Monday, June 27, 2016

JUNE 27 "FIND SOME COMFORT FOR TODAY"

     You can find some comfort today, in reading about God's inspired description of Joash. We read at the beginning of Joash, 2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him. "2 Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years Jehoiada the priest instructed him." However, as we go on to read about Joash we find out that his life was not so stellar after all. Immediately after that verse we read..."3 The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there."  And it doesn't stop there, further on we read...
 "17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. 18 But Joash king of Judah took all the sacred objects dedicated by his predecessors—Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, the kings of Judah—and the gifts he himself had dedicated and all the gold found in the treasuries of the temple of the LORD and of the royal palace, and he sent them to Hazael king of Aram, who then withdrew from Jerusalem."  This was an awful cowardly act and I'm sure not the way The Lord would have had him handle the situation, by bribing his way, out of this situation with this enemy of Israel. We don't read much about Joash seeking God's counsel or direction. I'm sure had Joash sought his counsel God would not have said, "..you know what, this king is a pretty bad dude, i can't handle him, you'd better bribe him". This is obviously a failure on Joash's part. In spite of that, overall, I see Joash as a pretty good guy, seems to be a natural born leader, seems to take initiative and get things done that nobody else was getting done. Seems to care about The Temple of the Lord when nobody else did and he seems concerned about accountability of the church resources and making sure they were used for what they were appropriated. Joash is not all bad...and neither are you! Overall, as I said, we know Joash is not this stellar man of God. But you know what the good news is, he doesn't have to be this stellar man of God to please God! Joash has some good qualities but God is not shy to list the things he did wrong and messed up, but THE POINT IS...when God chooses to inspire the author of this book to describe Joash, we find Joash described as someone who "by and large" did right in the eyes of the Lord.  And this ought to bring comfort to you that perhaps God is not so disappointed in you as others might seem to make you feel. That you don't have to be the Apostle Paul to please God or any other spiritual guru's that are in Christendom today. Many Christians live under horrible condemnation that they simply don't measure up. The question to ask is, who do they not measure up to? Is it our peers, our spouses, our Pastor's or church's standards? I'm sure there were many "in the camp" that thought Joash  was a coward for not fighting the King of Aram, and thought it quite unspiritual to bribe him instead. I'm sure there were many who thought he was not spiritual for not taking down the altars in the "high places". I don't know how Joash evaluated himself, he may have given in to what others thought and felt quite unworthy as a King, but if only Joash had known what God thought of him.."Joash did right...." if only more people in the church knew what God thought about them instead of everyone else, they would be allot happier and have allot more joy. Take comfort today that God probably doesn't think of you as people have convinced you he does. Perhaps God know your flaws but he also knows your qualities and irregardless of either, his love is unconditional and perhaps he also says of you today..."he/she hasn't done this I know, they haven't done that I know...but still my summary of their lives and heart is ....they do right (overall) in the eyes of The Lord. Not in the eyes of their peers, but in The Eyes of the Lord, take comfort in that!