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April 25 Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 10-12
“Come, see my zeal for the Lord.”
How instructive these three chapters are in spiritual things! 2nd Kings 10 describes the utter destruction of Ahab’s house, the slaughter of idolaters, and the destruction of Baal’s house by Jehu, all done in the name of the Lord and in zeal for the honor of Jehovah, his name, and his worship. In the 11th chapter we read of Athaliah’s destruction of all the royal seed, except for one male child, Joash, by whom God preserved Abraham’s seed. Then, in chapter 12 we have seen the good reign of Jehoash as long as he followed the instruction of God’s priests Jehoiada; but in his old age the king failed miserably and was slain by a conspiracy of his servants. What are we to learn from these things? Spirit of God, what are the instructions you have given us by these three chapters of Israel’s and Judah’s history?
I do not pretend in these brief daily survey’s to give all the instructions contained in the chapters read. Indeed, I do not pretend to know all the lessons taught in them by the Spirit of God. It is my purpose only to catch one or two primary lessons each day from each portion read. Focusing on one or two prominent lessons, clearly intended by the Spirit of God, I pray that your heart and my own will be set upon our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, his great salvation, and the blessed anticipation of eternity with him.
How zealous Jehu was for the Lord and for his worship, for the name of God and the truth of God! How zealous he was to rid the land of idolatry! How proud he was of his zeal! — “He said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” We should learn from Jehu that a person may be very zealous in the service of God without the grace of God, without spiritual life, and without faith in Christ. Spirit of God, give me a zeal for God that soars up from within, that springs up from the love of God shed abroad in my heart in the saving knowledge of Christ crucified, zeal springing from and constrained by the love of Christ.
The King’s Son
Even in the very worst of times, our God has his servants ready to execute his gracious designs. He has a Jehosheba to hide a chosen instrument of mercy when it is needful, and a Jehoida to bring forward his chosen according to the counsel of his own will. May the God of all grace give us grace to see his hand in all his providence. Nothing can be more comforting to our souls in times of trouble, darkness, and adversity than the remembrance that this world is under the government of our heavenly Father, the government of our blessed God and Savior, “who performeth all things for me!”
This little portion of the history of Joash ought to turn our hearts to our great King, the Lord Jesus, the lawful King of Zion, brought forth in triumph over the tyranny of sin and Satan. Behold the King’s Son, the rightful heir of all things, by whom Jehovah made the worlds! Behold him in the glories of his Person, “being the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his Person!” Behold him as the great Covenant-head of his people set up from everlasting, though hidden and his name Secret through the ages,. But, when the fulness of time was come, the Triune Jehovah “brought forth the King’s Son!” See him standing in his temple, as Joash stood by the pillar, to confirm the covenant, of which he is himself the sum and substance for his people and to his people.
Joash was a great, remarkable man and an equally great remarkable king. But in the end Joash died under the judgment of God (2 Chronicles 24:17-25). How is it that many who seem to begin well end ill? How is it that many who seem to follow Christ for a time turn back and walk no more with him in the end? The Holy Spirit tells us plainly that they who depart from Christ and his gospel “went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us” (1 John 2:19).
One reason given for the apostasy of professed believers is found in the 3rd chapter of the book of Galatians. Having begun in the Spirit, at least by profession, they seek to be made perfect by the flesh. Men and women come into the church and are baptized in the name of Christ, professing that they trust Christ alone as their Savior. But after a time, by the constant appeals of false prophets to their proud flesh, they think they make themselves perfect by the flesh. They who professed joy, being made free from the yoke of the law, return to the law. They who confessed themselves nothing but sinners begin to think themselves righteous. Vainly they dream of sanctifying themselves (of making themselves holy) by the works of the flesh!
Spirit of God, give me grace and give grace to those who read these lines, as we received Christ Jesus, so to walk in him all the days of our lives, renouncing all personal worth, merit, and righteousness, confessing our sin, trusting Christ alone for all Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption.