What if you could be the beginning of people turning away from doing bad and starting to do good again? What if you could be the one who starts a revival that points people in the right direction? What if you could be the one whose life would rekindle the love and the hope and the truth back into your community? What if your life was the catalyst for a real change in the way things work and help get things back on track?
How are you living today? Are you living as a witness to the love of God? Are you living as a testimony to all that Jesus has done? Are you living as a living sacrifice so that other may come to know the truth about God’s plan for their lives?
What if you could be the catalyst
Today’s reading begins with 2 Kings 11…
Wicked Queen Athaliah Overthrown
1Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal offspring. 2But Jehosheba, daughter of King Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death. She put him and his nurse in the bedroom, so he was hidden from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3He remained with her, hidden in the House of Adonai for six years, while Athaliah was reigning over the country. 4Now in the seventh year, Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains of the hundreds, of both the Carites and the guards, and had them come to him in the House of Adonai. After he cut a covenant with them and put them under oath in the House of Adonai, he showed them the king’s son. 5Then he commanded them saying, “This is what you will do: one-third of you—those going on duty on Shabbat—keeps watch over the palace. 6Then another third will be stationed at the Sur Gate and the last third will be at the gate behind the guards—so you will keep watch over the house on every side. 7Your other two divisions, who are off duty on Shabbat, will also keep watch over the House of Adonai for the king. 8So you are to surround the king on every side—every man with his weapons in his hand—whoever breaks through the ranks must be put to death. You must be with the king in his comings and goings.” 9So the captains of hundreds did all that Jehoiada the kohen commanded. Each of the captains took his men—those who were on duty on Shabbat and those who were off duty on Shabbat—and presented themselves to Jehoiada the kohen. 10The kohen delivered to the captains of hundreds the spear and shields that belonged to King David that were in the House of Adonai. 11So the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the House to the left side of the House, by the altar and the House, around the king on every side. 12Then he brought out the king’s son and put the crown and the insignia on him, and so they proclaimed him king and anointed him. Then they clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!” 13When Athaliah heard the noise of the guards and the people, she came to the people in the House of Adonai. 14She looked and behold, the king was standing by the pillar, as was the custom, with the captains and the trumpets beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason, treason!” 15Then Jehoiada the kohen ordered the captains of hundreds, appointed over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks—whoever follows her, put him to death with the sword.” For the kohen said, “Let her not be put to death in the House of Adonai.” 16So they laid hands on her, and brought her to the horses’ entry of the royal palace, where she was put to death. 17Then Jehoiada cut a covenant between Adonai and the king and the people—that they would be Adonai’s people—and also between the king and the people. 18Next, all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They broke his altars and his images into pieces thoroughly, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. Moreover, the kohen appointed officers over the House of Adonai. 19Then he took the captains over hundreds, the Carites, the guard, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from the House of Adonai, and came by the way of the gate of the guards to the royal palace. So he sat on the royal throne. 20Then all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet—they had already slain Athaliah with the sword in the royal palace.
–from 2 Kings 11
Where will you find wisdom? Where will you find guidance? Where will you find direction? Where will you find hope? Where will you find truth? Where will you lead others? How will you make a difference?
Jehoash Restores the Temple
1Jehoash was seven years old when he became king. 2Jehoash began his reign in the seventh year of Jehu and he reigned 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. 3Now Jehoash did what was right in Adonai’s eyes all his days, just as Jehoiada the kohen instructed him. 4The high places, however, were not taken away. The people were still sacrificing and burning incense on the high places. 5Then Jehoash said to the kohanim, “All the money of the sacred donations brought to the House of Adonai—the money in exchange for each person’s valuation, as well as all the money that anyone’s heart prompts him to bring to the House of Adonai— 6let the kohanim receive it, each from one of the treasurers, so they may repair the damage to the House wherever any damage is found.” 7But by the twenty-third year of King Jehoash, the kohanim still had not repaired the damage to the House. 8Then King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the kohen and the other kohanim, and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the damage to the House? Now therefore, take no more money from your treasurers, but hand it over for the damage to the House.” 9The kohanim agreed that they would take no more money from the people, nor would they repair the damage of the House. 10But Jehoiada the kohen took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one entered the House of Adonai. The priestly guards of the threshold deposited there all the money that was brought to the House of Adonai. 11Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal scribe and the kohen gadol would come up, put the money in bags and count the money that was found in the House of Adonai. 12Then they would give the money that was weighed out into the hands of those who did the work, who had been overseeing the House of Adonai—they, in turn, would pay it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the House of Adonai, 13and to the masons and the stonecutters, and for buying timber and cut stone to repair the damage to Adonai’s House, and for all that was laid out for the House to repair it. 14But there were no silver cups, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, and no vessels of gold or vessels of silver made for the House of Adonai from the money brought to the House of Adonai. 15For they gave it to those that did the work, and with it they repaired the House of Adonai. 16They did not check on the men to whom they gave the money to pay the workers, for they dealt faithfully. 17The money from the guilt offering and money from the sin offering was not brought into the House of Adonai—it was for the kohanim. 18Then King Hazael of Aram marched and attacked Gath and captured it, and next Hazael set his face to march against Jerusalem. 19But King Jehoash of Judah took all the sacred objects that his fathers Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred objects, and all the gold that was found in the treasuries of the House of Adonai and in the royal palace, and sent them to King Hazael of Aram, so he withdrew from Jerusalem. 20Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21But his courtiers arose, conspired against him and assassinated Joash at Beth-Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla. 22His courtiers Jozacar son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer struck him down, and he died. Then they buried him with his fathers in the city of David. His son Amaziah became king in his place.
