All three of our Bible readings this morning provide inspiration in their accounts of dramatic events showing God at work among human beings whom he called to serve him – despite their frailties. But God only reaches out to involve humans in serving him in some capacity when he sees they have the right kind of attitude of heart.
In the Book of Acts we read of the Roman Centurion Cornelius who had an encounter with an angel, this in turn led to the Apostle Peter’s personal interaction with the Lord in a vision he was given on the rooftop. The climax was when Peter baptised a whole group of people who were Gentiles whom he met in the home of Cornelius. The Holy Spirit came upon them to remove any reservations Peter would have had to do this. The ‘holier than thou’ Jewish attitude then became a thing of the past for those who believed in Jesus.
In our Chronicles reading yesterday we had the dramatic account of what happened when Hezekiah came to the throne. This God fearing King immediately set about to change the mood of the nation after several bad kings. In the very first month of his reign he opened up the Temple and organised for it to be cleaned out and the holy vessels used in worship to be restored.
Today we read of a Great Passover that was celebrated with invitations going out to all 12 tribes: tragically many responded to those who brought the invitations by laughing at them, pouring “scorn and mocking them.” [2 Chron. 32 v.10] This made us think of the attitude of some today when they encounter those who believe in the Bible.
Finally, in Daniel we have this aged prophet, maybe in his 90’s, having his final encounter with the angel of God with a vision of “the latter days.” The “vision is for days yet to come” [Ch. 10 v.14]. He is told, “Fear not Daniel for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God your words have been heard” [v.12]. Let us humbly set our hearts to understand and sense that – God is saying to us the same words that he said to Daniel, “fear not, peace be with you, be strong and of good courage” [v.19] for God is surely at work in the final days of our godless world – and this will soon become fully evident to the whole world.