A Lesson in Perseverance
Spirit of Truth, reveal to me the things of God. Spirit of Power, encourage me to act courageously for You.
2 Chronicles 24:1-16
Consider: We need to be alert to the perils of over-reliance on godly leaders and the crucial need for personal faithfulness “to the end of the road.”
We have leapt across much of the chronicler’s history, to the Temple’s renewal in the reign of the boy-king, Joash. There were momentous developments during the intervening period, including the division of Israel into two kingdoms following Solomon’s death (2 Chron. 10), the appearance of court-prophets (paid to give religious authority to whatever the kings wished to do) as well as authentic preachers speaking truth to power, as in the classic case of Micaiah (2 Chron. 18), and a descent into apostasy and anarchy (2 Chron. 22:10-12). As a result, Solomon’s Temple fell into a condition of ruin, neglected and unrepaired, as the contributions of devout Israelites to its maintenance dried up, leaving the treasury bankrupt.
The king in this passage, although only seven years old, had already lived through dramatic and terrifying events. Rescued from the clutches of the bloodthirsty queen, Athaliah (2 Chron. 22:11), he was whisked away and hidden in the Temple for six years before the old priest, Jehoiada, presented him with a copy of the covenant and declared him to be the Lord’s anointed. Jehoiada covenanted that “he, the people and the king would be the Lord’s people” (2 Chron. 23:16). This was, in other words, a reformation, a turning back to God and a fresh beginning.
Joash’s tender years contrasting with Jehoiada’s advanced age, the young boy and the old man joined forces to restore the Temple. Although the influence of the old priest on the boy-king was considerable, Joash was no mere puppet; it was he who decided that the Temple should be restored (4). Tragically, although Joash followed the Lord “all the years of Jehoiada the priest” (2), the passing of his mentor marked the beginning of his decline (17-19). We are reminded of the words of Jesus, “the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:13).
Did you have a mentor who played a big part in your own pilgrimage? How are you coping without them? What will you need to persevere until the end?
Lord Jesus, at times I feel I cannot go a step further. I need a Sabbath, I need Your touch, to replenish me. Help me to persevere, help me to get through.