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27 October - 2 Chronicles 24; Daniel 5; Acts 3; 4


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Posted 27 October 2007 - 10:48 AM

First Portion

2 Chronicles 24


24:1 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign; and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Zibiah, of Beersheba. 24:2 Joash did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 24:3 Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he became the father of sons and daughters. 24:4 It happened after this, that Joash intended to restore the house of Yahweh. 24:5 He gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather money to repair the house of your God from all Israel from year to year. See that you expedite this matter.” However the Levites didn’t do it right away. 24:6 The king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said to him, “Why haven’t you required of the Levites to bring in the tax of Moses the servant of Yahweh, and of the assembly of Israel, out of Judah and out of Jerusalem, for the tent of the testimony?” 24:7 For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and they also gave all the dedicated things of the house of Yahweh to the Baals. 24:8 So the king commanded, and they made a chest, and set it outside at the gate of the house of Yahweh. 24:9 They made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in for Yahweh the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness. 24:10 All the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end. 24:11 It was so, that whenever the chest was brought to the king’s officers by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king’s scribe and the chief priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to its place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance. 24:12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of Yahweh; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of Yahweh, and also such as worked iron and brass to repair the house of Yahweh. 24:13 So the workmen worked, and the work of repairing went forward in their hands, and they set up the house of God in its state, and strengthened it. 24:14 When they had made an end, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, of which were made vessels for the house of Yahweh, even vessels with which to minister and to offer, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. They offered burnt offerings in the house of Yahweh continually all the days of Jehoiada. 24:15 But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; one hundred thirty years old was he when he died. 24:16 They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house. 24:17 Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king listened to them. 24:18 They forsook the house of Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols: and wrath came on Judah and Jerusalem for this their guiltiness. 24:19 Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again to Yahweh; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. 24:20 The Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you disobey the commandments of Yahweh, so that you can’t prosper? Because you have forsaken Yahweh, he has also forsaken you.’”

24:21 They conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of Yahweh. 24:22 Thus Joash the king didn’t remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son. When he died, he said, “May Yahweh look at it, and repay it.” 24:23 It happened at the end of the year, that the army of the Syrians came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24:24 For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; and Yahweh delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken Yahweh, the God of their fathers. So they executed judgment on Joash. 24:25 When they were departed for him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed, and he died; and they buried him in the city of David, but they didn’t bury him in the tombs of the kings. 24:26 These are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 24:27 Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens laid on him, and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the commentary of the book of the kings. Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 10:49 AM

Second Portion

Daniel 5


5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. 5:2 Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, might drink from them. 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, drank from them. 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. 5:5 In the same hour came forth the fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 5:6 Then the king’s face was changed in him, and his thoughts troubled him; and the joints of his thighs were loosened, and his knees struck one against another. 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. 5:8 Then came in all the king’s wise men; but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation. 5:9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his face was changed in him, and his lords were perplexed. 5:10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: the queen spoke and said, O king, live forever; don’t let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your face be changed. 5:11 There is a man in your kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and the king Nebuchadnezzar your father, the king, I say, your father, made him master of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and soothsayers; 5:12 because an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of dark sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation. 5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Are you that Daniel, who are of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah? 5:14 I have heard of you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 5:15 Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known to me its interpretation; but they could not show the interpretation of the thing. 5:16 But I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations, and dissolve doubts; now if you can read the writing, and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom. 5:17 Then Daniel answered before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. 5:18 You, king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father the kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and majesty: 5:19 and because of the greatness that he gave him, all the peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him: whom he would he killed, and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he raised up, and whom he would he put down. 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: 5:21 and he was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the animals’, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys; he was fed with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky; until he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and that he sets up over it whomever he will. 5:22 You, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 5:23 but have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which don’t see, nor hear, nor know; and the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, you have not glorified. 5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from before him, and this writing was inscribed. 5:25 This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. 5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and brought it to an end; 5:27 TEKEL; you are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting. 5:28 PERES; your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians. 5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with purple, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. 5:30 In that night Belshazzar the Chaldean King was slain. 5:31 Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 10:50 AM

Third Portion

Acts 3; 4


3:1 Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 3:2 A certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was being carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask gifts for the needy of those who entered into the temple. 3:3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive gifts for the needy. 3:4 Peter, fastening his eyes on him, with John, said, “Look at us.” 3:5 He listened to them, expecting to receive something from them. 3:6 But Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!” 3:7 He took him by the right hand, and raised him up. Immediately his feet and his ankle bones received strength. 3:8 Leaping up, he stood, and began to walk. He entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God. 3:9 All the people saw him walking and praising God. 3:10 They recognized him, that it was he who used to sit begging for gifts for the needy at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 3:11 As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.

