2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 24
If you have not read yet, you might want to start with Chronicles first and then read Kings.
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Kings%2012-13,%202%20Chronicles%2024&version=NIRV
Joash, King of Judah, repaired the Temple. This was HUGE. God had for the most part been ignored by the Kings and the Nations of Israel and Judah since the days of David and Solomon. The temple and the sacred objects in it had been used to worship the Baals (false gods). The temple was ONLY only 100 years old. As we read history from 3000 years ago, 100 years seems like a “blip” on the radar. However, LOOK at how much OUR country has changed in the past 100 years!! LOOK at all that has happened in 100 years….the good, the bad, and the ugly. Joash required the people to pay a tax so the temple could be rebuilt. Look back in Exodus 30. In the Exodus reading the tax is called a “Tax of Moses”. The tax was assigned for such preparations but they had been ignored for many years. This young Joash saw to it that the Temple was brought back to the proper appearance.
Jehoiada, the High Priest, and his wife must have had a powerful influence on Joash. 2 Kings 12:2 said: “Joash did what was RIGHT IN THE EYES OF THE LORD. He lived that way AS LONG AS THE PRIEST Jehoiada was teaching him. BUT the high places were NOT removed. The people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there.” Joash must have been doing some right things before the Lord since the Word said he did right in the eyes of the Lord. However, this is a perfect example for us to remember. JUST because Joash was doing God’s work, it shows that his heart was not 100% for God. He didn’t cut out some of his habits that eventually pulled him in the wrong direction!! He was not totally sold out to God. He did well as long as Jehoiada was there to teach him. But once he was own his own……the things deep in his heart came out. This made me look at where my heart really is focused!! Am I/are we like Joash in things in our life that we are not willing to give up? In some areas we do the right things for God, yet if we allow our minds and our hearts to entertain thoughts that are not of God….then those things will become actions…then habits…and soon we are swept away from God. God tells us to guard our hearts and our mind, to write HIS Word on our hearts, to KNOW His Word, to think on things that are good and pure, to reach out and help those in need, etc. However, if we are not willing to get rid of the idols in our lives (an idol is ANYTHING we turn to rather than God….not of these things I’m listing in and of them selves are sins…..however, if any of these things take the place of turning to God in our lives then they are idols.) Things/idols we may need to eliminate are: unequally yoked friends, relationships that do not keep God in the center, TV, books, food, drugs, alcohol, sex out side of marriage, our pets, improper worship, caring more about what others think that what God thinks, etc. When we CHOOSE NOT to eliminate these things in our lives COMPLETELY then these things will come back to “haunt” us. Unfortunately, Joash’s focus on his idols, not seeking God with ALL of himself 100% led to him straying far from the Lord. As SOON as Jehoiada died …. Joash begins to worship idols and the nation followed!! When Joash turned away from the Lord, his life completely unraveled. We were told in Chronicles that Joash’s men conspired against him….did you notice who these conspirators were….they were sons of Moabites and Ammonites (descendants of LOT!!)
And so sad to read that Zechariah was killed for being the messenger. Zechariah was the son of Jehoiada. Jehoiada, the High Priest, raised Joash and rescued him from death!! Joash did right in the eyes of God WHILE Jehoiada was still alive. Zechariah’s path I am SURE had crossed many times with that of Joash because of his relationship with Jehoiada. Yet…. by the ORDER OF KING JOASH THE OFFICIALS STONED ZECHARIAH TO DEATH!!!! I was like WHAT!!! How quickly and how evil Joash’s heart had become!!! Zechariah was simply doing what God called him to do….be the messenger….to GIVE Joash and his people ANOTHER chance to come back to God!! This shows us so much about human nature (not much difference in human nature 3000 or more years ago and that of today.) Has someone ever been sent as a messenger to you on your job, in school, in church?? How did you react? Did you become angry or bothered by the messenger? Did you give the messenger a piece of you mind? Have you ever had to be the messenger?? Often we are not willing to look beyond the messenger to see the bigger picture and want to “blame” the messenger. Think about it.
Jehoahaz, the king of Israel. (If you see a name attached to “so and so…King of Israel” you can write BAD KING next to it.) BUT one thing he DID do was he sought the Lord’s favor against Aram. God listened. God provided a Deliverer. Then the VERY next thing we read is: “BUT THEY DID NOT TURN AWAY FROM THE SINS IN THE HOUSE.” OUCH!!! How many times has God come to our rescue in life and how do WE repay him? If we do not change our bad habits and how we live…..it will come to haunt us!!! READ CAREFULLY … the things Jehoahaz and Joash did come to “haunt” them…..thingssssssss THEY did, NOT GOD!! It often, not always, but often, is the same thing for us… things WE DID will come to “haunt” us…… CHOICES and CONSEQUENCES. AND if we make changes….how long do the changes last? How long do we remain committed? Do we REALLY surrender ourselves to God and tell HIM…. LORD…. if this is going to last forever… I NEED to you show up BIG in my life!! God WANTS to see forever change in us! Forever Faith in HIM regardless of our circumstances. HE is committed to us, we need to COMMIT back.
Did you notice that Jehoahaz’s deliver was Elisha? Elisha is on his death bed and tells Jehoahaz to shoot arrows out the window then go hit the ground with the arrows. Jehoahaz did hit the ground with them but ONLY hit the ground three times!!! This indicates to us that his obedience to the favor and guidance God gave him was half hearted…..partial belief!! Oh yes, he obeyed, but he was merely going through the actions rather than truly believing in and totally surrendering himself in obedience to God. He was not totally surrendered himself to God!! Elisha told Jehoahaz because you only did this half hearted … you will ONLY win 3 battles against Syria. BUT if Jehoahaz would have wholeheartedly hit the ground at LEAST 5 or 6 times he would have gained control over Aram/Syria. God would have seen to it!!! If he hit the ground with all his might, believing COMPLETELY in God…it would have changed history!!! IF we want the full benefits of being with God then we have to give him a FULL attempt at obedience.
Can you imagine witnessing the man in 2 Kings 13:21 being buried in the same grave as Elisha. HIS dead body was placed on top of Elisha’s dead bones. BUT look what HAPPENED!!! When the dead man’s body touched the dead bones of Elisha….he revived and stood on his feet WHAT POWER WAS in THE BONES OF ELISHA!!!! This DEAD man whose body touched the dead bones of Elisha…..returned to life!!! This man came back to life because of the POWER IN (not the power of) Elisha’s dead bones. This reminded the observers of the fact that Elisha was indeed a prophet. It also served to remind them of the power of GOD. NONE of the false gods ever brought anyone back to life!!! If you look at other religions of the world NONE of their prophets have risen from the dead!! None of the other religions promised/promise ETERNAL life with the ONE TRUE GOD. Think about it….
As children of the MOST HIGH GOD, we have the HOLY SPIRIT IN US!!! HE IS power IN US for everything life throws at us!! When we became born again…..Jesus/God/the Holy Spirit .. The Holy Trinity touched our spiritual bones and brought us back to life!! WEEEE DOGGIES!!
Sharing HIS love,