how he is described as a king who did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. This is the first time this kind of description is applied to a king of Judah. It is a sad commentary an a life spent turning away from God at every point. He was even said to have sacrificed his son to an idol. Yet we see in the book of Isaiah how God reached out to Ahaz in his time of need as Jerusalem was being attacked by both Israel and Syria. But Ahaz refused to trust God and accept His help. Instead he sent money to Tiglath-pileser the king of Assyria and asked him for help. The Assyrian king came down and conquered the Syrians killing their king. This of course aided the kingdom of Judah but the Assyrian king demanded Ahaz submit to him and even came down and executed his own attack against Jerusalem. Ahaz also lost soldiers and cities to the Philistines and the Edomites. Overall his time as king was one of continual decline. The one thing which stands out is God’s patience with him and the kingdom of Judah. Ahaz led the people into idolatry of all kinds and yet God did not destroy them. This ongoing patience of God had to be an encouragement to the people in exile who were reading this account. They were living among a people who were idol worshippers. They were probably under the kind of pressure Christians face today to just be quiet and not say anything about their faith. In the meantime the false faith of the pagan is declared loudly and without consequence in the public square. The fact God was there constantly showing mercy in the midst of an unfaithful kings rule had to be a comfort to those who were afraid and felt like they were failing in their pursuit of God. This same kind of comfort is available to us today. God is faithful in the midst of our unfaithfulness. This does not give us license to just ignore God’s call for us to be faithful. On the contrary it should call us to abandon hope in man and put our hope in God alone. To live lives of uncompromising faith in the midst of a pagan and fallen world.
Episode 99: 2 Kings 13:1-25 Victory is Found in God Alone
06-02-2024
Episode 99: 2 Kings 13:1-25 Victory is Found in God Alone
We worked our way through the lives of some of Jehu’s descendants as they ruled over Israel. We also witnessed the last acts of Elisha as he wrapped up his ministry and died. The descendants of Jehu were very much like their father. They seemed to have a certain type of zeal and regard for Yahweh but they continued to worship the golden calves and other false gods. It is a tragic act of disobedience as they show only a half way commitment to God. But the reality is a halfway commitment is not an act of faith. We saw in the story of Joash a real sorrow at the sickness of Elisha. He weeps when he goes to visit him. But his compassion does not translate into a greater commitment to God. Elisha gives him a prophecy about his future conflicts with Syria. He uses a bow and arrows to speak of the victories which will come. We also see a brief story about how a man’s body is quickly tossed into the tomb where Elisha’s body lay. The dead man came into contact with Elisha’s dead body and God brought him back to life. This combined with the victories Joash received after Elisha died was a testimony to the people of how God was working even though Elisha and Elijah were gone. This resurrection foreshadows the greater and better resurrection which happened when Jesus died. His death was different in that He was perfect and did not deserve death. Jesus died to bear God’s wrath against our sin so that we could be set free from the eternal damnation which we rightfully deserve. When Jesus died He broke the power of death over saints who had died around Jerusalem. The Bible tells us many came forth from the grave. It is a testimony to the completeness of the work Jesus did on our behalf. Death could no longer keep men and women who were righteous in Jesus. Jesus Himself rose again the third day according to the scripture. We are the recipients of a clear and better understanding of the work of Jesus which was being foreshadowed in the events we see around Elisha’s life and death.
Episode 96: 2 Kings 11:1-21
25-01-2024
Episode 96: 2 Kings 11:1-21
we explored the story of how Joash (also called Jehoash in todays passage) was saved from the slaughter of Ahaziah’s descendants by Athaliah the queen mother. Athaliah attempted to wipe out the descendants of David and set herself up as the ruler over Judah. Jehosheba a daughter of the former king and sister to Ahaziah, who had been killed, took Joash and his nurse and hid them from Athaliah so he was not put to death. Athaliah reigned over Judah for 7 years. She was a wicked queen and she promoted the worship of Baal in Judah. During her reign Jehosheba and her husband Jehoiada the priest kept Joash hidden in the temple. When Joash was 7 years old Jehoiada gathered the captains of the Carites and the guards together and made a covenant with them and made them swear an oath and after this he showed them how he had beer raising Joash in secret. These commander along with Jehoiada the priest made plans to overthrow the wicked queen Athaliah and install Joash as king in her place. On the sabbath they gathered all the guardsmen and anointed Joash as king and killed Athaliah. The people of the land showed their support for this by going to the temple of Baal and tearing it down and destroying the altars and images and killing the priest who served there. The people of the land rejoiced over Athaliah being put to death, and Joash began to reign. This is a critically important story for the people in exile to be reminded of. It is significant because the attempt by Athaliah to cut off the descendants of David was an attempt to destroy the promise of God that He would establish the throne of David forever. But God ensured a royal descendant was saved from destruction. Joash went on to father other sons who took the throne after him. His line of descendants continued all the way to Joseph who became the adoptive father of Jesus. This story is a reminder of how God is always faithful to do all He has promised He will do. To the people in exile this had to be a great reminder of how they could trust God in the midst of their captivity.
