Bible reading for weekend Dec 19-20.
2 Chronicles 22-24.
"And all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoiada said to them, 'Behold, the king's son! Let him reign, as the LORD spoke concerning the sons of David.'" (23:3)
KINGS AND QUEENS, PRIESTS AND PROPHETS. These chapters give account of the fascinating history also recorded in 2 Kings 11 and following: the brief reign of Ahaziah; the murderous rampage of wicked Queen Athaliah; the faithful priest Jehoiada tutoring young King Joash; and the latter years of Joash, departing from the faith and killing a prophet, the son of his faithful master Jehoiada. After I wrote this I thought, hey, this sounds like a plot from Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, and then I remember that this story came first. The biblical dramas with their stories of power and betrayal, murder and secrecy, loyalty and courage, echo down through history. These themes are timeless. As you read these epic accounts, ask God to help you see them with fresh eyes. (Btw, the prophet Zechariah who was killed in this account is not the same as the post-exilic prophet Zechariah who wrote the book by the same name.)
"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." (11:15)
THE COMING KINGDOM. Amidst the global judgments the gospel is still being proclaimed (chapter 10). The scroll, containing the words to be announced, recalls Ezekiel 2:7 -- 3:7. God's word -- and the unchanging, everlasting gospel -- contains both sweet comfort (for those who believe and repent) and bitter judgment (for those who turn away from God and persist in sin). In chapter 11 the two witnesses exercise their faithful ministry for three-and-a-half years and are martyred. Some have suggested that these two witnesses, written about in Zechariah 4:1-4, are Elijah and Enoch, since these two were both removed from the earth before experiencing death. The goal toward which these Revelation judgments are moving is the restoration of the kingdom of this world (all of earth) to be under the visible and glorious reign of Christ (v 15; cf Dan 2:35; Hab 2:14). The book of Revelation brings to fulfillment many themes and images from the Old Testament, especially from Daniel, Ezekiel, and Zechariah. This book demonstrates the continuity and consistency of all the Scriptures. The sixty-six books that became our Bible were written by dozens of human authors over 1500 years. And yet, it is one Book, a divinely inspired book, and its author is God (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:21).
Image credit. Photo of the Virgin and Child mosaic in the apse of the Hagia Sophia (Istanbul), built in the sixth century. We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. One recommended resource is NETBible.org, a ministry of bible.org.