Thus King Joash was unmindful of the devotion shown him by Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, and killed the son. As he was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge.” 2 Chronicles 24:22 NABRE
The chapter containing this passage includes a scene where the Hebrew people do not follow the Lord and even when God sends a prophet to speak them back to Him, they still don’t listen. Following the Lord’s guidance is not only expected but it leads to a good life for the community. Thus, not following the Lord is a reason to push away those who are a reminder of this offense. Rather than have to listen to the prophet who is calling the people back to obedience, they determine to put him to death. Their offenses were not small, they forsook the Lord’s temple and served idols, so they were rejecting God and their ancestors. We read that God deals with their rebelliousness with wrath. Another nation came and invaded Jerusalem, the King, and the people; enacting punishment. The King suffers and the people are abandoned.
If we want to justify our own bad acts; one way is to have a god who enacts revenge and suffering. We see often in the Hebrew Scriptures God allowing and supporting destruction against the Hebrew people as punishment. We have this image of a very wrathful God. But as the same people who are seeing signs of punishment are the authors of the story, it may be God is defined in the people’s image and not the people living in God’s image.
Do you see God as wrathful and vengeful or forgiving and merciful? Do you work to justify your bad actions?We have this image of a very wrathful God. But as the same people who are seeing signs of punishment are the authors of the story, it may be God is defined in the people’s image and not the people living in God’s image. Click To Tweet
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