Old Testament: 2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28
2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28 Chest Here
Here are the parallels in Kings to our section for today:
2 Kings 11:12-12:16 2 Chron. 24:1-14
2 Kings 12:17-21 2 Chron. 24:23-27
2 Kings 14:1-20 2 Chron. 25:1-28
2 Chronicles 24:15-22 is unique.
I have written on kings Joash and Amaziah here:
Joash wasn’t the worst king in the world. He just wasn’t that good either. He became king when he was seven (v. 1). Have you noticed how many times a king’s mother is mentioned in all these accounts? There is a reason. A mother is a great influence. In most instances, she is a bad influence in these accounts because she is involved in idol worship. Joash’s mama is mentioned in verse 1.
Joash only took two wives for himself. I say “only two” because most kings took many more. Of course, the limit was supposed to be one according to Mosaic law. I’m guessing the high priest, who had done a terrific job during Joash’s lifetime, must have fallen down on the job since he is mentioned in the affair.
Joash actually did well as long as the high priest, Jehoiada, was in charge. But Jehoida couldn’t live forever and died at age 130 (v. 15). He must have been slipping in his old age because when Joash ordered the Temple to be refurbished, nothing happened so that Joash had to call Jehoiada on the carpet. It turns out the sons of the wicked Queen Mother Athaliah had broken in the Temple and used the utensils for Baal worship. So Joash commanded that a chest be made to receive donations to refurbish the Temple (v. 8). Some churches today do something similar and put out what they call a “Joash chest” to receive donations.
Enough money was taken in to build up the Temple again. But then Jehoiada died and his son, Zechariah, came to warn Joash that he was falling away from the Lord. So Zechariah was given a “prophet’s reward” and was murdered by Joash. As he was dying, Zechariah asked Yahweh to avenge his death (v. 22). Arameans attacked Judah, leaving Joash ill in bed. It was then that his servants murdered him for his cruelty to Zechariah. This same Zechariah is mentioned by Jesus in Matt. 23:35 and Luke 11:51. It is not the same prophet who wrote the book of Zechariah. (Jesus referred to Abel in the beginning of the first book of the Bible and Zechariah at the end of what was the last book in the Hebrew canon. So he picked martyrs from A – Z and first to last.)
I have already written on Amaziah in the June 28 blog.
New Testament: Romans 12:1-21
Romans 12:1-21 A Glow Worm
In the Old Testament, people brought animals and birds to sacrifice to Yahweh. In the New Testament church age, we are to sacrifice ourselves. I have been wondering lately why so many people who profess to be Christians do not know their Bibles and do not show much sign of actually following Christ. Of course, the churches are weak in this era of Laodicea (explained in blog on Revelation 3 at the end of this year). Churches do not talk hardly at all about sanctification. (Did you just say, “What is sanctification?”) But it has just dawned on me that churches do not teach discipleship. Yet, Jesus said, ” . . .Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). And the purpose of a church is to make disciples. In a list of gifts of people to the church, Paul states that the purpose of the gifted ones is for the “equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13). Then I realized that even I, myself, in my work as a pastor, have not taught the promises of God to the church as I should have. I could give anyone a check for a thousand dollars and they most likely would cash it (it would bounce sky-high, by the way!). But if I teach them the great promises of the Word, they go away happy and do nothing with them. As the venerable old preacher, Vance Havner, used to say, “too many people are sitting on the premises instead of standing on the promises.” (“Standing on the Promises” is an old hymn, by the way. Those words are probably never found in the schlock that is passing for music in our church today. Write me if I’m wrong.)
Having said all that, notice the next verse, one of the most important in the Bible. If I didn’t make it clear in our section on Romans 7 and Romans 8, let me make myself perfectly clear as one of our dear-departed presidents used to say. The way to be a disciple is to “feed your head.” Remember it was the law of Paul’s mind that won out in the battle with his flesh. He says the same thing here in v. 2, ” . . . do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” John tells us in his epistle that we should not love the world (1 John 2:15-16). Paul tells us not to be conformed to the world but, in contrast to be conformed to the world, we need to “renew” our minds. What is the best way to “renew” our mind? Feed it with the Word! Memorize and study Scripture, listen to good preaching (good luck!) and fellowship with like-“minded” individuals.
Verse 3 is a warning against conceit. Norman Geisler explains it well when he uses the illustration of a ball player. When interviewed after a game, they usually talk pretty straight. “Yeah, I was seeing the ball real well.” “I just had a bad day out there today.” Usually, not always, they “do not think more highly of [themselves] than” they should. This is how we should be in our relations with others in the body. It is OK to acknowledge that God has given us a gift. We need the gifts God has given for the good the body. But we are not to be “puffed up” (cf. 1 Cor. 4:6 KJV and 1 Cor. 8:2).
Paul goes on to list various gifts that can occur in the body. We are to use those gifts. There are four places in the New Testament that gifts are listed. None of them are exactly alike. I believe that is to show that there are many, many gifts and all are not listed in Scriputre. Here is where they are listed (notice they are either chapters 4 or 12): Eph. 4:11; 1 Pet. 4:10-11; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; and Rom. 12:6-8.
Verses 9 – 13 exhort believers to various moral qualities, live, hating evil, devotion, deference, diligence, serving, hoping, persevering, praying, giving and hospitality.
I love verse 11 in the RSV, “be aglow with the Spirit.” It is literally to “be on fire” with the Spirit. I’m guessing if we were “on fire” for the Lord through the Spirit, we would have all the characteristics in verses 9-13.
Verses 14 – 21 prohibit revenge. It belongs to the Lord (v. 19). We are always to “overcome evil with good” (v. 21).