Today’s readings.. (2 Chronicles 24), (Daniel 5), (Acts 3,4)

We felt we could have written a ‘book’ of ‘thoughts’ arising from today’s 4 chapters – each will, if read with real feeling, stir our hearts and lift them into meaningful spiritual perceptions. In Chronicles the events in the life of King Joash contained absorbing lessons. He became king when only 7 under special circumstances, he was guided for most of his life by the faithful high priest Jehoiada and while he was alive Joash acted wisely and the Temple was restored to its former glory and the nation prospered.
We can see comparisons with the restoration of the knowledge of God’s word when printing was invented and the Bible became available everywhere and respect for its’ divine message spread through the world. Jehoiada found wives for the king and obviously mentored him. Sadly after the death of Jehoiada, “the king listened to … the princes of Judah” [24 v.17] – other members of the royal family – who, not appreciating the spiritual values Jehoiada had put in place, “they abandoned the temple of the LORD” [v.18]. As a result “wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem”. When “the son of Jehoiada” challenged them, “they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD” [v.21]. After his death “God sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD… These testified … but they would not pay attention.” [v.19]
God judged the king and the nation and “at the end of the year, the army of the Syrians came against Joash.” [v.23] and he died as a result of his wounds. We see the comparison with today – and the impending judgements of God on a world that has turned away from belief in its’ Creator and sustainer, despite God’s word being so readily available, but “they will not pay attention.”
Our chapter 5 in Daniel describes events leading to the end of the Babylonian kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar set up, despite how he finally found and wrote praises and “blessed the Most High” as we read yesterday; his descendent (grandson?) Belshazzar, was blind to these blessings. The message the aged Daniel brought to him was “God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end … you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.” [v.26,27] And God has surely nearly completed ‘weighing’ our richly blessed world and found it seriously “wanting” that is, totally lacking, in any effort to “pay attention” to him. But the final question is surely to us personally, how effectively do we “pay attention”?

 

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