–from 2 Kings 12
Do you see the need? Do you hear the need? Do you feel the need? What will you do about the need? Remember what you were taught and don’t be tricked or turned from what is right! Avoid the trip up that the devil is trying to create in your life! He will even bring in people who pretend to have your best interest at hand! Stand firm for what God has taught you! Stand firm for what is right! Stand firm for what is true! Stand firm for what is just! Speak the truth in love!
Joash Repairs the Temple
1Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem 40 years. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. 2Joash did what was right in the eyes of Adonai all the days of Jehoiada the kohen. 3Jehoiada took two wives by whom he fathered sons and daughters. 4It came to pass after this that Joash had a heart to renovate the House of Adonai. 5He assembled the kohanim and the Levites and told them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel year by year to repair the House of your God. Do this quickly!” However, the Levites did not act quickly. 6So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief and asked him, “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and from Jerusalem the tax of Moses the servant of Adonai on the congregation of Israel for the Tent of the Testimony?” 7For the sons of wicked Athaliah had broken into the House of God, and had even used all the sacred things of the House of Adonai for the Baalim . 8So the king commanded that a box be made and placed outside the gate of the House of Adonai. 9A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in to Adonai the tax of Moses, God’s servant, upon Israel in the wilderness. 10All the officers and all the people rejoiced, and brought in and cast into the chest until it was full. 11Whenever the chest was brought by the Levites to the king’s officers and when they saw that it was full of money, the royal scribe and the officer of the kohen gadol would come and empty the box and take it back to its place. Thus they did daily and gathered much money. 12The king and Jehoiada gave it to workmen who carried out the work for the House of Adonai. They hired masons and carpenters to renovate the House of Adonai, as well as craftsmen in iron and bronze to repair the House of Adonai. 13So the workmen labored and the renovation work progressed in their hands. They restored the House of God to its original design, and strengthened it. 14When they had finished, they brought the remainder of the money before the king and Jehoiada and they made it into vessels for the House of Adonai—vessels for avodah and for burnt offering, pans and utensils of gold and silver. Then they offered burnt offerings in the House of Adonai continually all the days of Jehoiada. 15When Jehoiada reached a ripe old age, he died. He was 130 years old when he died. 16So he was buried in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good things in Israel and toward God and His House.
Joash Betrays the Righeous Kohen
17Now after the death of Jehoiada, the chiefs of Judah came and bowed down to the king. Then the king listened to them. 18They forsook the House of Adonai, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherah poles and the idols. Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their guilt. 19Adonai sent prophets to them to bring them back to Him and although they admonished them, they would not listen. 20Then the Ruach Elohim came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the kohen. He stood above the people and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you transgress the mitzvot of Adonai? You will not succeed. Because you have forsaken Adonai, He has also forsaken you.’” 21But they conspired against him, and by order of the king, they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the House of Adonai. 22Thus King Joash disregarded the loyalty which his father Jehoiada had shown to him—and slew Jehoiada’s son. As he was dying, he said: “May Adonai see and avenge!”
Judgment on Joash and His Chieftains
23It came to pass that at the turn of the year, the Aramean army came up against him. They invaded Judah and Jerusalem and massacred all the chieftains of the people, and sent all their plunder to the king of Damascus. 24Although the Aramean army came with only a small number of men, Adonai gave over a much larger army into their hands, because they had forsaken Adonai, God of their fathers. So they executed judgment upon Joash. 25When they withdrew from him—for they left him very sick—his own servants plotted against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the kohen, and assassinated him on his bed. He died and was buried in the city of David—but not in the tombs of the kings. 26These men conspired against him: Zabad son of Shimiath the Ammonitess and Jehozabad son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27Now concerning his sons and the many prophesies against him and the rebuilding of the House of God, behold, they are written in the commentary of the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son became king in his place.
–from 2 Chronicles 24
Consider the choices before you! Consider the results of those decisions! Consider the impact on yourself, your loved ones, and those who are looking up to you! Don’t forget the catalyst! Don’t forget what God has taught you! Not sure what to do, turn to God first! Don’t assume! Don’t just go with the flow! Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength! Ask and He will answer, Seek and you will find, Knock and it will be opened!
You don’t want to miss out on what is coming! You won’t want to miss out on what’s new!
A New Heaven and a New Earth
1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. 4He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.” 5And the One seated upon the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new!” Then He said, “Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6Then He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will freely give from the spring of the water of life. 7The one who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8But for the cowardly and faithless and detestable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars—their lot is in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
The New Jerusalem
9Then came one of the seven angels holding the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues, and he spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10Then he carried me away in the Ruach to a great and high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God—her radiance like a most precious stone, like a jasper, sparkling like crystal. 12She had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and above the gates twelve angels. On the gates were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of Bnei-Yisrael— 13three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb. 15The angel speaking with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city and its gates and walls. 16The city is laid out as a square—its length the same as its width. He measured the city with the rod—12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal. 17He also measured its wall—144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement. 18The material of the city’s wall was jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. 19The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every kind of precious stone—the first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald; 20the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, carnelian; the seventh, yellow topaz; the eighth; beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls—each of the gates was from a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass. 22I saw no temple in her, for its Temple is Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. 25Its gates shall never be shut by day, for there shall be no night there! 26And they shall bring into it the glory and honor of the nations. 27And nothing unholy shall ever enter it, nor anyone doing what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Book of Life.
–from The Revelation 21