3:12 When Peter saw it, he responded to the people, “You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Why do you fasten your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk? 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up, and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had determined to release him. 3:14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 3:15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, to which we are witnesses. 3:16 By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which is through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

3:17 “Now, brothers, I know that you did this in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 3:18 But the things which God announced by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled.

3:19 “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, 3:20 and that he may send Christ Jesus, who was ordained for you before, 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God spoke long ago by the mouth of his holy prophets. 3:22 For Moses indeed said to the fathers, ‘The Lord God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him in all things whatever he says to you. 3:23 It will be, that every soul that will not listen to that prophet will be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 3:24 Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those who followed after, as many as have spoken, they also told of these days. 3:25 You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 3:26 God, having raised up his servant, Jesus, sent him to you first, to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from your wickedness.”

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Posted 27 October 2007 - 10:51 AM

4:1 As they spoke to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came to them, 4:2 being upset because they taught the people and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 4:3 They laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was now evening. 4:4 But many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.

4:5 It happened in the morning, that their rulers, elders, and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem. 4:6 Annas the high priest was there, with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and as many as were relatives of the high priest. 4:7 When they had stood them in the middle of them, they inquired, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?”

4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 4:9 if we are examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 4:10 be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole. 4:11 He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’ 4:12 There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!”

4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled. They recognized that they had been with Jesus. 4:14 Seeing the man who was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 4:15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 4:16 saying, “What shall we do to these men? Because indeed a notable miracle has been done through them, as can be plainly seen by all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we can’t deny it. 4:17 But so that this spreads no further among the people, let’s threaten them, that from now on they don’t speak to anyone in this name.” 4:18 They called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

4:19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves, 4:20 for we can’t help telling the things which we saw and heard.”

4:21 When they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people; for everyone glorified God for that which was done. 4:22 For the man on whom this miracle of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

4:23 Being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 4:24 When they heard it, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, “O Lord, you are God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them; 4:25 who by the mouth of your servant, David, said,

‘Why do the nations rage,
and the peoples plot a vain thing?
4:26 The kings of the earth take a stand,
and the rulers take council together,
against the Lord, and against his Christ.’

4:27 “For truly, in this city against your holy servant, Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 4:28 to do whatever your hand and your council foreordained to happen. 4:29 Now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, 4:30 while you stretch out your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.”

4:31 When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were gathered together. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 4:32 The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul. Not one of them claimed that anything of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 4:33 With great power, the apostles gave their testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Great grace was on them all. 4:34 For neither was there among them any who lacked, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 4:35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet, and distribution was made to each, according as anyone had need. 4:36 Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, 4:37 having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:22 AM

27 October 2008

2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:05 AM

27 October 2009

2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 01:31 PM

27 October 2010

2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4

WHAT CAUSES US TO DO THE RIGHT THING?

Our readings today caused us to reflect on things and friends which influence our actions. How important is it for us to have the right kind of friends – and what other things influence us? Our readings in Chronicles yesterday revealed the chaos in Jerusalem when a most evil Queen Mother, the daughter of Ahab, seized power after her husband was killed, she ruled for 6 years after killing all but one rival.

The youngest of the royal children, Joash, was hidden by his aunt for 6 years and then proclaimed king at the age of 7 and the wicked Queen Mother killed! This was at the initiative of Jehoiada the Priest. Today in 2 Chronicles 24 we read that “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest” [2 Chronicles 24:2]. Urgent repairs were made to the Temple. “But Jehoiada grew old and full of days and died.” [2 Chronicles 24:15]

But then we read, “Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD.” [2 Chronicles 24:17,18] As a result of this bad influence the rest of Joash’s reign was a disaster, he even ended up killing the son of Jehoiada the priest who had rebuked him.

When we come to 2 Chronicles 34 next week we will read of a really good king, who, when they found the Book of the Law when they were cleaning out the Temple after another disastrous reign, initiated great reforms after being influenced by what he read.

In Daniel today we read of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, king Belshazzar (called ‘son’ in the text, but there is no word for grandson). He also behaved foolishly, although, as the aging Daniel told him, “Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this” [Daniel 5:22]. He knew how his grandfather had, in the end, served the true God. So Belshazzar failed to rule wisely, in the fear of the true God, although he knew of him.