Episode 95: 2 Kings 10:12-36 Jehu: The Tool of God’s Judgment Against Ahab
23-01-2024
Episode 95: 2 Kings 10:12-36 Jehu: The Tool of God’s Judgment Against Ahab
we explored the last events recorded for us in the life of Jehu the king of Israel. His last recorded act is in his words to show his zeal for the Lord. He meets Jehonadab and invites him to come along as he sets out to demonstrate his zeal. On arriving in Samaria he kills the rest of those who were still connected to Ahab. Then he announces to the people he wants to have a solemn assembly for Baal. Word is sent out to gather all the worshippers and priests of Baal. Anyone who was committed to Baal and failed to come would be put to death. They were all given special garments and brought into the temple of Baal where Jehu begins a sacrifice. After the sacrifice was finished he left and 80 soldiers slaughtered all the assembled worshippers and priests of Baal. They them destroyed the temple and turned it into a toilet. This desecrated the area ensuring no one would ever try to rebuild that temple. While Jehu does all these things which God wanted such as the destruction of the family of Ahab and the wiping out of Baal worship, he failed to destroy the golden calves. God granted Jehu a promise of four generations of his descendants on the throne of Israel because of his acts which were in keeping with what God wanted. But his continued support of the golden calf worship was a sin which hampered him and continued to hamper Israel. In his time God used Hazael of Syria to begin to take land away from Israel. Hazael ended up conquering 25%-30% of the land during Jehu’s reign. This was God’s judgement on Jehu and Israel for their continuing to worship false gods. We wrapped things up by considering how the true church today in America has come to be similar to Jehu in that we are good at many of the things which are pleasing to God but we are much like the church in Ephesus in that we need to return to a passionate love for God. It very much could be the decline we are seeing in the church in America has much to do with our failure to love God with all our hearts. The church really needs to repent and return to its first love.
Episode 94: 2 Kings 9:17-10:11 The Hand of God Brings Justice
18-01-2024
Episode 94: 2 Kings 9:17-10:11 The Hand of God Brings Justice
we explored the story of Jehu going to Jezreel to challenge Joram for the kingship of Israel. When Joram thought it was Jehu he rode out to meet him in his chariot. He asked Jehu if it was a message of peace he brought since he had been at the front lines of their battle in Ramoth-gilead. Jehu’s response was, “What peace can there be, so long as the whorings and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?” Joram and Ahaziah who was with him reigned in their chariots and headed toward Jezreel because they realized Jehu was intent on opposing them. Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram through the heart. He died in his chariot and Jehu had him tossed onto the land of Naboth’s vineyard. Remembering Elijah’s prophecy about the coming death of Ahab’s heirs Jehu pronounced how prophecy was being fulfilled. He then pursued Ahaziah and shot him with an arrow in his chariot as well. Ahaziah fled to Megiddo and died there and his servants came and took his body to the city of David and buried it there. Jehu entered Jezreel and Jezebel called down to him from a balcony at the palace. Jehu asked if any of the servants were with him to cast her down. 3 of the eunuchs cast her down and she died and was eaten by dogs. This again was called out by Jehu as a fulfillment of prophecy. He sent word to Samaria about the 70 sons of Ahab who were living there. He told them to make one of them king and prepare for battle. The leaders of Samaria sent word back to Jehu that they would do whatever he asked them to. He told them to bring the heads of all of Ahab’s sons to him in Jezreel the next day. They did as he asked and killed all of Ahab’s sons. He then pointed out how the eradication of Ahab’s family was a fulfillment of another prophecy from Elijah. The house of Ahab was brought to a complete end under the rulership of Jehu. It is a brutal story but a story which reminds us how God is in control and accomplishes what He sets out to accomplish. In this case we see God raise up the man who has the determination to do the things which must be done to eradicate the line of Ahab.
