Author - Anthony Morrel
2 Chronicles 19-20
How fleeting faith can be if it is not rooted in God with a whole heart. Jehoshaphat had just aligned himself with King Ahab, which resulted in Ahab’s death and defeat in battle. At the end of chapter 20, Jehoshaphat once again aligns himself with an evil king from the Northern Kingdom, Ahaziah. In between, we see how God miraculously defeats the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, not even allowing Judah’s soldiers to fight in the battle. God provides victory resulting in rest and joy. Oh, how easy and obscure the leaven of sin can infiltrate our lives as it did for Judah. For them, it was the sin of pagan worship as shown in that they had not removed the high places. This is just the symptom, though. The root cause is that the people had not set their hearts to upon the God of their fathers (20:33). The good works of Jehoshaphat were as filthy rags in the sight of God because Jehoshaphat did not believe with a whole heart. Perhaps the most telling sign of Jehoshaphat’s heart will be what we read about his son and successor in the next chapter.
Silence in heaven. Imagine that. John didn’t have to imagine, though, as he experienced silence in anticipation of the Trumpet Judgments ushered in by the opening of the Seventh Seal. Just as we dedicate a moment of silence for times of mourning, the silence in heaven was likely because of the impending and dreadful judgments that were about to be unleashed on earth. In the following judgments, a third of many things are removed, killed, and done away with. Why a third? Perhaps because it was God the Son, one-third of the Trinity, who was murdered because of and for our sin. Interestingly, even amongst these terrible judgments, we see grace. We all, even right now, deserve 100% of the judgments being mercifully withheld by the Lamb until their appointed time.
Once again we have a vision given to Zechariah that carries with it significant meaning and points forward to Jesus and His church. Zerubbabel is prophesied to build the temple not by might or power, but by the Holy Spirit. Zerubbabel is a type of Jesus who builds His temple, the church, by indwelling us with the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). The seven who rejoice at the building of the temple and are said to be the eyes of the Lord and may point toward the seven churches in Revelation. The two olive trees likely represent the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and, more specifically, the two witnesses in Revelation 11. The oil used for anointing represents the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The important thing in this imagery is that it all points not to temporary earthly things, but eternal heavenly things, which is where we ought to set our minds and hearts.
Ought we really to think that if the Pharisees had indeed learned that Jesus was from Bethlehem and not Galilee that they would have accepted Him as Christ? A great deal of this chapter deals with how people around Jesus decided for themselves whether or not He was the Christ. It would be wise for me and you to pause and ask why we believe that Jesus is our Savior. It is easy to give some theological answer that sounds good, but how about the way I live my life? Where am I not treating others the way Jesus has so graciously and mercifully treated me? I pray that we would be a church who believes Jesus in word and deed by loving others and Him who first loved us (1 John. 4:19).