Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21
The movie “The March of the Penguins” caught Hollywood by surprise and became a big hit. The way Emperor penguins survive the cold is an act of God, a miracle of nature and a tribute to survival. From the beginning of time the four feet tall, 70- to 90-pounder bird has survived the harshest, lowest and most extreme weather known to any animal on earth. They live in Antarctica, the coldest place on the earth. No living creature could survive the 20-day march of the penguin in blizzards and winds, marching every year in single file and braving hundreds of miles of frozen ice that supports no wildlife to find a mate.
The interesting and amazing thing is how the penguins look after one another and care for one another. At lower temperatures penguins huddle together in a ball to keep themselves warm. They gently push and shove one another so that after a while the penguins in the outer circle gradually move from the outside to the inside so that every penguin has his turn in the middle and on the fringe, giving one another to experience warm and cold and an opportunity to survive the cold.
Joash was the seventh king of the southern Judah, the third good king of Judah, and the only surviving son of the short-lived King Ahaziah. He lived in a time of turmoil, betrayal, and insanity. The most bloodthirsty person in the land was his own grandmother, and she wanted the throne for herself. Joash’s grandparents, the royal couple of Jehoram and Athaliah, were one of the most ruthless couples in the Bible and the equal to Ahab and Jezebel in the north because Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. To the couple, ambition was thicker than blood.
Yet for six years, the priest hid Joash in the temple, the perfect environment to supervise the child, to nurture his faith, and to keep from detection. Jehoiada cared for young Jehoiada’s life and the Lord’s promise more than he cared for his and his family’s life. The priest thought the world of the baby, pledged his loyalty to the toddler and gave his best to the child. In due time and without a fuss, the priest risked all that he had and the lives of others – the five commanders of a hundred (2 Chron 23:1), the Levities and the heads of Israelite families (2 Chron 23:2), the priests (2 Chron 23:4), and even his own sons (2 Chron 23:11) – to restore the young king to the Messianic throne.
This is how it should be in the body of Christ – each person in the body supporting each other. Last night I was in a special meeting with a pastor from Pakistan, where many Christians are being put in prison and worst. Throughout the worldwide church, there are many persecuted Christians we need to support, but there are also many struggling in our local churches who we must also not forget.