Episode 90: 2 Kings 8:1-15 The Blessing and Destruction of God
04-01-2024
Episode 90: 2 Kings 8:1-15 The Blessing and Destruction of God
We looked at two stories at the beginning of chapter 8 which show us how God orchestrates all things. The first story demonstrates God taking care of those who are His. The wealthy woman of Shunam whose son had been raised from the dead returned to the land of Israel to find her property had been taken over during a time of famine. She went to the king to plead her case and Elisha’s servant was with the king recounting the works of Elisha. He had just talked to the king of this woman and her son’s resurrection when she appeared in the court to plead her case for the property. The king heard her story and granted her the property back as well as the revenue generated from the property while she was gone. We would typically call things like this a coincidence. But there is no such thing. God is working behind the scenes to direct people and even conversation to provide for the needs of His people. The second situation involved Hazael a commander who served king Ben-hadad of Syria. Ben-hadad had been sick and sent Hazael with a gift to inquire of Elisha if he would recover from his sickness. Elisha told Hazael his master would recover but he would certainly die. Then he began to weep for the evil he knew Hazael would do to Israel. Eventually Elisha told Hazael that the Lord had revealed he would become king of Syria. This of course happened the next day when Hazael smothered Ben-hadad and claimed the throne for himself. Here we see God raising up a wicked king to destruction and suffering on Israel as a judgement on them for turning their backs on God. Again there are no supernatural miracles here but a clear declaration of God ordering the events of men to bring about the culmination of His plan. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away blessed be the name of the Lord.
Episode 89: 2 Kings 6:24-7:20
02-01-2024
Episode 89: 2 Kings 6:24-7:20
We worked our way through the story of the siege on Samaria. The king of Syria had come down with his entire army and they besieged Samaria. This blockade of the city eventually caused a famine. The writer tells us the famine was so bad the people were willing to pay 80 shekels for a donkeys head. He even reported how the people were resorting to eating their own children. The king of Israel on hearing about these things blamed God for the problems and swore he was going to kill Elisha. He sent his military captain to kill Elisha and Elisha told the elders who were with him to bar the door and not let him in. Elisha proceeded to tell the captain through the door that the Lord was going to provide flour and barley by the next day about this time in abundance. The man scoffed at the word of the Lord and Elisha told him because of his unbelief he would see it but would not get a chance to see it with his own eyes. That evening the Lord caused the Syrian army to believe they were under attack. They fled leaving everything in their tents and cast off things which weighed them down as they fled. This was all discovered by some unnamed lepers who decided since they were bound to die of hunger soon they just might live if they gave themselves up to the Syrians. When they came to the camp they found it deserted so they ate their fill of food and carried off clothing and other goods and returned for more. The conscience of the lepers began to bother them so the went to Samaria and told the guard on the wall the good news which was passed on to the king. The king was suspicious it was a trap, so he sent two men on horseback to check it out. They discovered the camp was empty like the lepers had reported. On top of the camp having horses and chariots they discovered cast off armor and other elements were strewn along the way all the way to the Jordan. To the readers of this story who were in exile it would have been clear that the siege with its famine were a judgment of God on Israel for their idolatry. It is the exact judgement God had declared in Leviticus He would bring on His people if they failed to worship Him and heed His judgments. It is clear from this story they did not heed God’s judgment. But we also see in this story how God’s judgement does not last forever and He ultimately will save His people. So we see in this passage a picture of salvation. The people are rescued from death and destruction not because they deserve it and not because there was something special about the Jews. No, God saves those who He has set His love upon for His own glory and to be faithful to His own promises and no other reason.
