There is a sequel to yesterday’s chapter about Jehoshaphat. We read today of his remarkable God-ordained victory over a large group of nations that came against him. Their efforts disintegrated into civil war (2 Chronicles 20:20-30), we see a repeat of this to some extent in places like Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon. The “surrounding nations” (Zechariah 12:2) are in disarray; are events building up to fulfil verse 6?

We put the jigsaw pieces of prophecy together – as closely as possible – but we need to be sure that all the adjoining pieces really lock together before we can speak or write with certainty. Most of us are familiar with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the interpretation as revealed to Daniel. Verse 39 of chapter 2 has always seemed to us a difficult fit; after all the third kingdom, commonly accepted as the Greek dominion, never “bore rule over all the earth” – it never functioned as a kingdom with a central seat of government as the others did. It was the Romans who “bore rule over all (the then known) earth”.

But we are not saved by having our interpretation of the detail of such prophecies correct but by our reaction to and acceptance of what Christ really taught. As we read the climax of John’s gospel we saw how he made this point very succinctly, “… these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (end of chaper 20).

The genuineness of belief is shown by how people live as a result. What kind of life are you having? Are you believing (and therefore living) so that “you may have (eternal) life”? Paul made the point to the Colossians that they must “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (2:10). How ‘real’ is your belief?