So what are we allowing to influence us today? Belief in evolution is the dominating influence all around us and it is growing – so that there is no fear of God in people’s minds. What influences us to do the wrong thing? What will cause us to think and do the right thing?
-------
- DC

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 09:41 AM

27 October 2011

2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4

"HIS KNEES KNOCKED TOGETHER"

If you were doing a Bible Quiz and you were asked whose “knees knocked together” and why – what would you answer? Well, the answer is in today’s readings: it is one of several lessons as to how quickly humans can forget the evidence of the power and presence of God in their lives or in those very near to them.

King Belshazzar was probably the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 5 tells of “1,000 lords” gathered together by Belshazzar and drinking wine. They were using “the vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar “had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem” [Daniel 5:1,2]. As “they drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone, immediately the fingers of a human hand appearing and wrote on the plaster of the wall …” [Daniel 5:4,5] It was such a dramatic happening that “the king’s colour changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together” [Daniel 5:6]

His wise men cannot interpret the writing, but the queen mother comes in [Daniel 5:10] and reminds him of the now aged Daniel. He is called and arrives to interpret the writing, a message of doom – “you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting” [Daniel 5:27]. His kingdom is to be overthrown by Darius and “That very night Belshazzar … was killed” [Daniel 5:30].

Our Chronicles reading provides similar lessons. We read in 2 Chronicles 23 of the boy Joash who was preserved to become king. He was guided by the aged priest Jehoiada and did great work to repair the Temple which had been desecrated by his evil grandmother who had seized control of the nation and killed all the heirs, but he had been hidden. “But Jehoiada grew old and died … He was 130 years old” [2 Chronicles 24:15]; the then “the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king (flattered him). Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD” [2 Chronicles 24:17-18} and great trouble followed.

These events are lessons for us. This world has abandoned all meaningful belief in God – so will not God, maybe soon, create situations in which knees will knock together – and worse! The words of the prophets are that he will, let us heed the lessons of history.
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- DC

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 06:34 AM

27 October 2012

2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4

"JOASH DID WHAT WAS RIGHT"

Our readings today caused us to reflect on things and friends which influence our actions. How important is it for us to have the right kind of friends – and what other things influence us? Our readings in Chronicles yesterday revealed the chaos in Jerusalem when a most evil Queen Mother, the daughter of Ahab, seized power after her husband was killed, she ruled for 6 years after killing all but one rival.

The youngest of the royal children, Joash, was hidden by his aunt for 6 years and then proclaimed king at the age of 7 and the wicked Queen Mother killed! This was at the initiative of Jehoiada the Priest. Today in 2 Chronicles 24 we read that “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest” [2 Chronicles 24:2]. Urgent repairs were made to the Temple. “But Jehoiada grew old and full of days and died.” [2 Chronicles 24:15]

But then we read, “Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD.” [2 Chronicles 24:17,18] As a result of this bad influence the rest of Joash’s reign was a disaster, he even ended up killing the son of Jehoiada the priest who had rebuked him.

When we come to 2 Chronicles 34 next week we will read of a really good king, who, when they found the Book of the Law when they were cleaning out the Temple after another disastrous reign, initiated great reforms after being influenced by what he read.

In Daniel today we read of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, king Belshazzar (called ‘son’ in the text, but there is no word for grandson). He also behaved foolishly, although, as the aging Daniel told him, “Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this” [Daniel 5:22]. He knew how his grandfather had, in the end, served the true God. So Belshazzar failed to rule wisely, in the fear of the true God, although he knew of him.

So what are we allowing to influence us today? Belief in evolution is the dominating influence all around us and it is growing – so that there is no fear of God in people’s minds. What influences us to do the wrong thing? What will cause us to think and do the right thing?
-------
- DC

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Posted 27 October 2013 - 10:57 AM

27 October 2013

2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4

"HIS KNEES KNOCKED TOGETHER"

If you were doing a Bible Quiz and you were asked whose “knees knocked together” and why – what would you answer? Well, the answer is in today’s readings: it is one of several lessons as to how quickly humans can forget the evidence of the power and presence of God in their lives or in those very near to them.