Episode 88: Prayer: The abundance of God's provision
28-12-2023
Episode 88: Prayer: The abundance of God's provision
Our wants can easily be justified as needs. At the same time we can look at people who accumulate things and think how good they have it. Even wondering sometimes why they have  it so good and we have to struggle so much. The up and coming generation certainly is marked by an attitude of entitlement as a general characteristic when it comes to work and the workplace. Entitlement however is not an exclusive domain held by those growing into adulthood. It is easy for all of us to fall into the trap of entitlement. It is easy for us to simply think more highly of ourselves then we ought to think. Greed and selfishness creep into all of our lives. People do not normally lay down their lives for each other. To the contrary we usually find it easy to demand more from others. We have an uncanny ability to mistake greed for need. We live in a society which is preoccupied with justifying feeling satisfied and safe. We are encouraged on every side to be preoccupied with our own well being. In this kind of environment we can become consumed with ourselves. We can find ourselves defining what is good by what is good for us. Unfortunately this mentality and focus is often a huge influence in our prayers. I believe God hears a lot of grossly selfish requests in our prayers. Given the amazing extent of God’s ongoing provision of our needs we must appear to God as an extremely ungrateful people in general. God gives to us an amazing amount of things in His grace and yet we seem to have no trouble coming to God with more “needs”. But we really do have needs and God in His word encourages us to bring our needs to Him. Our intention today is to look at this area of need and consider how the Bible calls us to make our requests to God.
Episode 87: 2 Kings 6:8-23 Building Faith in Our All Powerful God
26-12-2023
Episode 87: 2 Kings 6:8-23 Building Faith in Our All Powerful God
We explored the story of how Elisha tells the king of Israel to avoid certain places at specific times because the king of Syria has laid a trap or planned a raid. The king of Israel would send scouts to verify it and discovered Elisha was saving him from these plans. This frustrated the king of Syria who became convinced there must be a spy in his court feeding his plans to the king of Israel. But the servants of the king know it is Elisha who is aware of the Syrian plans and alerts the king of Israel. The servants tell the king, “Elisha hears all of his plans even those made in secret.” This revelation frustrates the king and he sends his army to capture Elisha who lives in Dothan. The army surrounds the city and Elisha’s servant is frightened by the development. Elisha prays and God opens the servants eyes and he can see the horses and chariots of fire on the surrounding hills are greater then the Syrian army which surrounds Dothan. Again Elisha prays and God strikes the army with blindness. Elisha then leads the blind army to Samaria and delivers them to the king of Israel. After asking God to restore their sight Elisha instructs the king to feed them and send them home. He does and the good treatment of the army leads to a temporary peace between Israel and Syria. Part of the peace was no doubt the ongoing survival of Elisha who the army failed to capture. Here we see laid out how God is working behind the scenes. In this case God’s army protects Elisha. In Jesus case He could have called on God to send an army of angels but that was not part of His plan. God’s plan in Jesus case was for Him to go the cross and die. It was God’s plan to have His Son sacrificed in our place to bear the penalty for our sins. Without Jesus sacrifice we would have no hope of being brought back into fellowship with God. He rescued us from eternal damnation by bearing our damnation for us. Because we are all sinners damnation is what justice demands we suffer. Since God is just we are destined for damnation, but Jesus stepped in and changed all of that by bearing our penalty. This preserves God’s justice and at the same time gives Him the ability to grant us mercy and grace.
Episode 86: 2 Kings 6:1-7 Seeing the One Who Orchestrates our Need of Him
21-12-2023
Episode 86: 2 Kings 6:1-7 Seeing the One Who Orchestrates our Need of Him
We explored a passage which many see as fantastic or legendary. In it Elisha causes an iron ax head to float. From our perspective it seems almost like an extraordinary action for something we would consider a minor loss. But we need to consider the day in which this happened. The iron age had recently come into its own. This was probably about 200 to 300 years after what we would see as the start of the iron age. The amount of time and effort which the creation of iron implements in this day made it a really expensive metal especially when compared to copper, bronze or brass. The loss of an iron ax head in this day may have been similar to wrecking a car in our day. So while this reads as insignificant because of our context it was a great loss in their day. Even with our understanding of the cost it seems to raise the question of why record this event. In the context of the book of Kings this story is the 6th in a series of stories about God meeting the needs of His people. We had the widow who was about to lose her sons to a lender and would probably lose her home ultimately because of this. She seeks God and through Elisha her needs are met and the lender is paid. This was followed by the rich woman who provided a room for Elisha and really had no need even by her own confession. Yet God gave her a son, that son died as a child and suddenly she is found in great need. She seeks God as the answer to her need and her son is brought back to life. Next a group of students called the sons of the prophets are given a large amount of stew which is accidentally tainted with poison. Elisha puts flour in the stew and it becomes edible and nourishing. A gift of barley loaves is given to Elisha and he again gives it to the students but this time Elisha’s servant objects because there are only 20 loaves and 100 men. But Elisha tells him to serve the bread and there will be enough with some left over and there was. The 5th story is about Naaman the Syrian who is dying from leprosy. At the prompting of his wife’s servant girl he seeks Elisha the prophet and his need of healing is given to him by God. In this story the pagan Syrian commander seeks the Lord and swears to follow Yahweh from then on. The loss of the ax highlights again God meeting the needs of one of his own. To the people in exile and even to us today this highlights how God is there to meet all kinds of needs of His people. From grievous personal needs like the loss of a child or a deadly sickness to immediate needs like the need for food or the loss of material possessions. God is the one to look to in every situation. He is the one who meets all of our needs according to His plan and for our good and His glory.
