Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 13 July 19:
2 Chronicles 24:2 — And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest.
Jehoiada courageously saved Joash’s life, protected him, raised him up to follow the Lord, orchestrated his crowning as king, and counselled him to do great things in the eyes of the Lord. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord as long as Jehoiada the priest was around, even leading the restoration of the temple of God; but as soon as Jehoiada died, Joash abandoned God, turned to idolatry, led his people astray, and even murdered the Zechariah the son of Jehoiada because Zechariah prophesied against Him. After leading the people into wickedness and into God’s judgment, delivered through a Syrian invasion, Joash died a complete disgrace – “When they had departed from him, leaving him severely wounded, his servants conspired against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.” (2 Chronicles 24:25)
A couple of observations from this story:
First, Jehoiada was a faithful and courageous servant of God who had a great influence on the whole nation throughout his life. Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth [and] …the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:13, 14)
Light reveals the truth and salt both improves the ‘flavor’ (conditions, culture, and climate) of things and preserves. Throughout his life, Jehoiada served as salt and light in his nation, improving the society and protecting it from decay. As instruments of God’s common grace, we should have the same effect on our families, churches, communities and on society, all while proclaiming the Gospel and instruments of God’s special grace of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. How are you like Jehoiada?
Second, Joash never became his own person of faith; he never made his own commitment to the Lord. He grew up under godly counsel and did what he was supposed to do, but as soon as the counsel was removed, the condition of his heart was exposed, and he did what he wanted to do, which led to his great demise. Many people call themselves Christians because they grew up on Christian homes, went to church on Sundays, and generally live ‘good’ lives (from their own perspective); but salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, a personal encounter with God, resulting in a personal decision and a and commitment. Faith and salvation aren’t inherited and can’t be borrowed from another person. Without being born again in Christ, and without a genuine relationship with Christ, a person may appear godly when conditions are just right, but when the storms of life come, and they come for everyone, the truth of his/her heart will be exposed –
– Matthew 6:46-49 — “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
– 1 Corinthians 3:11 — For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 13 July 19: Consider the integrity of your foundation, and consider the foundations of the people around you.