We could write many thoughts from today’s four chapters. In Chronicles the events in the life of King Joash contained absorbing lessons. He became king under special circumstances when only seven years old, and was guided for much of his life by the faithful high priest Jehoiada. While Jehoiada was alive Joash acted wisely and the Temple was restored to its former glory and the nation prospered.
There are comparisons to be made with the restoration of the knowledge of God’s word when printing was invented and the Bible became widely available. Respect for its divine message spread through the world. Jehoiada found wives for the king and mentored him. Sadly, after the death of Jehoiada, “the king listened to … the princes of Judah” (24:17) – other members of the royal family – who did not appreciate the spiritual values Jehoiada had put in place, “they abandoned the temple of the LORD” (verse 18). As a result “wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem”. When “the son of Jehoiada” challenged them, “they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD” (verse 21). After his death “God sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD… These testified … but they would not pay attention” (verse 19).
God judged the king and the nation and “at the end of the year, the army of the Syrians came against Joash” (verse 23). and he died of his wounds. Today the impending judgements of God are coming on a world that has turned away from belief in its Creator, despite God’s word being so readily available. “They will not pay attention”.
Daniel describes events leading to the end of the Babylonian kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar set up, who finally found and wrote praises to “the Most High” as we read yesterday. His descendent (grandson?) Belshazzar was blind to these blessings. The message the aged Daniel brought to him was “God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end … you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting” (5:26,27). And God has nearly completed ‘weighing’ our richly blessed world and found it seriously wanting, that is, lacking any effort to “pay attention” to Him. The final question is surely to us personally, how effectively do we “pay attention”?