Episode 85: 2 Kings 5:1-27 The Road from Leprosy to Leprosy/from Salvation to Condemnation
19-12-2023
Episode 85: 2 Kings 5:1-27 The Road from Leprosy to Leprosy/from Salvation to Condemnation
We explored 2 Kings chapter 5 and in it we saw the Lord orchestrating events to bring Naaman the Syrian commander to Himself. God did not simply bring this man facing the death sentence of leprosy to healing he brought a man who was facing the death sentence of sin to faith. It is a remarkable and because of this a famous story which starts with the faith a young girl. A girl captured from Israel during a raid and carried into slavery and captivity. This young girl lives much like Joseph when he was sold into slavery. She serves her mistress as best she can. She sees her role in slavery as an opportunity to do good. She believes by faith that God can use Elisha to heal her master Naaman and she tells her mistress what she believes to be true. You could say the faith of this little girl is the catalyst which God uses to bring Naaman to faith. Naaman goes to the king of Syria with the news of this potential cure for leprosy is Israel. The king sends Naaman with letters to seek this cure from the king of Israel. This is the part which really highlights the faith of the little girl. There was no known cure in Israel. There is no record of Elisha healing lepers in the land before this. Jesus even stated in the New Testament how there was no one in Israel healed of leprosy during Elisha’s time except Naaman the Syrian. This all points to the faith of the servant girl which really drives the story forward. Elisha sends to the king for Naaman to come to him. This relieves the king who is distressed over the letter he has received from Naaman’s hand. Naaman comes to Elisha who sends his servant to tell him to go wash in the Jordan 7 times and he will be healed. Naaman is angered by two things. Elisha appears to do nothing, he doesn’t even come out to meet Naaman. Second the Jordan is a muddy river especially when compared to some of the rivers in Syria, this seems to Naaman to be almost an insult. As he heads out to return to Syria in anger his servants convince him to give it a try since he would have certainly done any really hard thing Elisha might have asked him to do. Naaman recognized the truth in what they said and followed Elisha’s instructions and received the healing Elisha had promised. He returned in gratitude to Elisha and expressed a desire to worship Yahweh alone from then on. This is why we can say Naaman experienced the healing of sin from his life as well as the healing of leprosy. In his gratitude he had offered expensive gifts to Elisha, but Elisha rejected them. It was important for Naaman to know God gives good gifts to His children freely. Elisha’s servant Gehazi seems put out that such wealth would be rejected and he concocts a plan to get some of the money. After Naaman leaves Gehazi runs after him and tells a lie about some fictitious sons of the prophets arriving and need cloths and silver. Naaman gladly gives him what he asks for and more. With his silver and clothing secured Gehazi returns to Elisha. Elisha reveals how he knows what Gehazi has done and rebukes him for his greed, adding that the leprosy of Naaman would now come on him and his descendants. The message which Naaman needed to hear was a message of free grace. Gehazi had set out to corrupt that message. The gospel comes to everyone freely and should not be corrupted with the addition of anything. That is really the core message of this passage. It points us to a savior who gave his life for us and gives us the gift of salvation with no strings attached. We can’t earn it. We can’t work for it. It is ours through faith alone, in Jesus alone. The message of salvation Elisha delivered to Naaman is the same message today. The message of corruption added by Gehazi is the same message people continue to deliver today. This story of faith is one I hope you see through new eyes as you come across it in the future.