Kairos, Chronos, and Corban

2 Chronicles 27:6
“So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God.”

Jotham was a king of Judah. Here’s a description of Jotham, according Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

“The son and successor of Uzziah on the throne of Judah. As during his last years Uzziah was excluded from public life on account of his leprosy, his son, then twenty-five years of age, administered for seven years the affairs of the kingdom in his father’s stead (2 Chronicles 26:21, 23; 27:1). After his father’s death he became sole monarch, and reigned for sixteen years (B.C. 759-743). He ruled in the fear of God, and his reign was prosperous. He was contemporary with the prophets Isaiah, Hosea, and Micah, by whose ministrations he profited. He was buried in the sepulchre of the kings, greatly lamented by the people (2 Kings 15:38; 2 Chronicles 27:7-9).”

Jotham “became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God” (2 Chronicles 27:6).

It is basic virtue to have properly ordered lives. After all, God is not a God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). Paul even exhorts Timothy to seek men who have well ordered lives. He tells Timothy to look for men who have well-managed households, in order to fill the office of elder in the church:

1 Timothy 3:4-5
“He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”

The same requirements are also needed for appointing deacons:

1 Timothy 3:12
“Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.”

Recently, someone posted about the order of priority in our lives on Facebook. It sparked a great conversation:

“Biblically speaking, in what order should our priorities lie? Here’s my list:

1) God (bible study/worship/obedience)
2) Wife
3) Children
4) Family
5) Church (anything outside of Sunday worship)
5) Job

Is there things you would add to this list? Change? Why?”

It’s important to regularly assess our priorities; to periodically evaluate our lives, and make sure that we are properly attending to that which requires the most attention at a given moment. I say “at a given moment” because what seems to be right one time, may not be right at another time. Sometimes, however, our priorities need a little tweaking. The point that I’m trying to make is that a rigid chronology or a fixed order of priorities for day to day living can be extreme. Take this account of where Jesus rebukes the Pharisees with respect to their prideful chronology of priorities:

Mark 7:9-13
“And He said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother’; and, Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

Do you see what the Pharisees were doing? They were manipulating what I would call “chronos priority” (a sequential order of priority), in order to feed their selfishness. In other words, the Pharisees cunningly used putting God first (who should always come first) in order to avoid caring for their parents. It was quite clever, because God is to come before everything else in life. But, Jesus saw right through it. By doing such, the Pharisees ignored what I would call “kairos priority” (a logical order of priority). By ignoring such, the Pharisees ignored wisdom and discernment. They knew better, and that’s why Jesus rebuked them. They should have recognized the virtue in helping their parents. Such was the God honoring thing to do in that situation.

This was my response to the Facebook post:

“In the sense of kairos, a logical order, yes. In terms of day to day chronos, one must use wisdom and discernment.”

Another person answered this way:

“Some of these run parallel. From a worldview perspective priorities can be set, though all are under Christ. The hierarchy presented creates compartmentalized thinking which allows many to separate their religious life from their normal walk.”

And such is what the Pharisees did. They separated “their religious life from their normal walk”.

May we (Christians) be careful to avoid doing the same: covering our selfishness by masking it with false virtue. But when we do… we must repent, and also remember that we have an advocate with the Father…

1 John 2:1-2
“​My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Godspeed, to the brethren!

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