King Belshazzar was probably the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel 5 tells of “1,000 lords” gathered together by Belshazzar and drinking wine. They were using “the vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar “had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem” [Daniel 5:1-2]. As “they drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone, immediately the fingers of a human hand appearing and wrote on the plaster of the wall …” [Daniel 5:4-5]

It was such a dramatic happening that “the king’s colour changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together” [Daniel 5:6] His wise men cannot interpret the writing, but the queen mother comes in [Daniel 5:10] and reminds him of the now aged Daniel. He is called and arrives to interpret the writing, a message of doom – “you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting” [Daniel 5:27]. His kingdom is to be overthrown by Darius and “that very night Belshazzar … was killed” [Daniel 5:30]. How many will be “found wanting” when Christ returns?

Our Chronicles reading provides similar lessons. We read in 2 Chronicles 23 of the boy Joash who was preserved to become king. He was guided by the aged priest Jehoiada and did great work to repair the Temple which had been desecrated by his evil grandmother who had seized control of the nation and killed all the heirs, but he had been hidden.

“But Jehoiada grew old and died … He was 130 years old” [2 Chronicles 24:15]; the then “the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king (flattered him). Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD” [2 Chronicles 24:17-18] and great trouble followed.

These events are lessons for us. This world has abandoned all meaningful belief in God – so will not God, maybe soon, create situations in which knees will knock together – and worse! The words of the prophets are that he will, let us heed the lessons of history.
-------
- DC



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Posted 27 October 2014 - 05:47 AM

27 October 2014
 
2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4 
 
“… THEY WOULD NOT PAY ATTENTION”
 
We felt we could have written a ‘book’ of ‘thoughts’ arising from today’s 4 chapters – each will, if read with real feeling, stir our hearts and lift them into meaningful spiritual perceptions. In Chronicles the events in the life of King Joash contained absorbing lessons. He became king when only 7 under special circumstances, he was guided for most of his life by the faithful high priest Jehoiada and while he was alive Joash acted wisely and the Temple was restored to its former glory and the nation prospered.
 
We can see comparisons with the restoration of the knowledge of God’s word when printing was invented and the Bible became available everywhere and respect for its’ divine message spread through the world. Jehoiada found wives for the king and obviously mentored him.  Sadly after the death of Jehoiada, “the king listened to ... the princes of Judah” [2 Chronicles 24:17] – other members of the royal family – who, not appreciating the spiritual values Jehoiada had put in place, “they abandoned the temple of the LORD” [2 Chronicles 24:18].  As a result “wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem”.   When “the son of Jehoiada” challenged them,  “they conspired against him, and by command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD" [2 Chronicles 24:21].  After his death “God sent prophets among them to bring them back to the LORD…  These testified … but they would not pay attention.” [2 Chronicles 24:19]
            
God judged the king and the nation and "at the end of the year, the army of the Syrians came against Joash." [2 Chronicles 24:23] and he died as a result of his wounds.   We see the comparison with today - and the impending judgements of God on a world that has turned away from belief in its’ Creator and sustainer, despite God's word being so readily available, but "they will not pay attention."
            
Daniel 5 describes events leading to the end of the Babylonian kingdom that Nebuchadnezzar set up, despite how he finally found and wrote praises  and "blessed the Most High" as we read yesterday; his descendent (grandson?) Belshazzar, was blind to these blessings. The message the aged Daniel brought to him was "God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end ... you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting." [Daniel 5:26-27] And God has surely nearly completed ‘weighing’ our richly blessed world and found it seriously "wanting" that is, totally lacking, in any effort to "pay attention" to him.  But the final question is surely to us personally, how effectively do we "pay attention"? 
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- DC


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Posted 27 October 2015 - 11:11 AM

27 October 2015 
 
2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4 
 
"AND WE CANNOT DENY IT"
            
We continue reading the dramatic and exciting account (written by Luke) of the events after Jesus ascended to heaven and the disciples received the gifts of the spirit Jesus had promised to them. [Acts 2:7-14] Their inspired preaching was supported by the miracles they were able to do. [Acts 3] What an audience they now had. 
            
When Peter and John were arrested and they "put them in custody" [Acts 4:3], the "high priest" [Acts 4:6] and other officials were perplexed as to how they could stop them: Peter declared, " let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead­by him this man is standing before you well." [Acts 4:10]
            
The disciples were no longer frightened – or timid – the wonder of the resurrection had transformed them and the gifts of the spirit authenticated their message. Peter declared, "Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." [Acts 4:11-12] And that has been the essential truth of the message ever since! 
            
The members of the council are perplexed, saying, "What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.” [Acts 4:16] 
 
Sadly today men do "deny it" – seeing it largely as fiction – if they 'see' it at all – they don't want to begin to consider it – most even deny there is a Creator and foolishly say that all the incredible wonders that exist – sort of 'created' themselves!
            
