A Sign of Things To Come.
“Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, had shown him, but killed his son. And when he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge!” – 2 Chronicles 24:22 ESV
Christ, the living Word of God, fills the written Word of God from beginning to end. He is revealed in a variety of types and forms throughout the pages of the Old Testament. It is essentially the story of redemption – God delivering His people from their slavery to sin and providing them with salvation. The undeserved grace and mercy of God can be seen everywhere. His repetitive use of a savior to rescue His people is a common theme. And here is the story of King Joash, we see the rejection of the savior. King Joash had been rescued from sure death at the hands of his power-hungry grandmother, Athaliah. She had had all his sibblings murdered so that she would have clear access to the thrown after the death of her son, Ahaziah. But Joash had been hidden by Jehoiada the high priest in the temple for seven years. Then at the age of seven, Joash had been crowned king of Israel and Athaliah had been executed for her crimes. And all the years that Jehoiada was alive he provided Joash with counsel and wisdom so that his reign was a righteous one. But when Jehoiada dies, Joash turns away from the wise counsel of Jehoiada and succumbs to the wicked counsel of men. He forgets all that Jehoiada had done for him – the grace and mercy he had shown him all those years ago. He forgets that it was Jehoiada who made it possible for him to live and take the throne of Israel.
So God sends the son of Jehoiada to call him to repentance. Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, is given a message from God to the people. “Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, ‘This is what God says: Why do you disobey the LORD’s commands so that you cannot prosper? You have abandoned the LORD, and now he has abandoned you!'” (2 Chronicles 24:20 NLT). But his message was not well-received. Neither the people of Joash like what Zechariah has to say, so Joash commands that he be put to death – stoned in the middle of the courtyard of the temple itself. The messenger of God is killed.
Fast-forward. The people of God have rejected the wisdom and will of God again. Their rebellion has resulted in the occupation of their land by the hated Romans. They are an oppressed, yet proud people. And into their midst, God sends His own Son, Jesus Christ, to bring them a message of repentance. The very one who had rescued them from captivity and given them a land they did not deserve, had been rejected by them. So He sends His Son with a message for them to hear. And their response? They kill Him. Unlike Zechariah, Jesus came with a message of hope and salvation. He brought good news of great joy to all people. He offered a means for them to receive forgiveness of sin and a restored relationship with God – that was not tied to them keeping the Law, but was a free gift based solely on faith. Yet they still killed the messenger. The killed the Messiah. They rejected the very one who brought the answer to their problems and the solution to their sins. And we still reject Him today. Even those of us who have placed our faith in Christ for salvation can end up rejecting Him on a daily basis. We reject His wisdom. He reject His leadership. We reject His call to holiness. We reject His offer of sanctification and heart transformation. Instead, we try to change ourselves and work our way toward righteousness. We demand to do things our own way. We listen to the advice of the world and reject the word and wisdom of God. And we suffer the consequences. But if we listen, we will learn. If we obey, we will be blessed. If we take the words of Jesus seriously, we will continue to be changed – radically. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
Father, You sent Your Son to save. You sent Him to provide life more abundantly. But we have to listen. Not just to His offer of salvation, but to His call to sanctification. He wants to transform us into His likeness. He wants to make us increasingly more into His image. We have His Spirit living within us, but we have to listen to the voice of His Spirit speaking to us each and every day. Don’t let us be like Joash and reject the message of God given through the messenger of God. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men