II Chronicles 25-27
The torch is passed to Joash’s son, Amaziah, who starts out by trying to “do right in the sight of God.” He listens when a man of God warns him not to go to battle with the troops of Israel. And he wins the battle as he follows directions.
Yet he brings back the gods of the sons of Seir, sets them up, and begins to worship them. (It’s hard to figure some people out). Not only that, but no longer will he listen to the prophets.
So Amaziah challenges the king of Israel to war, and loses. Then all of the treasures are taken from the temple and carried off to Samaria.
Let’s see if Uzziah can get it right. This son of Amaziah replaces him when he is only 16 years old. Yay, it looks like he’s going to do well.
Uzziah reigns for 52 years. “And he continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding through the vision of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him.” (26:5).
This king is industrious and innovative, building towers, cisterns, and establishing strong armies. “His fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong.” (V.26:15).
Then immediately Uzziah becomes proud in his heart and falls into sin. So the end of his life is tragic: he dies as a leper.
How many times do we have to go through this routine before we get the message? Over and over, the kings start out determined that they are going to follow God. Then by the time they end their reign, they have turned away. Pride has brought them down.
So Jotham reigns for 16 years, and he follows the Lord. However, the roots of rebellion have already been sown, and the people “continue acting corruptly.”(27:2)
We could certainly learn some lessons from these historical accounts. It’s not how we start our walk as much as how we finish it. It’s easy to start out with lots of zeal, but we are in this walk with our God for the long haul.
I want to finish strong!
Jesus elaborates more on the Holy Spirit, and His mission when Jesus leaves. The words He shares with His disciples couldn’t possibly be understood by them at this moment. They don’t really know what is about to happen.
Remember, Jesus said earlier that the Holy Spirit would bring to remembrance the Words which He had spoken. For right now, their heads have to be spinning.
What? Where are you going? Why can’t we go?
Yet He offers comfort to them – and to us. “When He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak ; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”(V.13)
Today, if we are Christians, we have this wonderful Holy Spirit of God living inside of us. He does indeed guide us into the truth. He explains to us the Word, and He shows us what we need to do. “It has been to our advantage for Jesus to have left” (V.7), because now we have the Holy Spirit for ourselves.
Now God loves us, just as He loves Jesus. The new dispensation of grace has been born into the world.
“If we ask the Father for anything, He will give it to us in Jesus’ name.” (V.23). “Ask, and you will receive that your joy may be made full.”(V. 24).
Do you believe those two verses? Do you believe that your prayers will be answered?
I believe that everything Jesus said was absolutely true! I believe that as we are in Jesus – and He in us – that what we ask will be according to His will. We won’t ask for evil; we will only ask for good. And those things will be given to us so that our joy may be made full.
Yes, Lord, I believe.