Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 23, Daniel 4, Acts 2
“YOU WILL MAKE ME FULL OF JOY”
What a fascinating set of readings we have today! First in 2 Chron. 23 we have the account of how “Jehoiada” the priest “took courage and entered into a covenant with the commanders” [v.1] to protect the very young king, the surviving son of Ahaziah. He ultimately placed him on the throne when the wicked Athaliah was executed. (v.14,21). How soon now before the wicked ungodliness of our world is “executed” to be replaced by God’s kingdom.
It is most interesting how, Nebuchadnezzar, when restored to health is inspired to say (in today’s ch. 4 in Daniel) – “I blessed the Most High, and praised and honoured him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will…” [v.34,35]
Yes, we are “as nothing” unless we take on the name of his Son in baptism, and then truly follow and serve him, which is the challenge Peter makes as we read today’s ch. 2 in Acts.
Our chapter starts by describing the remarkable events that occurred on the day of Pentecost when the 12 disciples, now called apostles (v.42) were able to speak in other languages (v.6,7) which are recognised by the many visitors from distant lands who are in Jerusalem for the feast.
The Apostle Peter is inspired, first to quote from the prophet Joel (ch. 2 v.16), that the pouring out of the Spirit is a fulfilment of his prophecy. But then the prophecy leaps forward to dramatically describe events (surely our days) “the last days” [v.17] before our Lord returns – when God will “show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below… the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.” [v.19, 20]
Peter brings his speech a climax by quoting “the patriarch David” [v.29] how he, “being … a prophet … foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ.” [v.30-31]. We will end by contemplating the state of mind David achieved – “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’ [v.28]: that wonderful state will be in the “presence” of Christ – when he returns!
How soon now? We know not, but it could be very soon – may we all live so that, by his grace, we will all be “full of gladness.”