July 10

2 Kings 11:13-14 (NIV) 13When Athaliah heard the noise made by the guards and the people, she went to the people at the temple of the LORD. 14She looked and there was the king, standing by the pillar, as the custom was. The officers and the trumpeters were beside the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her robes and called out, "Treason! Treason!"

When Amaziah died from the wounds inflicted by Jehu, his mother, Athaliah, decided to take over as supreme ruler. This wicked lady killed all but one of her own grandchildren. A sister of Amaziah hid one of her nephews, a son of the king in the Temple. When the child, Joash, was barely old enough to reign, Athaliah reaped what she had sown. The priest Jehoida declared Joash king at the tender age of 7. Athaliah heard everyone shouting and clapping, and she yelled, "Treason, treason!" The people could have answered her, "Yes that was your crime." The wicked often accuse others of the things they are guilty of. They are familiar with the sin because they live it daily, but in their twisted minds they have cleared themselves while accusing everyone else. They are so shocked when justice against them prevails.

The people may have wondered what happened to the justice of God. As time passed and Joash was aging, the animosity of the people was growing. The selfish reign of Athaliah and her love for Baal was causing the animosity that would erupt in the justice of God. He has His perfect time for everything.

When we see wickedness prevailing and are accused of the very things our adversary is guilty of, remember, Satan is the accuser of the brethren. God will deal with wickedness when the time is right. The people of the land also tore down the temple of Baal in Judah and killed the priest of Baal. Then they made a covenant with God and with their new king.

Consider: God is not looking the other way. He is laying the groundwork for His will to be done in His perfect time.

July 10

John 20:6-8 (NIV) 6Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

Mary Magdalene had gone to the tomb while it was still dark on Sunday morning. She found the tomb empty. Running back to the disciples, she told what she had found. Peter and John ran to the tomb. Peter arrived second but went in first. The strips of linen with which the body was wrapped were lying there. The head cloth was folded and set apart from the linen strips.

Since Jesus is the head of the church, His body, someone has suggested that it was a picture of His work as the head being accomplished. The body material was in a big pile, showing we have a lot of work left to do. The thought is true, but it was more an evidentiary statement than a theological one. Grave robbers would have taken this valuable material or left the body wrapped in it to carry it away.

When John got up the nerve to step inside, he saw the same thing and believed. Why would the sight of these cloths cause him to believe? They were left as they would have been had Jesus actually come back to life. Up till that time, they dared not believe Jesus' many statements of rising again, because the brutal murder had crushed their hopes. They did not want to be disappointed again, but the evidence was too strong. They had to believe, and soon they would see their resurrected Lord with their own eyes.

Has disappointment and heartache caused you to set aside your hopes? Has the pain of this world caused you to put your faith on the shelf for awhile? Jesus never promised us safety from the pain of this fallen world. He did promise He would be with us through it. Step back in time for a moment, and dare to walk into the tomb with John. See the linen strips and the head shroud neatly folded? There is more than this life. He has gone before us through death to make a way for us.

Consider: Will you dare to let your heart believe again? Then He will meet you too.