Good morning dear friends. I woke early this morning and was reminded to give God my first, so instead of perusing social media or reading a book, I cracked open my bible and found myself drawn to a chapter in 2 Chronicles. I tend to just flip through the pages until I feel like I need to stop and start reading where ever my eyes are drawn to and, more times than not, I gain some sort of insight from the passages I read. (You should try it some time!)
Anyway, let me just say, oh my goodness! I read the most incredible story just within 2 chapters and between my study of it and researching into different terms and history behind it, I strongly feel that it was a God led lesson for me this morning. A reminder, if you will, that in my growing and understanding of His purpose in my life, I MUST remain humble in all things. Humble is not a quality that comes easily to me, a person who is always seeking the approval of others for my good deeds.
In 2 Chronicles I read the story of Joash and how he became King. I started reading in chapter 23 and came to the part where this woman Athaliah was murdered. At first I was astonished that they made mention of this one woman who had the guts to enter the temple which was heavily guarded, and killed her for entering and crying out “Treason, Treason.” I thought perhaps she knew something about Joash that I didn’t.
Then I back tracked and read the chapter prior to Joash’s reign and came to understand that she was actually this boy’s grandmother. She was also the only female ruler (that I know of so far) and she gained her status by assassinating the entire royal family out of revenge. Joash was hidden away by his aunt (I believe) to escape the revenge that Athaliah was taking out on the house of Judah. Kind of like some Sleeping Beauty tail. The baby Joash was kept in a temple and raised by Jehoiada the priest and his wife Jehoshabeath (the aunt in question) until he was 7 years old and was crowned King.
When his grandmother heard the commotion of someone being crowned King and the people rejoicing, she tried to get at him and this is where she was slain by those guarding the true ruler that had been raised in secret until he was old enough to take the throne. Crazy, right?! It gets better.
Now, Joash, having been raised by priests, was obviously well versed in scripture and grew to follow God’s commands, rather than the false gods that his grandmother worshiped. So by all accounts he was a good king that did as God commanded. You would think that he would have lived to a ripe old age and would have been blessed by God and would have been named in the lineage of Christ himself since he was of the house of David. I mean, this little babe that was spared a death at the hands of a woman who sought to destroy God’s lineage and “rose from the ashes” would have made an awesome credit name to add to the lineage of God’s only son, who came to save us ALL. That’s what I was thinking.
Except for one tiny detail. Joash wasn’t very humble. When the priest Jehoiada passed away at the age 130 (wow!), Joash started to look to the council of the princes rather than the priests. The princes started to worship false gods and Joash’s eyes were turned away from his upbringing and his ears became deaf to the words of the new priest.
This new priest, Jehoiada’s son, tried to warn Joash and the princes. He tried to redirect them back to God but they ignored him. In fact, Joash forgot the kindness that Jehoiada had done for him (raising him, keeping him safe, teaching him the RIGHT way to live and rule) and decided to kill Jehoiada’s son. Apparently he didn’t like being told that he was doing something wrong. He had forgotten that his reign was only by the grace of God. He had falsely killed the priest who was trying to get them to see they were going down the wrong path, and Joash did it all in the name of God.
How many times have we seen people do things “in the name of God” and it was anything but? The Great Crusades come to mind.
So, God sent an army to kill all of the princes and then rallied people against Joash, who then assassinated him in his sleep. All because he didn’t listen to the son of the man who raised him to do God’s work. He did not offer grace. He was not humble.
How many times in our lives do we take credit for our accomplishments? How many times do we pervert God’s commands to fit our own desires or to justify the things we want to do? How many times do we take for granted the grace that God has given us for our transgressions and never believe that we will be judged for our wrong doings? How many times do we puff up the good things that we do in order to cover up the bad? How many times do we judge others and think that we are justified in pointing out their faults, when we ourselves have just as many faults. It is mentioned numerous times throughout the bible that judgment is NOT ours to give.
He without sin cast the first stone. Do not point out the splinter in another man’s eye when you yourself have a plank in your own. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Romans 14:12-13)
I am guilty, more often than I a care to admit, of forgetting to remain humble. God has blessed me with his grace numerous times and more than I will ever realize. I have been given the life and the path that I have traveled for a reason. He has not brought me this far to simply throw away everything that I have worked for. He has not brought me through my trials, nor brought me to his Son for me to simply follow my own desires and the opinions of man. If it does not match up with God’s word, it is not what I should do and I will be judged for it. That judgment could come swiftly and unexpectedly, or it may come after a long drawn out life of wrong doing and simply trying to please myself and to please others.
Personally I would rather stop the long, drawn out life of wrong doing. The only way I can accomplish this, though, is to learn how to stay humble and kind.
Tags: Faithfulness, forgiveness, God, Humble
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