On a couple days of vacation . . . not exactly following the normal routine . . . afternoon “morning devo’s” is kind of nice change.
Reading in 2Chronicles this morning . . . ‘er, this afternoon. And a phrase at the beginning of the twenty-forth has an ominous tone about it . . .
Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest. (2Chronicles 24:1-2. ESV)
Josh, the kid king, did what was right in the eyes of the LORD . . . but here chimes the ominous tone . . . “all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” You just know that what was starting so right isn’t going to finish so well.
While Jehoiada was there providing counsel to the king, there was positive momentum in returning to the worship of the God of their fathers. In particular, the young king was had a laser focus on repairing the temple. He was relentless on raising the funds, and providing the workmen, to restoring the place where God’s glory should dwell to a measure of its former grandeur.
But Jehoiada “grew old and full of days, and died” (24:15). Though he lived to be 130, and had been there for most of Joash’s reign, there came a time when the temple-builder king would have to go solo. And in those days, “the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols” (24:17-18a).
Really!?!? A lifetime rebuilding the temple . . . then come along along some upstart kids sweet-talking him, and Joash drops everything and is drawn into idol worship? Yeah. . . . really. Written for my instruction . . . penned for my warning (1Cor. 10:11).
Godly counsel is great . . . godly accountability is great . . . seeking to rebuild God-ordained religious activity is great . . . but without a new heart, without an internal rebuilding program, at best, it’s fleeting . . . and fades once the external influences are gone or are changed up. It’s when the voice being submitted to is that of the living Spirit of God which has taken up residence within the heart of him, or her, who has received the truth of the gospel by faith . . . and when the temple being built is the one God is building within the believer . . . that, by His grace, we can anticipate finishing well.
As important as attending to the worship of God is, we need to ensure that we are submitting to the rebuilding work He desires to do within us . . . an on-going work . . . a God sustained work . . . the sanctifying work of being conformed, increasingly, into the likeness of the Son.
By His grace . . . for His glory . . .