2008-10-20 - Zechariah: Don't Hurt the Messenger
Because of Zechariah's obedience, he was stoned. (2 Chronicles 24:17-22, Hebrews 11:37)
While Jehoiada the chief priest was alive, King Joash did right in God's sight. After Jehoiada's death, the king quickly turned away from the Lord and began following idols instead. The king knew what it was like to follow God and have the daily assurance of His presence. After listening to his officials, Joash was easily swayed to forgo the living God for some inanimate objects.
Prophets tried to reason with the men, but they would not budge from their wicked lifestyle. Then Zechariah, Jehoiada's son, gave it a try. He told the royal leaders "Why do you disobey the LORD's commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you." (2 Chronicles 24:20 NIV)
The leaders did not take too kindly to Zechariah's words, and plotted to kill Zechariah. King Joash ordered that he be stoned. Zechariah lost his life for speaking the truth. Joash repaid Jehoiada's loyalty by killing his son, a man who was trying to bring the people back into God's good graces.
As Zechariah was dying, he did not have a forgiving heart. He asked the Lord to remember the king's actions and to bring justice to his death. Later Zechariah's prayer was answered. The Aram army attacked the country, and Joash was badly injured. Ironically the king's own servants schemed against him for killing Zechariah, and they in turn killed Joash.
Zechariah was an innocent victim. The country's leaders did not take responsibility for their ungodly actions. They got rid of Zechariah the messenger, instead of paying attention to the message.
Lord, I am sorry I turned away from You. It was only in a moment of weakness, but I pray You will take me back. I know You will not forsake me, for Micah 7:18 says so. I take responsibility for my actions, and ask that You help me stay enthusiastic as a believer. I don't want to tire of hearing about Your promises and miracles. Keep Your spirit alive in me, so it can ignite others. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
"Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy." Micah 7:18
The author welcomes comments or questions on this devotional article.