Peter and John, after their release "went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them." [Acts 4:23]  this caused them all to lift "voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them ..." [Acts 4:24] 
            
Some of the words they then quote from Psalm 2 will soon be so appropriate for today – "'Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed''".  
            
When Jesus returns – their "rage" will turn into wonderment - they will be forced to say  "we cannot deny it."  But all who do not "deny it" now – indeed, rejoice in their convictions about it – will one day – and how soon(!) take part in the fulfilment of the words the Creator prophesied through Isaiah. "be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness." [Isaiah 65:18]    
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Posted 27 October 2016 - 11:54 AM

27 October 2016
 
2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4  
 
“AND WE CANNOT DENY IT”
 
Today, so many deny our world is the result of the incredible and wonderful actions of a Creator. This is despite the wonders and intricacies of nature seen on every hand. Our thoughts were caused to run along these lines because of 2 incidents described in our readings today.
 
First, in Daniel, we read of this now elderly prophet being brought into the presence of King Belshazzar, the son or grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. The King says, “I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems.” [Daniel 5:16] Daniel is asked to “read the writing (on the wall) and make known to (the king) its interpretation.” He tells him the one true God sent the hand and inscribed the writing that had appeared on the wall, “but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven…. in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honoured.” [Daniel 5:23] By his actions he had denied him. The world is similarly guilty today!
 
Daniel tells him, “This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting, PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." [Daniel 5:26-28]. Our world today is “found wanting” in a great many ways.
 
Our chapters in the book of Acts describe the reaction to the popularity of Peter and John after they healed a man, in the temple, who had been “lame from birth” [Acts 3:2]. The priests and Sadducees were “greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.” [Acts 4:2]
 
This attracted people to them and “many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.” [Acts 4:4] The disciples were arrested and “the next day … they were asked, "By what power or by what name did you do this?" [Acts 4:7] This gives Peter the chance to challenge them! He declares, “let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead ­by him this man is standing before you well…. there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." [Acts 4:10-12]
 
Our world today is not interested in anything about Jesus – although in about 8 weeks’ time - many will enjoy a happy time at Christmas. It will be a shallow meaningless happiness. The religious leaders “charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” [Acts 4:18 ] although they admitted “that a notable sign has been performed … and we cannot deny it.” [Acts 4:16] And our world “cannot deny” the wonder of the world all around them - but continue to deny there ever was a Creator.
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Posted 29 October 2017 - 01:48 AM

27 October 2017 
 
2 Chronicles 24
Daniel 5
Acts 3; 4
 
"THEY ABANDONED THE HOUSE OF THE LORD"
 
Our readings today caused us to reflect on things and friends which influence our actions. How important is it for us to have the right kind of friends – and what other things influence us? Our readings in Chronicles yesterday revealed the chaos in Jerusalem when a most evil Queen Mother, the daughter of Ahab, seized power after her husband was killed, she ruled for 6 years after killing all but one rival.
 
The youngest of the royal children, Joash, was hidden by his aunt for 6 years and then proclaimed king at the age of 7 and the wicked Queen Mother killed! This was at the initiative of Jehoiada the Priest. Today in 2 Chronicles 24 we read that “Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest” [2 Chronicles 24:2]. Urgent repairs were made to the Temple. “But Jehoiada grew old and full of days and died.” [2 Chronicles 24:15]
 
But then we read, “Now after the death of Jehoiada the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king. Then the king listened to them. And they abandoned the house of the LORD.” [2 Chronicles 24:17,18] As a result of this bad influence the rest of Joash’s reign was a disaster, he even ended up killing the son of Jehoiada the priest who had rebuked him.
 
When we come to 2 Chronicles 34 next week we will read of a really good king, who, when they found the Book of the Law when they were cleaning out the Temple after another disastrous reign, initiated great reforms after being influenced by what he read.
 
In Daniel today we read of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, king Belshazzar (called ‘son’ in the text, but there is no word for grandson). He also behaved foolishly, although, as the aging Daniel told him, “Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this” [Daniel 5:22]. He knew how his grandfather had, in the end, served the true God. So Belshazzar failed to rule wisely, in the fear of the true God, although he knew of him.
 
So what are we allowing to influence us today? Belief in evolution is the dominating influence all around us and it is growing – so that there is no fear of God in people’s minds. What influences us to do the wrong thing? What will cause us to think and do the right thing?
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