Finish the Race

imageJoash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest.

After the death of Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and he listened to them. They abandoned the temple of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, and worshipped Asherah poles and idols. Because of their guilt, God’s anger came on Judah and Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 24:2, 17-18 (NIV)

Read: 2 Chronicles 24

Consider: Joash was only seven years old when he began his reign as king of Judah. Being so young he would have needed someone to guide him on the right things to do. Jehoaida, the priest, must have been his mentor and while Jehoaida was alive Joash acted correctly. We are told in 2 Chronicles 24 that he set about collecting money for the rebuilding of the temple. Joash started well.

After Jehoaida’s death things changed. Joash showed great weakness of character by being easily swayed by his officials. We are told that the nation abandoned the temple and worshipping the true God, instead worshipped Asherah poles and idols.

Worse was to come! Zechariah, son of Johoaida, spoke out against the king and his officials and Joash arranged to have him killed. What began well ended badly. Towards the end of the chapter we are told the Joash’s officials conspired against him and killed him.

Reading 2 Chronicles 24 you might wonder what this has to do with you in the 21st century. Remember that all of Scripture is given to us either as examples or as warnings. In this case it is a very clear warning against those who appear to accept sound teaching, but who haven’t had the life-changing experience of conversion. You may have people around you who appear to follow God, they may even attend church regularly and give financially to the church. However, although they go along with the message, it hasn’t penetrated their hearts. It is possible to parallel this with the Parable of the Sower, where some of the seed fell on rocky ground. While there was the appearance of growth, there was no root, so soon withered.

Pray: Father, give us a discerning heart to see true spiritual growth in those around us. Help us to recognise those who just go along with the message, but haven’t as yet experienced your life-changing forgiveness. We pray that your Holy Spirt would open their eyes to the truth of the gospel.  Amen

Every blessing

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