My heart is steadfast. Unwavering. Loyal to You.
I will sing and make music and put everything into it.
I will awaken the dawn with my music.
I will praise You among all nations.
Your love is great – higher than the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted – praised and lifted up – above the heavens.
Let Your glory and perfection be over all the earth.
Save us, help us, deliver us.
The earth and all its countries belong to God.
With God our armies will conquer.
“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!
Elijah had anointed Elisha to be his successor and had discipled him. On his last day on earth, Elijah tells Elisha to stay behind because God is sending him to Bethel. Elisha replies that as God and Elijah live, he will not abandon him, and off they go. Twice more Elijah tells Elisha to stay behind and twice more he refuses.
Elijah doesn’t tell Elisha that God is taking him today, but all the other disciples of the prophets do. Elisha tells them he knows and to be quiet.
What a difference Roman rule made in the lives of prophets and disciples. Elijah tells Elisha to stay. Jesus told the disciples to follow Him. Elijah never told Elisha he was leaving, but Elisha knew, admitted it and understood. Jesus told His disciples plainly that He would be betrayed to the Jewish authorities and crucified, but they never got it. No matter how many times Jesus told them He would be crucified and rise again, they couldn’t believe the resurrection.
There are similarities. Three times Elijah told Elisha to stay and he loyally refused. Three times Peter denied Jesus. Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Both Elisha and Peter made the same promise to not abandon their master. After Elijah’s departure, Elisha received a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. After Jesus’ departure, Peter was able to do Jesus’ miracles and more (John 14:12). So can we.