Today’s reading: 2 Chron 21:1–23:21, 1 John 1:1–4, Ps 102:1–28
Today’s theme: Covenant
Today’s theme explores the importance of covenant or testament for our daily lives. Covenant stands at the core of our faith. It is through God’s covenant with Israel and with the church through Christ that we have salvation. We thank God for the eye witness accounts we have in the New Testament.
2 Chronicles 21:1–23:21
The evil sting of compromise
And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 21:6 (ESV)
Here we see the evil sting of compromise. The bible tells us that believers should not be aligned with unbelievers. We should not be unequally yoked or bound together and one of the key areas concerning this is marriage.
Paul speaking in 2 Corinthians 6:14–15 states, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?”
Jehoshaphat’s compromise of marrying into the family of Ahab exposed his son to the evil influence and demonic strongholds of Ahab which were idolatry and witchcraft.
If we allow compromise in our lives we open the door to death and destruction. For our own sake and the sake of the upcoming generations we must not give way to compromise through unwise unions with the ungodly.
The importance of covenant
Yet the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons forever. 2 Chronicles 21:7 (ESV)
Covenant is very important to God, as we see here. It is because of covenant that God was not willing to destroy the house of David.
The word covenant is used in the sense of a contractual arrangement between two parties, which required binding action from one or both parties.
The Hebrew word used here is “berit” which means covenant, league, confederacy or treaty.
A covenant is an agreement enacted between two parties in which one or both make promises under oath to perform or refrain from certain actions stipulated in advance.
Covenant in the Bible is the main way used to describe the relationship between God and His people. It serves as the legal constitution of the kingdom of our God the King.
God’s covenants are a great lens to reveal to us who God is. We thank God for the new covenant we have in Christ.
God, Judge and Executioner
And after all this the LORD struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 2 Chronicles 21:18 (ESV)
God is both judge and executioner. God’s hands are not tied, nor is His will weak. God will see justice done and will judge the wicked.
Modern ideas of God see Him as someone who would never inflict sickness or misfortune on anyone but this is not the God of the bible. Jesus told us to fear the one (God) who could destroy both soul and body in Hell. Matthew 10:28.
We should fear God as judge and at the same time give thanks that He will not allow injustice and wickedness to go unpunished.
No matter what man does God will see His purpose and plan come to pass and has the power and authority to kill whoever He desires for their own sin, for leading God’s people astray and for being a tool in the enemies hands to frustrate God’s plans.
This wicked King received no honour in his death. God also allowed him to die in great agony, these are both signs of his death not merely being natural but judicial punishment for breaking the law (the covenant).
Royal priests and soliders
And Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains the spears and the large and small shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of God. 2 Chronicles 23:9 (ESV)
We are called to be a royal priesthood and at the same time we should be like soldiers ready to defend and restore the kingdom of God here on the earth. Jesus is our great General and King and we are called to be like Soldiers and Priests in His service. See 1 Peter 2:9 and 2 Timothy 2:3.
As a side note: Today’s account is like reading a really good novel, full of action and intrigue, it is like the script to a really good film. God’s word is full of real life accounts and is written so beautifully that it engages the heart while teaching us lessons for our own life.
I thank God that His word is not just records. I’m grateful that through the wonder of creation and the beauty of His word, God tells us stories (true stories) to engage our hearts and minds. If you missed that today and think ‘what is He talking about?’, read it again.
Called to be watchmen
And Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the LORD’s people. 2 Chronicles 23:16 (ESV)
We thank God for this godly man Jehoiada. It is through his stand for God that Joash will grow up to be a godly king and he has led the way in these reforms that have seen God’s people restored to covenant relationship with Him.
Compromise and sin is cut off as the people destroy the house of baal.
It is also significant that Jehoida set watchmen and gatekeepers for the house of the Lord. We are called to be watchmen in prayer and gatekeepers in the word and truth.
Jesus told us to watch and pray and the bible teaches us that we should guard the gates of the church from heresy by knowing, rehearsing, living and defending the truth.
1 John 1:1–4
Eye witness accounts of the new covenant
that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3 (ESV)
This is how we received the New Testament. Eye witnesses from the ministry of Jesus like John wrote down what they had seen, heard and experienced for our sake that we might believe and come into relationship with God.
We should thank God for the writing and preservation of the New Testament / Covenant today.
We testify about what God has done for us too, so that others may come into fellowship with Him.
Jesus is the word of life, Jesus is eternal life and has always been with God.
And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:4 (ESV)
Our joy will only be complete when we share the Gospel with others, good news shared is great news!
God is king
But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations. Psalm 102:12 (ESV)
We say amen and affirm again that God is the great King
Pray for the imprisoned
to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die, Psalm 102:20 (ESV)
We can use this as we pray for our imprisoned brothers and sisters around the world.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
Desiring God on 1 John 1