in chapter 24 today we read a very sad account of King Joash in Judah who began his leadership role as king of the southern kingdom well – following the advice and wisdom of the God-fearing priest Jehoiada; guiding the priests and giving them responsibility and support for the careful rebuilding of the temple.

However, after the old man Jehoiada died Joash took advice from officials who did not follow God.  The nation quickly deteriorated as the people ‘abandoned‘ and worshipped Asherah poles and idols instead.  Perhaps as we read we are saying, ”How could they so quickly turn from God?  Again!!

Perhaps we might also be challenged to pray for our own leaders and their advisors that honourable beginnings will be maintained and Godly decisions taken for the good of all.

A challenge from God came through Jehoiada’s son to the people –                    ‘Why  do you disobey the Lord’s commands?  Because you have forsaken The Lord, He has forsaken you.’ V20 and is a sobering reminder to guard our own behaviour.  There is always a CHOiCE.    In spite of this warning the people                      ‘did not repent’ v20 and they killed him.

Joash came to a miserable end, first at the hand of the king of Aram ( Damascus) and his army who defeated Joash and his men, and then ultimately by his own officials who killed him in his bed.  A sorrowful fall from grace.



ROMANS 2 : 1-16

As we commence chapter 2 we leave the strong call to salvation by faith alone in Christ alone – chapter 1, and are now challenged to live, as a result, a righteous life.

Paul begins by charging the Christians in Rome to stop judging others critically v1.   How well God knows our hearts!  It is so easy to see faults and less than acceptable behaviour in others while excusing, or not even noticing our own failures.  Blaming others is the next logical step that we take.  ‘ It wasn’t my fault!  She………  or he……. ‘  Does this come from Adam?  ‘the woman you put here with me gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.  Gen 3:12.

Remember Jesus’ strong condemnation of judging others?                                    Do not judge or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.            Matt 7:1-4

As we read on, we were stopped in our tracks by v4.                                            God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.

While we know God is angry with sin (chapter 1), it is                                        his kindness, patience and forebearance v 4 ie his love, that prompts a turning back to him.  Once this happens we must persist in doing good, seek glory honour and immortality. V7               What a choice  for today!!!

Lord, thank you for the promise of eternal life.  Please give us the heart to live in such a way that honours you and cares for others.