“The Spirit of God took control of Zechariah, son of Jehoida the priest. He stood above the people and said to them, ‘This is what God says, “Why are you transgressing the Lord’s command and you do not prosper? Because you have abandoned the Lord, He has abandoned you.”’ But they conspired against him and stoned him at the king’s command in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. King Joash didn’t remember the kindness that Zechariah’s father Jehoida had extended to him, but killed his son. While he was dying, he said, ‘May the Lord see and demand an account.’” II Chronicles 24:20-22
Oh, that the Spirit of God would take control of me and of every single Christ follower! What a difference it would make in our lives and in our culture! But we resist, afraid of Zechariah’s fate – not the stoning, but the rejection of our peers.
I wonder how much prosperity would be released if everyone in this country would stop transgressing the Lord’s commands. My part is to examine my life to make sure it is in line with God’s commands and then start being a prophet to others.
King Joash didn’t remember the kindness shown to him. Zechariah’s father saved his life, kept him hidden frim his murdering power-hungry grandmother, and instructed him in God’s ways. But Joash forgot all that under Zechariah’s public scolding and ordered Zechariah’s execution. Joash had to silence the voice of conscience that had become much too loud for comfort. Surely Joash and Zechariah grew up together, so he wasn’t just ordering the death of a detractor, but a brother. Jehoida would have trained both boys. One chose God’s way, the other chose the people’s (see verses 17-18 where the rulers come to Joash after Jehoida’s death and their homage turns his heart away from God). Sometimes the pull of other people, popularity and conformity is stronger than years of solid teaching and upbringing.
Zechariah asks for God’s justice and judgment for his murderers, unlike Jesus and Stephen, who asked for God’s forgiveness for theirs. How much Jesus changed the world!