2 Kings 12.17,18 Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it: and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. And Jehoash king of Judah took all the hallowed things that Jehoshaphat, and Jehoram, and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own hallowed things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of the house of the Lord, and in the king’s house, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria: and he went away from Jerusalem.

King Jehoash was a man that had experienced a miraculous deliverance by God. When his wicked grandmother killed his siblings, by the grace of God, he was spared. Not only was he spared, but he was raised by his godly uncle Jehoida and his wife Jehosheba. But tragically, Jehoash never really knew The Lord. His entire spiritual experience was a superficial work of the flesh. He may have “learned the ropes” of how to play “the God game”, but he had no real faith in God. When the godly Jehoida died, so died any evidence of spiritual life in Jehoash. He quickly returned to the worship of the pagan God Baal. He rejected the warnings of God through various prophets. He even murdered Jehoida’s son Zechariah who warned him to repent.

But in our passages this morning, there is a chilling fact. When Jerusalem was under attack, he took three generations of offerings meant for God and paid his enemy to back off. Horrible thing, right? Absolutely. However beloved, his fleshly scheme “worked”. So did Abraham’s fleshly scheme seem to work to produce the godly seed. But the bottom line is this beloved. All the flesh can produce is the Ishmael’s of war, strife and death. The flesh may produce a temporal high or pleasure, but the end thereof is always death. When you and I are tempted to sin, or facing a difficult decision or crisis, we will either react in the flesh or respond to The Spirit. The flesh may “work” for a moment, but eventually, pay day arrives, and it’s wages are death. Death to relationships, death to purity, death to integrity, death to fellowship with God.

Never exalt your limited intelligence above the wisdom of The Almighty! Every work of the flesh is a lie that steals, kills and destroys. Nobody hardens their heart against The Lord and prospers. Nobody. If you have compromised and are reaping the ugly consequences of your sin. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Confess and forsake your sin.  Plead the blood of Jesus over your soul. Receive and believe His forgiveness. Turn to Jesus with all of your heart and put an end to the devastating floods of fleshly thinking and living.