Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 31, Daniel 11, Acts 11&12
“FAITHFUL IN KEEPING THEMSELVES HOLY”
What a challenging set of readings we have today! Our ch. 31 in 2nd Chronicles details the extensive work of Hezekiah after the success of the great Passover we read about yesterday. “All Israel,” we read today, that had participated in this Passover “went out … and broke … down the high places … until they had destroyed them all” [v.1]
Hezekiah is so dedicated we can see him, at this stage in his life, as a type of Christ. We are in awe of what Christ will do when he returns to set up his kingdom. We read of “the enrolment of the priests” [v.17] and how “they were faithful in keeping themselves holy.” [v.18] and we can see this renewal as foreshadowing the dramatic events which must surely take place when Jesus returns to establish his kingdom!
How wonderful then to be among the resurrected – or “changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet…. When … death is swallowed up in victory.” [1 Cor, 15 v.52,54]
Our chapter 11 in Daniel describes in challenging and awesome detail events “at the time of the end” when a particular aggressor who has … come into the glorious land”[v.40,41] and camped “between the sea and the glorious holy mountain … shall come to his end, with none to help him.” [v.45]. The end of the chapter should be ignored, the chapter break is unfortunate, ch. 12 starts, “”At that time … there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been” [v.1] and then the resurrection takes place.
After this our reading of ch. 11 and 12 in Acts seem almost an anti-climax; but dramatic events are described! We read of the conversion of the first Gentile – to the great surprise of Peter – and the first disciple killed, James. However, “the word of God increased and multiplied.” [12 v.24] Sadly, we can see little of that today, but “the “faithful” must keep themselves holy” facing the challenges of the “time of trouble such as never has been” that seem to be almost upon us! Our minds must embrace the words of the Psalmist, “The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.” [37 v.39]