Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
In 2 Chronicles 24 we read about something that has happened countless times. After a time of godly leadership, those who are more interested in their own interests intervene in government and society, wanting to depart to the religious inclinations of their own hearts. In this instance, they depart to the native religion of the area, which tries to win some sort of favor by making sacrifice and begging the gods of fertility to show favor.
We see this pattern over and over again, whether it is an attempt to manipulate nature, some sort of local god of fertility or of wealth, or to persuade others to bring prosperity. It's ultimately all the same, since it takes our resources and attempts to create a personal advantage by our own efforts.
It does seem a normal way to live, doesn't it? It makes perfect sense. And, for that matter, if we can get others to do our will and accomplish the work for us, we are normally glad to take advantage of others' effort for our good.
How does the Christian view this? Just as with Zechariah, we condemn those efforts to exploit others. We recognize that the one true God is our hope. He is the one who holds all the earth in his hands and brings favor to those who trust in him.
What happened? This isn't the answer we would normally prefer. While God works for good, he doesn't seem as concerned about our earthly safety and security as in our eternal destiny. Zechariah was stoned to death. But while dying, he was aware that he had done right in the sight of God.
When we proclaim God's truth, boldly and steadfastly, we may just face opposition who would try to do away with us. The hope of the Christian is not in this life, though. It is an eternal hope. We believe that God will not disappoint, in the end. He is the true Lord of all, who is able to care for his people, beginning to end. Even if they should kill our bodies, we can trust that we are ultimately perfectly safe in the hands of our Lord and Savior. There is no room for fear. The Lord is king of all.
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