I’m writing this installment of my blog for you to read on Sunday, so I thought since you’ll have your Bible out anyway (you will be going to church, right?) I could duck-out on doing the mp3 recording and let you read our reading yourself. Never fear, I’ll continue the audio reading tomorrow — Lord willing. 🙂 Anyway, on to lessons from today’s reading.
Thanks a lot, for nothing — Joash had been rescued from a massacre of all his brothers as a helpless infant. Jehoiadah the priest had doubtlessly taken a tremendous risk by keeping this secret from the evil queen Athaliah. It was Jehoiadah who had crowned Joash at the tender age of 7 and appears to have mentored him for years of successful and godly rule. Yet, after Jehoiadah’s death, not only did Joash depart from what Jehoiadah would have counseled, he even killed Zechariah, Jehoiadah’s prophetic son, because he didn’t like what he had to say! The ingratitude, the selfishness, and the foolishness are almost unbelievable — unbelievable, if it didn’t happen so often. And it does happen often, especially with God. But incredibly we adopt the old “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?” attitude with God time after time. Despite His generous graces in both the physical and spiritual realms, we forget all His kindnesses and return neglect for His nurture, betrayal for benefit, and harm (to His children, the church) for His help; we place Him second (or worse) for His placing us first. God doesn’t do things for us in a quid pro quo sort of way, but there is something seriously unfair, unkind, and immoral about returning evil for good. Shouldn’t we do better?
Worshipping a loser — The story of Amaziah defeating the Edomites and then worshipping their gods always makes me scratch my head. Yet, in such a typically blind way, when I think about it, I see it happening all around — just in a different way than actually bowing down to a false god. Why do the children of alcoholic parents, who know what a damaged and self-destructive way of life it is, bow before the gods of substance abuse? Why do husbands and wives, who can see everywhere how destructive infidelity, the silent treatment, the cold-shoulder, disrespect, pride, and refusal to forgive can be; still worship infidelity, silence, coldness, disrespect, pride, and grudges? Why do business people, seeing people ruining their and other people’s lives through shady practices, fall down before the “god of shady practices”? They are losing strategies, “loser gods”. Let’s, instead, worship the one true and living God and follow His winning strategies in faith that they really will be the best thing in the long run.
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.