2 Chronicles 27-28.
It is a relief to come in chapter 27 – to the leadership of a good king of Judah! –
‘Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the Lord his God.‘ v 6
It would be wonderful if, while reading this chapter, you could be here with us today in Amman, because the war Jotham fought and won was against the Ammonites, and right here was their territory.
Unlike many of his predecessors (and many of those who followed) Jotham did not let the power he gained turn him from God. We too need to pray for our leaders that they will be God honouring rather than self satisfying.
However, in chapter 28 by contrast, we once again revert to a king who:
‘did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.’ v1. He was defeated by the king of Aram (Syria/Damascus today) and then by Israel – his kinsmen. It is interesting to note that in God’s sight even in war these prisoners were not to be mistreated and there is no place for ‘killing in rage.’ v9. The captives were clothed, fed and given medical care, with those too weak to walk returned on donkeys. Although these prisoners were from the same ‘ tribe’ it is interesting to compare this treatment to the way current prisoners of war are treated.
May the Lord help us all to ‘ walk steadfastly‘ before Him and to look carefully at ourselves when judging others and justifying our actions. v 10b
Another contrast where Matthew’s life is turned around! On meeting Jeaus,
Matthew heard – ‘follow me‘ v9 and he obeyed – ‘ got up and followed and then he shared this new found commitment with people like himself, having them to a meal so they too could connect with Jesus. v 10
What a comfort to hear again Jesus’ words, ‘ I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’ and to know that we too are accepted (when we hear and obey).
Peter and Elizabeth.