Day 231 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Second Chronicles.
2 Chronicles 21 – Neither dynasty nor paternity could ensure faithful leadership or the protection of the land as Israel’s inheritance. Asa and Jehoshaphat were good kings, yet Jehoram followed in the way of Ahab, king of Israel. But even in the midst of egregious fratricide (the killing of one’s brother or sister), the Lord holds back from the fullness of His wrath because of His covenant faithfulness.
This picture of God’s covenant faithfulness during the darker days of Jehoram should bring us great encouragement. For we have even more cause to rely upon God’s mercy than the Old Testament people understood. Under the new covenant, God’s wrath has been fully satisfied by the work of Jesus on our behalf, securing forever the inheritance for every Believer. Additionally, we have a King who is both faithful and eternal, demolishing the instability of any human dynasty. “But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant He mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises” (Hebrews 8:8–13; 9:15).
How does it feel to know that in Jesus your destiny is secure?
2 Chronicles 22 & 23 – A theme that runs across the pages of Scripture is the crisis of the seed (offspring) of promise (Genesis 3:15). Cain kills Abel, and so God provides Seth. Abraham is promised offspring, but Sarah is barren. Miraculously, Sarah gives birth to a son, Isaac, but God commands Abraham to kill him (though Isaac is ultimately spared; Genesis 22). Next, we find Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, to be barren. In Egypt, the pharaoh orders all of the male children to be killed at birth. Here, in this text, we discover that almost all of the royal line of Judah was destroyed by Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah.
The crisis of the seed of promise highlights the ongoing cosmic antagonism between the seed of the woman and the seed of the Serpent, stretching back to Genesis 3. These crises should sharpen our focus on God’s preserving, redemptive work to provide and protect the line of the seed of promise. The Lord may provide a ram as a substitute (Genesis 22), or faithful midwives who refuse to follow the command of the pharaoh (Exodus 1), or, in this case, a faithful sister who hides one last son.
Events of this type are intended to point us forward to the ultimate crisis of the seed of promise. Jesus, born under a decree of death as in the days of Egypt, was saved from infanticide by the intervention of His heavenly Father. As God called Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, this royal Seed was sent to be sacrificed, but this time no substitute was provided, because He became our substitute. Yet God intervened again and resurrected this Son, who now reigns with the Father as our Mediator.
The crisis of this Seed of promise is the means by which God’s people have come to experience God’s unfailing resolve and prevailing providence that provides for the forgiveness of sin, the hope of eternal life, and the restoration of fellowship with the Eternal One who created us for His glory and good pleasure.
How does this truth lead you to worship Jesus, our Seed of promise?
2 Chronicles 24 – The summary of this king’s life is tragic! He was rescued from almost certain death as an infant. At seven years of age, the Levites installed him as the king of Judah and executed the murderer of his family. The faithful priest Jehoiada cared for him, provided wives for him, and advised him for years. He even repaired the temple and removed Baal worship from the city. Yet the king’s heart remained unchanged by the blessings poured into his life, and so he was executed as a rebel and murderer of God’s priest (and prophet).
Thanks be to God, therefore, who changes our hearts and produces real and lasting change in the life of each Believer. Though Joash was zealous to follow the law earlier in life, the law could not change his heart (Romans 7:10–12). Only by grace through faith in Jesus can such a change be wrought. “And [so] I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
How has Jesus changed your heart?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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