Daily Bible thoughts 499: Friday 29th November 2013: 2 Chronicles 24:17-20

After Jehoiada’s death everything headed south (17) …things fell apart (The Message). Beware of flatterers, of those who pay you homage in order to serve their own agendas. There are plenty of people who will tell you what you want to hear; but thank God for those who serve up what you most need to hear (20). Be careful to whom you ‘give ear’. There was a vacuum in Joash’s life following the passing of his mentor. Sadly, the wrong sorts stepped up to fill it. Joash did many fine things, but he was a ‘’leaner.’’ As long as godly Jehoiada was on the scene, the king obeyed the Lord, and the temple prospered. But after the high priest died, the king began listening to other counsellors; soon he led the nation into sin… If you lean on others and fail to develop spiritual depth, your spiritual life will be gone when those people are gone. Warren W. Wiersbe: With the Word, pp. 245, 246.

People can ‘backslide’ badly. They can fall from a very great height (18). We should not be surprised at this, although we are saddened by it. The Bible prepares us for this shocking reality in story after story. Here is one of them. On reading the eighteenth verse I thought: ‘All that good work on the temple down the tubes!!’ What a waste. He restored it only to ruin it. It is a spiritual tragedy of the greatest magnitude.

If verse eighteen shows the exceeding sinfulness of sin (the depths to which men can sink), the nineteenth verse exhibits the mercy of God (the lengths to which He will go to rescue us from our messes.)

Verse twenty says that Zechariah the prophet stood above the people (ESV) as he spoke. No doubt he was elevated physically in order to be seen and heard. But in another sense he stood above it all; all that sin of his day, and he denounced it. The ESV also translates the opening of the verse in these words: Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah… What clothing! (see Lk.24:49). Here is a clothing to cover your whole being: head to toe. You will need such clothing in order to deliver a deeply unpopular message. By and large people don’t want to hear how sin incurs God’s wrath and will lead to punishment/judgment without repentance.

However, the Revised Version has a marginal version of this that goes: The Spirit of God clothed itself with Zechariah… F.B. Meyer  has some fascinating observations around this idea: As we put on a cloak or dress, so does the Spirit of God, as it were, hide Himself in those who surrender themselves to Him, so that it is not they who speak and act, but He within them. Have you at any time been conscious of having become the clothing of the Holy Spirit? Remember that cloth or leather must yield itself easily to the movement of its wearer, and not less pliable and supple we must be to the Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God is thus within us, and speaks or acts for us, we may expect, as Zecharaiah found it, to come into collision with the entire drift and current of society around us, and to incur odium and hatred. Men do not like to be told that they cannot prosper because they have forsaken God; but we have no alternative than to witness against their sins. Does the Spirit of God clothe Himself with you my friend, as you anticipate the work of today? Are you using Him, or is He to use you?… In the agony of battle, when great deeds are to be done, no one stops to think of the uniform of the soldier, but only of the might beneath it. Great verses through the Bible, p.158.

28th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 498

27th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 497

26th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 496

25th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 495

22nd November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 494

21st November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 493

20th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 492 

19th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 491

18th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 490

15th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 489

14th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 488

13th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 487

12th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 486

11th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 485

8th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 484(1)

7th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 483

6th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 482

5th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 481

4th November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 480 

1st November 2013 – Daily Bible thoughts 479