Reading: No scheduled readings
Thoughts and Reflections: Today is the scheduled reading catch up day for the first week of May. No additional readings are assigned, but think about the following points suggested from this week’s readings.
- When Joash of Judah fell away from God and served idols after the death of Jehoida the priest, God raised up Jehoida’s son Zechariah to prophecy against the king. In response, Joash ordered the son of Jehoida to be killed (2 Chronicles 24:20-22). What a sad and tragic turn of events.
Jesus refers to this incident when he uses the phrase “from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah” (Matt. 23:35). This mention is quite interesting in that Jesus appears to be making reference to the entire body of Old Testament Scripture as 2 Chronicles (where the murder of Zechariah is recorded) is arranged last in order in the Hebrew Bible. So the blood of Abel, recorded in the first book, Genesis, to the blood of Zechariah, found in the last book. An intriguing reference to all of Scripture as Jesus leveled his woes and warning against the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23.
- Great lessons sometimes emerge from unanticipated sources. Such is the case with the four lepers who flee to the camp of the Syrian army as the city of Samaria is besieged. The severe, imposed famine sent them on a desperate mission. They did not expect what they found: the Syrians abandoned the camp. They had left everything behind. The men began to take for themselves, but then said, “We are not doing right. This is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household” (2 Kings 7:9).
We too have good news to share; the best news. It is not right for us to remain silent.
Think For Yourself, But Not By Yourself
God gave you a brain; use it!
Now that doesn’t mean every thought that pops into that brain is good or right. Our own mind in hardly a reliable standard or measure. Besides that, what shows up in our mind is very often put there by our emotions or our pride. Even so, only accepting what someone else tells us without thinking it through is foolhardy; very common, but foolhardy.
So what to do? Be willing to hear others, get their input and insights; and not just from people you know already agree with you. Wisdom tells us that many advisors and counselors bring success (Prov. 1:5; 15:22).
Think about the case of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-14). As long as he continued with only what he thought (v. 11) he remained a leper, but when he listened to his servant’s counsel and obeyed Elisha, he was healed.
Of course, the greatest counselor available is God. Therefore, “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psa. 119:24).
And it isn’ t what somebody else has said the Bible says, or a particular group embraces as “Bible”, or what tradition has handed down to us. Those may all be Bible related—and some are quite distant relations—but they aren’t Bible.
Think for yourself, but not by yourself!